FIVE PAINTINGS FROM GORSKI KOTAR, paintings, Zagreb, Gallery Kontura



Predrag Todorovic attracted a broader Croatian art interest in the middle of 1990’s with his refined, dense textured and spiral drawings in big formats. Those drawings were of analytical character and a certain reminiscence of the Primary or Analytic Painting that appeared in visual art at the beginning of 1970’s, but Todorovic made his paintings visually more impressive. The problem is the same – searching for elementariness of the visual disciplines and terms with an impression of powerful and remarkable artwork that flirts with Op- Art, without lacking the aesthetic impressiveness, as much as the art of 1970’s did. Author’s interest for the artistic experimental procedures is presented from his early student’s beginnings when he practiced in poetics close to Informel, more precisely, to Tachisme. Listing in his memory the images of those historic styles that have treated the term of image and its fundamental elements, Todorovic has already accomplish different and imposing results: parallel in abstract or multiplying certain painting elements and problems, but also gaining the experience in different media. He has systematically and clearly marked his way and opened a line of new chapters in interpretation of the meaning of painting or drawing. So it doesn’t surprise that Todorovic has returned to Informel after almost 20 years of his artistic life, not to Tachisme, but to its radical way what proves his artistic maturation and consistent practice of his procedures.

In his exhibited middle-sized works, he speculates about painting using non-artistic materials, moreover, natural organic elements like the colour pigments. Using only spatula of all artistic tools, throwing earth on the canvas surface, the author rubbed, scratched and carved the specific drawing into the depth of the painting structure, made by gestual application of mixed earth, sand and leaves. Such a procedure, very close to radical Informel, except of emphasizing matter-full saturated surface, testifies the clear personalization of the author in authentically creative art process.

Argan said: “Informel was, in its beginnings, pure act of existence, free of any intentionality and reflection…” Todorovic neglects this ideological connotation, understanding it as a firm standing point in searching for elementary segments of image arising. Using materials found in nature, the artist stresses the essence of painting, omitting any other connotation or reading, and he exclusively turns to its material existence. The author consciously makes the inversion using characteristic procedures as multi-layering, gesturing, expressivity and dynamics of the composition, with which he denudes painting to its elementary quality. Todorovic’s art is absolutely liberated of any associative meaning and definitely far from the objective world. It is reduced to its essence by the inverse procedure. Using the natural materials with their pictorial particularities, the author entirely stripped the painting and turned it back to its origins. It is fascinated that he has achieved it with completely saturated painting, as a result of the reach personal experience, led by the premises of the last century’s avant-gardes.


text: Mladen Lučić
translation: Ivana Gabrić