Artist: Milena Dragicevic
Venue: Martin Janda, Vienna
Exhibition Title: Erections for Transatlantica
Date: January 19 – March 2, 2011
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Martin Janda, Vienna
Galerie Martin Janda is showing Milena Dragicevic’s third solo exhibition from 19th January to 5th March 2011. Milena Dragicevic’s most recent series Erections for Transatlantica follows on directly from her works of the last years. While the Supplicants series’ starting point is the human face – altered, or rather, dismantled by the artist through various interventions –, and works such as aalliraujaq or tuksiarvik deal with sculptural issues, the artist’s new series is a bricolage of forms taken from outside sources and linked with her own intuitive drawings. The paintings depict hovering apparatuses or assemblages that capture the passage of possible objects. The abstract forms – that, owing to their large format, appear almost iconic – unfold into all directions, while at the same time they are anchored solidly into the canvas by the artist’s use of bold colours dividing the backdrop. Even if the paintings of this new series also evoke sculptural notions, Dragicevic does not see them as images of sculpture. “They do not suggest the gravitational weight of real sculpture”, she says, “instead they are precisely what the title suggests, they are erections or offerings.”
In her choice of titles the artist replicates the ambiguity of her paintings on a linguistic level. For her works, Dragicevic deliberately employs titles that defy a simple interpretation. The expression Transatlantica alludes to a fictional place of origin or an in-between place which also marks Milena Dragicevic’s identity, having grown up in Canada as a Serbian immigrant and now living in Great Britain. “Due to my nomadic existence this suspended space is a place I have come to inhabit on a regular basis. It is a space that holds both a utopian promise as well as the fear of an impending abyss.” (Milena Dragicevic)
The Supplicants series’ titles are complemented with negative or positive numbers, whereas those of Erections for Transatlantica also include names of the artist’s friends and acquaintances that undergo further abstraction, as in, for example, Erections for Transatlantica (Ranva) by being transcribed using the South Slavic Latin script.
“Erections for Transatlantica are unnamed assemblages that couple obsolete industrial machines with misplaced epic public sculpture (…) In spite of their precision, Dragicevic’s paintings are always both one thing and the other: painting and sculpture, figurative and abstract, always defiantly refusing to settle down into either subject or object position.” (Lisa Le Feuvre).
Milena Dragicevic was born in 1965, and lives and works in London. Currently her works can be seen at the British Art Show 7.