Adrijan Praznik | WALLS

25. 4. 2018 – 24. 6. 2018

The painting practice of Adrijan Praznik is known for his series of large-scale paintings featuring the iconic figures of Western popular culture which can be found in film and literature. The artist uses them to question the relationship between man and contemporary technological development. The Walls exhibition at Krško Gallery will present a new series of paintings through which the artist considers the relationship towards the marginal creative practices that come as a result of the industrial and technological revolution. In contrast to the large-scale canvases from the recent years, he is exhibiting paintings of smaller formats this time. The need to explore the pictorial surface was the main instigator that prompted the change of format, which breaks up the previously large painting into a plethora of smaller ones, allowing them to combine into thematic clouds and clusters.

The painter, whose thought is focused on the painting medium, has over the last year deepened his interest for the texture of the pictorial surface, perceiving its allure as a "fingerprint". He is interested in the traces of objects intended for mechanical reproduction that are rarely found in the practice of artistic language.

Praznik has created the relief surface of the paintings by using thick applications of oil paint and rubber, as well as painters' and decorators' rollers. Since they used to be cheaper and more accessible than wallpaper, they were more popular for wall decoration in the first half of the 20th century. They also replaced the skill of manual interior decoration as dictated by fashion trends. Initially, the artist collected and bought old rollers at jumble sales, while at the same time researching their origin. He used both original and technologically processed rollers for his work. This means that he scanned them, enlarged them and printed them using a 3D printer. From the original functionality of the rollers, he focused on a less restrained way of using them: instead of using wall paint, he used oil paint, applying it to the canvas and imprinting it with the roller patterns. Due to the thickness of the oil paint and the abundant amount of applied paint, a clear drawing cannot always be discerned on the surface treated by the rollers, even though the texture of the applications of paint gains a pictorial richness. The pictorial field is not a homogeneous surface, but is given structure through relief. The paintings can be discerned as micro-spaces that reflect the fragmentary images of the roller. They are understood as objects, which is why their materiality and presence in the space are emphasised in the exhibition at Krško Gallery.

The new works by Praznik are marked by multi-layering at the level of production (processes of searching, collecting, researching, recycling) and at the level of interpretation (transition from the past into the future). The surface of the paintings relates to the past, whereas the manner in which they have been created belongs to the contemporary creative practices. The works produced with the rollers are understood by the artist as: "... homage to this 'folk' art. The dedication here goes in both directions, to those that made these rollers, and, of course, to those that used them."

Text by: Nina Sotelšek, Senior Curator

 

Biography

Adrijan Praznik (1988) is an artist of the younger generation. In 2016, he graduated in Painting from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design (ALUO) with Žiga Kariž, MFA, as mentor, and Tomislav Vignjević, PhD, as co-mentor. He was a scholarship holder for talented students of the Municipality of Ljubljana and the recipient of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design Award for Special Achievements in Art for the academic year 2011/2012. He has exhibited widely since 2007, in numerous group and solo shows, in Slovenia and abroad (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Germany, ...). He was a regular illustrator for the Tribuna newspaper and has published works in many other publications. Some of the more prominent among these include Likovne besede (Artwords), Stripburger and Fotografija magazines, as well as the Praznine bulletin. In 2015, he was awarded with a working scholarship for prospective artists by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia. His works are part of the Imago Mundi Collection – Luciano Benetton Collection and the collection of the International Centre of Graphic Arts (MGLC). This year, he is completing the World of Art, School for Curatorial Practices and Critical Writing education programme run by SCCA-Ljubljana.

 

Ambient photographs: Nina Sotelšek