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The Tenth Exhibition of Niš Art Foundation “YOUNG  2016”

In the absence of a responsible and efficient state cultural policy, upon the idea of painter Radovan Lale Đurić, in 2005 a group of artists and culture professionals founded Niš Art Foundation, with the primary intention to assist in the promotion and affirmation of young artists in Serbia. In order to implement this noble and purposeful idea, they established the “Young”  exhibition, a yearly event based on an open competition, with the right of participation of artists aged up to thirty five.

After a full decade of regular yearly exhibitions, due to its unique concept, proven vitality, professional selection and organization, the exhibition “Young” is now highly positioned on the map of cultural events in our country, gladly visited by the audience and covered in the media. By taking part in the exhibition, hundreds of young artists from all parts of the country have been given the first true verification of their work; about thirty of them have been awarded the purchase prizes by Niš Art Foundation.

In any field, art in particular, professional beginnings are particularly hard because they impose serious dilemmas and questions: should one “walk” the trodden path or should one explore new directions? How should one remain “on a knife edge”, but still remain intact?  Based on this year’s “Young” exhibition, tenth in a row, our young artists have used a lot of personal shrewdness, but also responsibility - both aesthetic and ethical - to resolve the said early enigmas, thus decisively starting to create their own role and position in the world of fine arts.

The exhibition, which after the final selection presents the pieces of 47 artists, is inevitably heterogeneous in nature and offers thematic, stylistic, and conceptual diversity. Each author goes along a personally selected path of the visualization of the subjective and the objective, testifying to the fact that stylistic pluralism is a permanent feature of our time. With no ambition to delve into a more detailed analysis in this text, we only note the principal characteristics. The vast majority of authors has opted to work within the classic domain of the “painting”. Some of them seek the way toward their artistry in spatial and coloristic ratios, a combination of color and texture, contour and surface, i.e. in personal touches marked by various degrees of abstraction or association  (Aleksandra Ilić, Vuk Ćuk, Mate Đorđević, Vuk Vučković, Ranko Travanj, Maja Đorđević, Ivana Milev). There are now significantly more artists whose starting points show an inclination to reality, yet the final products, i.e. works, belong to the realm of the figurative. The basic motive of the human figure represents the thematic and emotional grounds for the pieces. One can find here quite a bit of loneliness, confusion, suffering,  conflict with oneself, with the environment,... In the pieces of the selected artists, man is more a lone wolf and a scream than an axis mundi and a spiritus movens.

Various existential and mental dilemmas and doubts, typical of the contemporary times, can be recognized in the context of the works by Jelena Vićentić, Miloš Ilić, Milica Cvetić, Maja Petrović Babić, Edis Muminović, Tanja Taborin, Milica Lazarević, Irena Kovač, Milan Vukašinović, Dejan Krstić, Vladimir Sekulić, whereas, for instance, Bojan Radišić is convincing us that even the powerful individual is grotesque in his unfathomed tragic fate. The very artistic styles of the artists mentioned above show a considerable amount of gradation, from a high level of verism to the expressionist approach to treating form, color, and painted structure.

Some of the artists opted for the drawing, as an independent art discipline - we should say rightly so, since they competently use the line as the basic visual element. Whether they approach drawing in a classical way (Nemanja Okiljević, Lazar Balšić, Luka Tripković, Stefan Mirosavić) or they conceptually experiment and reify the drawing, making it closer to other media (Nemanja Nikolić, Andrea Dramićanin, Teodora Vojinović), their pieces show all features of  fully completed works of art.

In addition to the fact they use different materials, sculptors presenting in the current exhibition have different approaches to sculpture: from sculpture as an event in space (Nevena Vuksanović, Dunja Trutin) through sculpture as a linearly diachronic structure (Branko Milanović) or intimate story (Gorski Kabadaja, Dušan Zubčić) to sculpture with a symbolically engaged connotation (Boris Zečević).

The exhibition can certainly be experienced and interpreted as a kaleidoscope of various thoughts, feelings, and messages communicated through the joint action of individual poetics and universal aesthetics.

In the times threatening to marginalize the position and importance of art, the “Young” exhibition sheds light on our current potentials, and reassures us that they are the guarantors of the survival of sublime values. The young artists have courageously taken up the adventure called art, which exhibits dangerous, yet also salvaging uncertainty. We most cordially wish them a happy journey with successful results.

Milica Todorović

Art Historian

Catalog Young 2016

Deseta izložba Niš Art Fondacije „MLADOST 2016“

U odsustvu odgovorne i konsekventne državne kulturne politike, grupa umetnika i kulturnih poslenika, po ideji slikara Radovana Laleta Đurića, oformila je 2005. godine  „Niš art fondaciju“, sa prevashodnom namerom da pomogne promociji i afirmaciji mladih umetnika Srbije. U cilju ostvarenja ove plemenite i svrsishodne ideje, ustanovili su izložbu „Mladost“, kao godišnju manifestaciju konkursnog karaktera, na kojoj pravo učešća imaju umetnici do trideset pete godine života.

