Žolt Kovac is a Serbian painter currently living, working and studying in Belgrade. His three pieces for the exhibition come from his Brilliant Painting Series and feature juxtapositions of wordplay and abstract forms.
Brilliant Pictures are publicly displayed for the first time in the year celebrated as the hundredth anniversary of very important, even decisive artistic projects in the history of modern art. Since 1913. the institution of modern art has been gradually emerging and gaining acceptance in the public and popular discourse of Western European and American culture.(1) Abstract painting as the final outcome of self-sufficient modern painting, received in 1913 significant elaborations in the works of Piet Mondrian, Kazimir Malevich, Robert Delaunay and Ferdinand Leger.(2) According to this chronology, the modern painting has been accepted and cultivated for the last hundred years, and its centenary heritage has endowed it with a prestigious historical legitimacy. Although repeatedly proclaimed dead, unnecessary, obsolete or powerless, it has survived thanks to its infinite openness and capacity to absorb and assimilate all transformations, subversions and criticisms inscribed in its formal and semantic frames.
Dilemmas about the essence of image, as well as those about the nature of painting and its position at the actual moment are points of departure for Zolt Kovac’s artistic deliberations. Since his early experiments in The Good and the Bad Painting (2000), where he charges the stability of the system of evaluation of artist’s formal success; since his subversive and witty statement on the necessity to demystify the institution of art and the figure of artist in Painting Develops Supernatural Abilities and Esthetic Experience Develops Supernatural Abilities (2000), Kovac raises intriguing questions about the status of painting at the introspective level, within his own artistic position, as well as the power of painting in the larger field of its interaction with society or observer.Kovac’s continues his exploration of the painting’s capacity to bridge the gap between art and life in Invisible paintings (2003), Empty time (2007-2008) and Paintings of Superfluous Information, ceaselessly affirming the need to free the medium from the constraints imposed to it by its pedigree of an exclusive historical position, by the imperative of complex theoretical-aesthetical elaboration, by autoreferentiality and complacency of painterly medium and authors themselves. Stupid paintings (2008-2009) have also been created on this persistent path of positive banalization. They reintroduce abstraction into Kovac’s artistic repertoire as a field for maneuvers of subversion and play with the encumbering legacy of modernist painting. As he studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade within unmistakably modernist approach to arts and artistic creation, his response to the legacy of this significant artistic narrative results from his situation: aware of unfeasibility and obsoleteness of exclusive and unidirectional artistic efforts in the contemporary circumstances, he relativizes and subverts the ponderous, powerful substance of painting in his wish to participate in the transformation of the relationship between a painting and its social context. For Kovac, a painting is not an exclusive, almost inaccessible object of esthetic or intellectual enjoyment, but rather a visual message tending to lure the observer into an exchange of life’s experiences and everyday situations. www.zoltkovac.com