Dusan B. Markovic

Riders constellations 

Fundamentally, the present problematic scope of Dusan B. Markovic’s new tvorks was conceived alreadj in the eighties ivhen the artist became conscious both ofthe general changes in the visual arts and a sharp individual need to define in that particular heterogeneous plastic system an expressly personal position ivhich ivould suit the requirements of the time and the claims of his own poetics. 

The renaissance of the visual arts phraseology, tvhich happened at the beginning ofthe past decade, revealed again the strongly accentuated intention of creative artists to introduce in their works issues of status and media related possibilities, but also the origins of an object of art. Therefore, the distinct appearance of an object of art was (re)defined by reducing the phenomenon of sculpture to the aspect and meaning of the object, and consequently directing the phenomenon of painting toivards its form and the ontology of its objectivitj. Sculpture-object and painting-object sustained both in the material and physical sense the author’s views on the creative art of the moment. 

Since Dusan B. Markovic is himself an artist with parallel interests in the medium of sculpture and painting, he naturallj arrived at an explicit conclusion – an utterly personal and constructed multiple object: a painting-sculpture which could be composed and recomposed, designed and redesigned, depending upon the parameters of an exhibition hall or his momentary desire to produce a specific context for the overall arrangement ofhis shows. The three exhibitions he had in the eighties and the nineties proved that Markovic possesses a firmly set development logic of his painting-sculptures’ functions and ideas. 

The works shown here for the first tinte bave originated through a protracted process, particularly due to their technological characteristics in the last five years. These are also painting-sculptures of multiple structure and each of their three units has at least three smaller elements. In the gallery, arranged both on its walls and in space, they construct individually, but also as a unique whole, an exceptional colorific milieu permeated tuith a plastic signification which cearly points to the line of continuity Markovic has so persistently folloiwed almost since the time of his first shows. However, there is also a noticeable inclination toward a more reduced and intensified chromatic tone. His cut and constructed forms of organic, anthropomorphic, figurative origin have turned into symbols, signs, today interpreted as non-iconic. This trait of expressive reduction-ism has brought him to the concrete artificial form which groum out of his former basrelief plastics. Some of the shapes (ellipse, for example) have been present for some time already. For Markovic, they represent his artistic response to the need for an authentic definition of one’s own creative standpoint. 

The distant historical messages of Constructivism from the circle of the Russian experiment in art have a distinct purpose – to secure these ivorks the plausibility of a syntactic model ivhich belongs to the general visual culture of this century. Their modular elements can be combined and recombined, molded and remolded, can be left out or multiplied to almost unlimited possibilities. The setting of this exhibition fundamen-tally belongs to ambiental arrangements, but the author, by his momen-tary dedsion, has organized it in a new way and it now has a traditional art gallery disposition, unique and yet unparalleled in the cycle of his previous shows. 

There are manifest parallel currents in our visual-arts scene which produce different, but not necessarily new or innovative language mo-dels, and both our individual eocperience and the general positioning of the new tvorks of Dusan B. Markovic speak oftheir particular plastic syn-tax tvithin the present register of developments. 

Jovan Despotović 

Gallery Zepter, Belgrade, 1997