Nakon decenije redovnog održavanja, zahvaljujući svom jedinstvenom konceptu, potvrđenom vitalizmu, profesionalnoj selekciji i organizaciji, izložba „Mladost“ visoko je pozicionirana na mapi kulturnih dešavanja u našoj zemlji, rado viđen i praćen događaj od strane publike i medija. Stotine mladih umetnika iz svih krajeva zemlje je učešćem na ovoj izložbi doživelo prvu pravu verifikaciju svog rada. Njih tridesetak dobilo je i otkupne nagrade „Niš art fondacije“.

U svakoj oblasti, a naročito u umetnosti, profesionalni početak je posebno težak, jer nužno nameće ozbiljne dileme i pitanja: da li „ hodati“ utabanim stazama ili krenuti novim putevima, kako biti na „oštrici noža“, a ostati nedodirnut. Sudeći po ovogodišnjoj, desetoj po redu izložbi „Mladost“ naši mladi umetnici sa puno lične visprenosti, ali i odgovornosti - koliko estetske toliko i etičke - razrešavaju pomenute početne enigme i na odlučan način pristupaju kreiranju vlastite uloge i pozicije u likovnom svetu.

Izložba koja nakon obavljene selekcije sadrži dela 47 umetnika, neminovno je heterogenog karaktera i nudi tematsku, stilsku i idejnu raznovrsnost. Svaki autor kreće se lično odabranom stazom vizuelizacije subjektivnosti i objektivnosti, potvrđujući da je pluralizam stilova konstanta našeg vremena. Bez pretenzija da se ovim tekstom bavimo detaljnom analizom, konstatujemo samo osnovne karakteristike. Velika većina autora opredelila se za praksu unutar klasičnog poimanja „slike“. Jedan deo njih put ka likovnosti traži u prostornim i kolorističkim odmeravanjima, kombinovanju boje i fakture, konture i površine, dakle u svojevrsnim ličnim pečatima obeleženim različitim vidovima apstrakcije ili asocijacije (Aleksandra Ilić, Vuk Ćuk, Mate Đorđević, Vuk Vučković, Ranko Travanj, Maja Đorđević, Ivana Milev). Značajno je veći broj umetnika čija polazišta inkliniraju realnost, a ishodišta, odnosno dela,  pripadaju svetu figurativnosti. Ljudska figura kao osnovni motiv nosilac je tematskog i emotivnog sadržaja dela. Ima tu dosta usamljenosti, zabrinutosti, patnje, sukobljavanja sa samim sobom, sa okolinom... Čovek je na delima zastupljenih umetnika više  samotnjak  i krik nego centar sveta i spiritus movens.

Različite egzistencijalne i mentalne dileme i sumnje karakteristične za savremeno doba, prepoznaju se u kontekstu dela Jelene Vićentić, Miloša Ilića, Milice Cvetić, Maje Petrović Babić, Edisa Muminovića, Tanje Taborin, Milice Lazarević, Irene Kovač, Milana Vukašinovića, Dejana Krstića, Vladimira Sekulića, dok nas recimo Bojan Radišić uverava kako je i moćan pojedinac groteskan u svojoj nedokučenoj tragičnosti. Sami likovni rukopisi pomenutih umetnika pokazuju široku skalu gradacije – od  visokog stepena verizma do ekspresionističkog pristupa u pogledu tretiranja forme, boje i slikane strukture.

Neki od umetnika opredlili su se za crtež kao samostalnu likovnu disciplinu, rekli bi smo s pravom, jer vešto vladaju linijom kao osnovnim likovnim elementom. Bilo da na klasičan način pristupaju crtežu ( Nemanja Okiljević, Lazar Balšić, Luka Tripković, Stefan Mirosavić) ili eksperimentišu u pogledu koncepta i opredmećuju crtež približavajući ga drugom mediju (Nemanja Nikolić, Andrea Dramićanin, Teodora Vojinović) , njihovi radovi imaju sve osobine konačnosti umetničkog dela.

Zastupljeni vajari, osim primene različitih materijala, imaju i različit pristup skulpturi: od skulpture kao događaja u prostoru ( Nevena Vuksanović, Dunja Trutin) preko skulpture kao linearno dijahrone strukture (Branko Milanović) ili intimne priče (Gorski Kabadaja, Dušan Zubčić) do skulpture simbolično angažovane konotacije (Boris Zečević).

Izožba se svakako može doživeti i tumačiti i kao kaleidoskop različitih misli, osećanja i poruka saopštenih po zakonitostima sadejstva individualne poetike i univezalne estetike.

U vremenu koje preti da marginalizuje položaj i značaj umetnosti, izložba „Mladost“ osvetljava naše trenutne potencijale i potvrđuje da su oni garant opstanka viših vrednosti. Mladi umetnici su se hrabro upustili u pustolovinu zvanu umetnost, gde traje opasna ali i spasonosna neizvesnost. Najdobronamernije im želimo sretno ishodište.

Milica Todorović

Istoričar umetnosti

Katalog Mladi 2016