Exhibition

 

Exhibition of Janez Knez

In order to fashion the show that is before us, Janez Knez took his cue from the general abstract and emotional orientation of contemporary art. This core was, of course, moulded through his own, personal filter which, as will become clear, was a strict usage of classicism. In his desire to find his own personality, his sophisticated art edges towards the very dividing line between the comprehensible and the incomprehensible, or rather, the indefinable that is hidden within him and, for that matter, within us all. We cannot tell whether he got there consciously or unconsciously; what is beyond doubt is that his hand that led him was in sympathy with this desire. This is no ‘high art’ that is so often the camouflage of contemporary creation; this is painting, real painting - craft and artefact. These are not the works to reveal the extent of the artist’s deliberations. What we do know is that we are facing a juicy suggestion that we, the viewers, may invest with our own conclusions and experiences. We are free to find our own end result which will, in most cases, differ from that intended by the artist. And such a creation must be the author’s pride and our joy. This is painting with a secret that is devoid of provocation, but that nevertheless excites the viewer’s curiosity. And just as we think we have found the answer, the matrix and the principle behind the understanding, we suddenly come across something unexplained, some contradiction, something that makes us doubt. But, what can be done… one often does not manage to get to where one is being taken but only to where one allows oneself to go. There are some paintings that have clearly defined themes the artist finds interesting. These are mainly landscapes, views of his surroundings. There are some that display legible evidence of his hand gathering impressions of an actual place. When however these motifs from the same series mutate into lyrical abstractions, then the titles are there to help us find the location. In other words, the titles suggest very specific motifs from real topography, thus limiting artistic speculation. Composition, the very foundation of abstraction, is in this case most often based on two harmoniously placed vertical axes; these aim, in unity of purpose with the horizontals, to achieve an effective balance. This is therefore the art of horizontals and verticals which make it clear and lucid. This compositional rule is however not binding. Other paintings in the exhibition offer centrally placed groupings that restrict the choice of form and colour; that in turn makes the painting all the easier to comprehend. A provable fact can easily be observed by a connoisseur: the contents of the picture inside the frame are organised in a way that makes the contents and the frame seem made for each other. Everything, but absolutely everything of importance is to be found inside the frame of the picture. Each direction has its opposite; every value, every light, every colour has its precise counterpart. Everything has its reason. The painter wraps all this in a softness that emanates from nuanced tonal values, from harmony as well as from careful contrasts. All these endless considerations make the style of those paintings classical. The elegance deriving from the composition and its immediacy makes these paintings something more than a thing learnt. Such clear vision so clearly realised could only be arrived at by an artist who has overcome the eternal dilemmas and prejudices by dint of learning from them. They were the means of his growth, the yeast of his creativity. The artist was however well aware that this kind of driving force is not a very good guide to creating; this creation he then took for a walk into the unknown, changing it into something unpredictable. The resulting decorativeness is not only a pleasure for the eye, a melody, an effective guise; this is high art in the noblest sense of the word. Andro Filipić
 
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