On February 21, at 19h, the paintings of Ivan Milenkovic, a member of the younger generation of the Serbian art scene of the 21st century, will open at the Leskovac Cultural Center. The exhibition will be opened by Biljana Jotic, an artisan artist from Belgrade who has been following his work for some time and is the author of the text in the catalog. Born in Leskovac (1988). He graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade, majoring in painting (2012). He has participated in more than fifty group and had seven solo exhibitions. Scholarship holder of the Salzburg Summer Academy. Among others, Ivan is the winner of the “BIAFARIN young award”, Nordart, the first prize at the 53rd and 54th October Art Salon in Leskovac …
Author’s text about the exhibition:
Many years of knowledge of the work of Ivan Milenkovic, a member of the younger generation of contemporary art scene, gave me the opportunity to see from many sides the expression and message that the exhibition of paintings in the space of the cultural center in Leskovac should convey. Semantically, the term exhibition itself connotes the connotation of the visual story, triggers primarily the sense of sight, and determines the type of experience. It depends on the artist how much he or she will be able to cross the path from idea to realization and it is in this process that the specificity of the individual is recognized, whereby an artist becomes recognizable. In the 21st century, after all the artistic happenings so far, the turning points and the solutions offered, overcrowding and production, it is much harder to stand out and retain your own self, which Ivan, although still a young artist, certainly succeeded.
The visibility seen at first glance can be misleading. Primarily, John’s paintings show something that is familiar to all of us today, something that we are all surrounded by. The question is, what is it that we, as observers, face when contacting the whole of the exhibition? In our daily lives, we are surrounded by numerous feelings of the existence of something, but only after confronting the notion that defines it do we become aware of the form and form of reality. Ivan responds with reality to the artistry. Shaping forms shapes theme and motif, creating a balanced composition close to real space and time by the relationship between the visual elements. Experimenting with illumination, a combination of indirect light of space and direct illumination of a character, valerian reductions in which colors get special tones achieves a specific visual effect, which practically causes confrontation with the viewer.
The aesthetic determination of the composition in Ivan’s paintings stems from the content. It deals with the problems behind what is seen, what is inside, beyond the boundaries of concrete communication, and they determine the visual composition. The luminous effects in color and figurative vigilance as well as separate spaces indicate another reality. The space does not correspond to the environment in which the observer is in the moment of presence of the setting; The light is not the outside, the sunlight of the real and natural environment, but the light coming from the virtual space. Communication is not mutual, these are scenes of characters who are self-directed and interact with virtual reality. The sensory response is almost avoided. It brings everything together into a space that transcends the realm of the real, plays with our senses and activates self-sufficiency and alienation. An essential novelty of Ivan’s creativity is precisely the moment he was able to capture and paint. His art is in reaching a kind of agreement between new communications through visual effects and the traditional visual art form.
Narrowing my observations to the thematic basis of John’s age and the motif of painting, I would compare the visual and theoretical aspects of art, which are related, and in recent times in most cases inseparable. Just as visual art responds to new contexts of reality within the medium on or through which artists express themselves, so theory accompanies creativity and gives new interpretations to existing ones, or reaches new concepts. The novelty of interpreting the notion of aesthetics in relation to modern times is that it is the science of the senses, not the beautiful, that the interaction shifts from enjoyment to recognition. And really, when we go past the pictures on the set up and look at the whole, the big question is, are we going to say that we like it, that it’s nice? Rather, I would say that we will be faced with a stall from new forms of everyday life, loneliness, the disappearance of the need for others, to exchange feelings, sensuality and thoughts.
In the end, if we were to raise just a few questions about the problems of modern times and the role of man in him, the struggle to find his place and hold on, we would see that this at first glance simple composition raises many problematic points of confrontation of man, time and space and puts them into artistic discourse. Ivan Milenkovic’s painting could be called painter’s notes, visual testimonials that engage the question that the senses reduce to new forms of communication, while the move, valerian design, light effects, their relation to space in the canvas obstacle, as well as the balance between these elements of composition, the skill of the formed painter. which paves the way for new research into the notion of aesthetics.
Biljana Jotic, art historian