Metaphysical Pop Art
An Option on Contemporary Art

p a i n t i n g

          Dragan Zdravkovic, Sound for Adrian, 2012

opening Mar 14, 2013 6-8 pm

duration May 25, 2013

The exhibition will be extended until June 1, 2013.


Artist Statement

I am constantly trying to portray the places in which time loses its strength and energy, heart ‘decelerates’ and its rate decreases, the places of melodic silence and eternal play. These are nonverbal notes of space within which we all may encounter and truly recognize ourselves. I mostly use the objects found in my surroundings, taken from the world of advertising and mass media and incorporate them into my paintings. I need all these objects because they represent the commonplace of perception. Then, I further model these objects according to my completely arbitrary plan, and my internal intuition, and with minimum of any intervention I bring new meaning to them (and even convey new meaning), perhaps even the metaphysical meaning*, to such extent that up until then, all well-known and recognizable objects lose their former purpose, meaning, and function, and thus, they become “non-objects”, essentially space and time of the mental picture, spiritual and innermost self.

*Some art critics have characterized my work as a “Metaphysical Pop Art „- see text: Lj.Gligorijevic, “PAINTING AND THROWING THE STRING”, gallery ULUS, Belgrade, 2009. / ISBN 978-86-82765-55-4.


Dragan Zdravkovic: Hibernation Mode


Seither versucht Zdravkovic Orte und Situationen zu „portraitieren“, die abseits aller hyperenergetischen Ströme und Tempi liegen – „places of melodic silence and eternal play“. Die Bestandteile seiner „Portraits“ findet er dabei durchwegs in seinem nahen Umfeld, in den Massenmedien ebenso wie in der Welt der Werbung – Dinge, die ihm wichtig sind, weil sie den Gemeinplatz der Wahrnehmung repräsentieren. Mittels geringfügigerVeränderungen und ungewohnter Zusammenstellungen nimmt er diesen Dingen ihre ursprünglichen Bedeutungen und Funktionen, transformiert sie in „non-objects”, um sie „essentially space and time of the mental picture, spiritual and innermost self“ werden zu lassen.

Zdravkovic bedient sich neben einer der Montage verwandten Technik letztlich der (fotorealistischen) Malerei, um seine „Portraits“ auszuformulieren. „Selbst wenn alle seine Gegenstände der ikonischen Sprache der Massenmedien angehören, die Zdravkovic auf die Leinwand zwingt, wobei er sich dem Stil der jüngsten Generation der Leipziger Schule annähert, ist ihm bewusst, dass auch das sterilste und schematischste fotografische Vorbild auf der Oberfläche einer Leinwand zu atmen beginnt.“ (Lj. Gligorijevic)

Die Galerie white8 hat auf der Art.Fair in Köln im November 2012, zwischen 2006 und 2012 entstandene Arbeiten (Öl und Acryl/Leinwand) von Dragan Zdravkovic  gezeigt und bringt im März 13 die erste Solo-Schau dieses international anerkannten Künstlers nach Wien.                                                      

– Lucas Gehrmann




Lj.Gligorijevic: About Dragan Zdravkovic

In his first paintings of the new cycle Zdravkovic provided an answer, without the implied fear of technical requirements, to the possibilities of using the photograph of an object and collage freedom imported from the advertising practice according to pop art practice. He was taking over the objects from mass media, but, eventually altered them towards the identity annihilation, thus making these objects unknown in popular culture, although he never abolished their existence in this culture: he converted them into objects pertaining to near future. It is sufficient for him to embrace the glass of water, agitated by a pill, and a hair dryer, located above the glass, and then to stretch it out into the shape of a new object, and then to transfer all his technical perfection into the pill, glass, water…thus moving all these elements and the whole scene into the world of cold fantasy. It may be asserted, taking into consideration a series of previous paintings, that weak-will of water, represented technical perfection, radiance of objects have all served for achieving the dream of surpassing the collage procedure, dream of creating the fluid language. This may be accompanied by the previous attempt to avoid the already provoked discontinuity of space of totality by means of different calibres of masked decorative patterns. In this way, conditions have been made for the objects in later paintings to be at arm`s length, but they also participate in space “leakage”… also it is possible to exist on the border between the interior and still nature, that is landscape and interior. Although he approaches portraying the world as the object of “metaphysical” De Chirico-esque provenance, Zdravkovic does not permit the impenetrability of the borders of that world, but he also does not leave them fully open in the manner of pop art. Namely, he selects, with an emphasis, the motives whose painting interpretation will overcome the stopping of time characteristic of the De Chiricoesque painting. And, no matter how much the object takes over from the advertising lexis he develops them into space, taking into account their origin, changes them, and transforms them into anonymous perfections not requiring an enigma, or establishing an enigma of the first step with them…

– Lj. Gligorijevic
Professor at the University of Arts in Belgrade