From 20 June 2018 until 20 July 2018
20 June 20:00h
Dubrovnik - Svjetla i Sjene - Lights and Shadows
Sebastian Art Gallery
Art as such is an extraction of that which is innermost human, an artwork a fragment of reality as seen through a temperament. Immanuel Kant believed fine art to be of a two-fold nature, that is, he believed that it is both a creative and a purposive, cognitive power brought forth; while its purposive nature remains the servant of reason, its creative, unrestrained one manifests itself through the very act of artistic production. Croatian academic painter Krešimir Nikšić is one of the few who does not focus on the attested codification, a sine qua non of the purposive style, thereby stylistically liberating himself to explore and create unconstrained. From this freedom comes the artist's multidimensionality of gesture, expression and color – this psychological impuls surely being an impelled reaction, yes, but undoubtedly, and even more so, a substantiated contemplative moment of his worlds. One sees this reflected accross his whole opus, whether figurative or abstract. Nikšić's principal theme is the Dubrovnik ambiance within the Mediterranean expanse and his new series of paintings titled Dubrovnik – lights and shadows continues on that foundation. One is immediately struck by the finesse of its color gamut and nuanced expression, both being natural extensions of the artist's temperament and creative passion effortlessly drawn from the depths of primordial pool of energies and appropriately channeled via a unique artistic signature.
Although Krešimir Nikšić is an author that intelligently perceives, he is also a creator of art who is aware of the magnitude of his inborn visual sensibility and of the notion that to rely on his instinctual predisposition to seek the natural, the organic, means to inevitably be thrust forth into the mode that will enable him to enact the dynamic morphological metamorphosis of the visible world. This kind of visual sensitivity overarches the whole of Nikšić's structuralistic painting modulation whose architectonics rely on drawing as the foundation that underlies all, thereby allowing the whole of painting to come into being. As opposed to the pure abstraction which the artist, as a stamp of sorts of his own artistic personality, perseveringly championed for quite a long while, in this series he lets us indulge his canvas in the spirit of figuration, that is, he allows our eye to follow the almost impreceptible lines onto which, in vigorous gestures fueled by the desire to accentuate the beauty of the Dubrovnik milleau, the artist splatters pure color. The artist's pallet opens to a plainiristic feel and draws the viewers sensibility to color and light particularly. The swirls of dimmed gamut thickly brushed onto canvas elicit the impression of Grad (City of Dubrovnik) enveloped in nightlights, while in articulating the Dubrovnik scene as a whole, dominated by its sturdy stone walls with their powerful forts and towers, the artist playfully engages color thereby accentuating the rhythm that flows from the elements sequentially positioned in light and shadow. One cannot but be reminded here of the spirit of the now long dispensed with tonal painting that artist furthermore, by wise and skilled suggestion, utilizes to turn the vast expanse of the sea blues into the pure limitless space broken only by Dubrovnik's silhouette reflected in the moonlight. By truthfully portraying the perennial beauty of the ancient City of Dubrovnik with his „realistic impressions“ and the chords chosen properly as to give off the harmony of shape and color, the artist actually opposes his own tendency to depict abstractly and, despite himself, creates illuminated artwork in which light persists and the energy of eternal return becomes evident in every line and gesture.
It is rather interesting to note that Nikšić stayed away from changing his style of expression or choice of elements for years, that is, up until this very series. One could say he evolved and is now able to present a plethora of open-universe theme variations in which, aside from the open spaces and buildings, the sky and the sea blues are dominated by the „feel“ elicited by coloristic and illuminating effects. The unity of composition is achieved by the finely tuned balance of the buildings (city walls and towers) in space and the communication among them, as well as by creating the „air“ imbued with the spirit of Grad (City of Dubrovnik) characterized by the singular atmosphere and coloristic vivacity that as if „sings“ by a choir of vidid colors, particularly the ember reds and the placid whites, greys and dimmed greens, in its tranquil interlacing of the real and the allusive. The artist approaches the painting structure as if he were a sculptor, that is, he ocassionally skews the perspective. So altered, the painting seemingly reciprocally pleases and is pleased by the surrounding. The facades are big and bright and they flow into and through the open areas of fine pasty tones that dissolve in the play of light and shadow, the effect of which is strong and voluminous and it continues to spill over to the vastness of the sea on the surface of which one can see and „feel“ the reflection of the night sky. The sublime reached by the joy of sheer light and unobtrusive shadows and the outlines of buildings yields artwork of powerful expression that, even so, remains within the artist's recognizable configuration, while the artist's inner search leads him toward sublimating of the past experiences with the optical dimension of that which is sensible. This does not at all diminish the sensations evoked by hues. Au contraire, the artwork's powerful expression frees and opens the canvas to an unbounded space that lifts the painting to ever heightened levels of emotion and imagination.
Krešimir Nikšić is a brilliant painter, virtuoso illustrator and figure artist and, most of all, a passionate colorist whose new series of paintings evokes spontaneous admiration and respect as it undoubtedly stimulates interest toward a more comprehensive insight into his artistic reach on the one hand, and invites one to partake in the joy of creating and soulsearching on the other hand. The paintings in this series allow for the recognition of that which is important and ingrained deeply within us, hower without the need to leave the playful emotional framework that seemingly spontaneously arises as we see them displayed before us.
That Nikšić is truly unique! His paintings do not scream or call out loud, nor do they whisper, no, yet they do successfully alter their surroundings. This is the hallmark of fine art. Seeing and comprehending the artwork of Krešimir Nikšić in this light brings unto us a singular experience, an intuitive awareness of existence of that which ennobles a human spirit – the beaty of art. Only then can we more clearly recognize the noble soul and truly free artistic spirit of Krešimir Nikšić – one of the most significant modern and postmodern protagonists of the Croatian contemporary fine art!
Andrea Batinić Ivanković
Krešimir Nikšić was born in 1961. in Zagreb. He graduated from the Center for Culture and Art in Zagreb (Second Gymnasium). He completed the painting school of the class of Professor Dine Trtovac and graduated from the College for Visual Arts in Ljubljana. He is currently in the postgraduate studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana.
He has been exhibiting in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Zagreb, Varazdin, Čakovec, Rijeka, Pula, Dubrovnik, Vienna, Paris, Udine, Venice. Three art monographs of this painter and his works were published. He was awarded the first prize for painting at the 13th Biennale Interanciale Art del Friuli Giulia (2002). He is a member of professional associations of HDLUZ and HZSU.
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