Fantastic Landscape

The oeuvre of Đordje Stanojević relates to a part of inherited potential of modernism and profile of abstract orientation works that make the high standards and vitality of painterly medium still possible and sustainable. Numerous examples of artistic poetics from Malevich to Newman, Klein and Pollock, through the selected paintings-objects of Beuys to the different types of minimalistic objects realized by Kapoor – show that the intention always remains identically the same – to create a living organism from a canvas or a painting-object that would always be grounded more on a system of presentation than representation, be it the object of sublime, healing or cosmological aesthetics.

As his predecessors, the representatives of these and similar forms of historic abstraction paintings and painting-objects made by Đorđe Stanojević can in the following context also be understood as specific images-traces, open structures and pieces that map isolated memories, deeply rooted existentialist experiences or the ones that are yet to come. These piece are, by rule, pure object or material creations, object entities per se as well as “newly created objects” that from the first cycle, made in 2008, openly advocate: a culture of coexistence with the remnants of the so called primitive civilizations, reconnection of the “painting’s being” with the earth’s being, as well as the seemingly incongruent imbuement of western Cartesian thought with the culture of eastern mysticism.

Within the context of the western tradition of perceiving the abstract paintings and artifacts, Đordje’s works, generally speaking, while breaking with historic illusionist painting equally cultivate an antagonist link with the culture of disegno (design) in an original way, more precisely with a vital part of the Renaissance culture that from a place of orderliness and harmony of individual inventiveness with its environment evolves to today’s spare-aesthetics of compromise and opportunism, an ethics that creates a new man seriously corrupted and broken by the most diverse forms of realities of economic and political marketing. In response to this self-conscious and defeating knowledge, the artist annuls the concept of imago as a part of the vertical base of the museological or advertizing object, a subject of the cult of mass production, admiration or “collective meditation”.

Up to the last Belgrade cycles GerminationErgonomy of EarthCollectors of Light or the Parisian one such as Appearances all realized up to 2015, Stanojević firstly abolishes the canvas into a horizontal position, exposing it to the most diverse alternative cultures of manipulation and finishing processes: integrating the material of earth and its rudimentary elements like soil, mud, dung, chaff or iodine. In his latest cycle Fantastic Landscape the canvases are exposed to the alternating impact of and resistance to the forces of the sun, wind, rain or snow. The artist always anew re-creates the matter of the painting by whose multilevel finishing process – exposing it to the impact of invisible natural energies in alternation with the delicate, most often carefully painted and modeled traces produced by human hand – he realizes a delicate bond and difference between the cosmological and anthropological, poetized antagonisms between the forces of nature and the agency of culture and deepens the very “being of the painting”. To briefly quote Bachelard who writes: “Working on the matter of painting, its dual perspective [the matter’s] opens: one in the direction of the intimacy of the subject’s agency and the other in the substantial interior of the non alive object the perception encounters. In working on the matter, this dual perspective revolves; the subject and object exchange their intimacy …” (Bachelard, G., Earth and Reveries of Will: An Essay on the Imagination of Matter, 2004).

The artist’s latest research focuses on the former, the possible dual perspective of matter, in this very case becomes coincidental to the spirit of Eastern teachings – acknowledging the manipulation of time of painterly matter in the initial imitation of the agency of nature and the revival of the spirits of earthly matter: its ephemeral transitions, descending shadows, radiating contours or spontaneous gestures of its corresponding doubles. On the threshold of this open, interchangeable and anticipated experience of an alternative culture of work in matter and the potential of remembrance, of the artifact situated in the world as a living organism open to the time of resistance and synthesis with the invisible forces of nature (cosmological ?) – new concepts of the world are being mapped or vital forms of organic links between man-nature and man-culture are being formed. Disegno of a higher order or virtual breathtaking ambiental landscapes in the wall screening of flickering light and impregnated shadows of the elusive energy of nature in the last video ambient, landscapes of sublime earthly magnetism whose painting-matter made of dry soil and bony black pigment – reflect the imago of our telluric potentials and energies in the latest works of Đordje Stanojević – are part of the once lived fantastic landscape, micro-cosmogonic event or a positive virtual utopia of its creator.


Jelena Krivokapic