DOCUMENTS

Documentation

Irina Subotic
 

STEEL SHADOWS BY SASA PANCIC

The latest works of art by Sasa Pancic, which were created between 2002 and 2005, are limited to black-and-white, more precisely light-and-dark, features in sculpture, relief, drawing and graphics. It is very difficult to place them in any current art category or group, and even more difficult into any mainstream or underground tendency. The artist’s biographical data remind us that Sasa Pancic has had more solo exhibitions than group ones. Eminent critics and curators seldom put his works in their selections. This artist is outside all known social circles and ties related to some institutions, whereby his personal and artistic biographies are identical and filled with professional successes from the moment of graduation at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade in 1989 and postgraduate studies successfully finished under the tutelage of Prof. Dragan Lubarda in 1992. But, in that unusual attitude of the artist, his engagement and almost clandestine appearing, it has not been recorded that Sasa Pancic is an artist with a broad education and a great mental disposition who defines his artistic itineraries very precisely and who corroborates them with theoretical notes that open us numerous paths for understanding and interpreting his creative process and results. The artist also tries to maintain this course with a small monograph which will be published under the title Steel Shadows and accompanied by an exhibition in the Art Gallery of the Belgrade Cultural Centre. The aforementioned monographs contains short theoretic, teleological and theological essays on light (especially Black) and shadow (both dark shadow and the White one), line and surface, static quality and motion, geometry and nature, their meaning and point on examples from art history and from different civilisations: Egypt – Iran – Holbein- Rembrandt, Malevich – El Lissitzky – Mondrian – Brancusi  to Chillida, the sculptor who was Heidegger's friend and the «architect of empty space» and  whose work is so close and dear to Pancic.

A segment called Autopoetics enables us see the aspect of the artist's approach towards the process of creating, his thoughts about gravity, vertical, horizontal-vertical, and by referring to Gaston Bachelard Japanese sensibility the artist follows the course of line that opens surface, “opens space towards the depth”, interweaves layers and obliterates mass by blending. The artist brings us thus into his world where we recognise an alchemist’s passion for researching, discovering the new and unknown in which he incorporates the ideas of the great minds and that enormous treasure of knowledge and experience. With his ideas, the artist also examines some current theses on changes of our perception and our psych, in general, in the time of digital image when the boundaries between the real and unreal are gradually vanishing.

All of those thoughts serve for understanding the artist’s forms that use “a hidden reified state”, as the artist states, i.e. reality per se. He transforms that reality of light and shadow into his indented forms whose purity touches space, air and ground. His sculptural models, intended for great monuments in space, can be placed in some more intimate spaces, but duality of open-closed, light-dark suggests the presence of the Sun and the Man, his eye and touch. That is why the entire exhibition can be observed as a model for a new monumental opus: we would recognise constructive (or constructivist) systems refined by an organic motion and the incessant movement of the sun, labyrinths with a logical ending, a dynamic game of questions and answers, riddles for discovering spaces that surround us, confronted, but not opposed rhythms, human architectural contents and harmony of complementary relationships. Above all, this entire exhibition is a hymn to the new technology – lasers and computer, which Sasa Pancic has «tamed» and subordinated to him, his way of thinking and his sculptors, relieves and drawings. The artist has also carried out the conversion of media and disciplines successfully, convincingly and wisely. Even the hardest materials, such as steel plates, lose their aggressive distinctive traits and become soft, flexible and humanized under the artist's reified vision. An exhibition that makes us think is the exhibition that keeps faith with the power of man's mind at the same time. And with the Man in general.

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