With a warm and human note, Stanić enriched Montenegrin painting

The exhibition of the Mediterranean dreamer and lyricist Voj Stanić, on the occasion of his hundred years of life, was opened in the Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts

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From the opening: Vukčević and Vujović, Photo: Luka Zeković
From the opening: Vukčević and Vujović, Photo: Luka Zeković
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

Our timeless Mediterranean dreamer and lyricist Vojo Stanić, a painter of exceptional imagination and artistic execution, during eight brilliant decades enriched Montenegrin painting with a warm, human note, which makes this world more beautiful, intimate and noble. He was and remains original and his own, an unrepeatable and unique phenomenon in Montenegrin art of the 20th and 21st centuries, whose universal painting, with its poetics of real-expressionist-unreal and suggestive immediacy, is close to every person on this planet.

This was written down by an art historian Ljiljana Zeković in the accompanying catalog of the large retrospective exhibition of Vojo Stanić, whose curator she is, and which was organized by the Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts (CANU) on the occasion of his 100th birthday, a day after the monograph "Vojo Stanić" by the author, academic Niko Martinović. The "timeless Mediterranean dreamer" exhibition was opened on Wednesday evening in the CANU exhibition space.

Detail from the opening
Detail from the openingphoto: Luka Zeković

The significant event brought together a large number of representatives of the Montenegrin cultural and artistic scene, academics, officials, and the opening was attended, among others, by the president of the country Jakov Milatovic with her husband Milena, as well as the Minister of Culture and Media Tamara Vujović which officially opened the setting.

The President visited the exhibition
The President visited the exhibitionphoto: Luka Zeković

"Painter Vojo Stanić is a vital link in the preservation, promotion and definition of Montenegrin cultural identity through his works, which gain more and more importance with the passage of time", said Vujović and added that she shares with Stanić motifs such as the sea, the sun and Herceg Novi, which are common theme in his works, which reveal his deep connection with that city and its surroundings.

"Stanić, according to his own words, nurtures an objective audience approach to his paintings, but his modesty that he lives by does not prevent us from exploring the deeper layers of his works. He believes that a full understanding of a work of art requires multiple perspectives, each enriched by individual subjectivity. This is how we all participate in the works of artists and, not in a way to just interpret the works, but to ask the artist to explain ourselves to us", said the minister.

Minister Vujović
Minister Vujovićphoto: Luka Zeković

Those present were greeted at the very beginning by the president of CANU, Dragan K. Vukcevic who stated that Stanić's exhibitions were always something special in culture. But this one is different from the others, he pointed out, because its occasion is the centenary of the birth of the oldest CANU member.

"Academician Stanić, like a melancholic loner, spent a long time staring at the line of contact between the sea and the sky. He left us wonderful records of how he looked and what he saw. Those pictures are a kind of verses of his song of life. It was created in creative leisure with sincerity that makes seeing clearer, with intelligence that allows seeing what is seen, with commitment to present what is seen. That song resembles the most beautiful flower that grew on the Mediterranean branch of Montenegrin culture. That is why its creator belongs to the last pilgrims of our time. These are the rare ones who seek their own way. They realize themselves on it. Searching for truth, beauty and goodness, they are given to discover the secret of the meaning of life. And she says that the meaning is attainable to those who are ready to give form to the gift they carry in themselves through renunciation, work and dedication", said Vukčević at the ceremony.

Vukcevicphoto: Luka Zekovic

Zeković pointed out that Stanić, with the penetrating intuition of a narrative chronicler, storyteller and "voyeur", brings to life the world in miniature, the world of weirdos, madmen, obsessants, larks, fantasists, idlers, lovers...

"Although his painterly cosmos in a small way 'flowed in front of his window', as memorized sequences of what passed and remained stored in his memory, trips to Paris, Oslo, Rome opened up new problematic questions, which make his creative credo close to French and Dutch expressionism, classical Italian painting and poetics Brueghel, De Chirica, Magritte, Kara. However, it should be borne in mind that his entire artistic work represents a unique conceptual, artistic-linguistic, aesthetic and poetic entity as an intimate mirror image of reality", wrote Zeković and added:

"The mystery of the past and present is placed in a unique space and time of the primordial plane of existence, demystifying and saving from transience those moments, which prosaic everyday life erases more terribly than oblivion. In the space of the new reality, the spiritual stage of life where man, as the center of the totality of the cosmos, is pulled through the network of his own commentary, Stanić transfers the core of his poetics to the original, unique artistic symbolism".

Detail from the opening
Detail from the openingphoto: Luka Zeković

Vukčević expressed his gratitude to the art historian Ljiljana Zeković, as well as to the art editor of the catalog Ani Matić.

"Through the work that the great artist places between himself and us, we, the privileged passers-by, search for his messages and unravel the layers of meaning, looking, hoping to see. In front of that wonderful game of reality and imagination, colors and characters, scenes and windows, I say these words with a feeling of sincere and deep respect for its creator, and that deepest respect begins when the word falls silent", said Vukčević.

Detail from the opening
Detail from the openingphoto: Luka Zeković

Stanić did not look for the philosophy of life, as his relationship to the world, in the lofty definitions of 20th-century existentialism, which deals with the problem of alienation and loneliness of modern man, noted Zeković, but in the warm atmosphere of a small town, in which there is a strong social connection of people directed at each other. .

"In Stanić's painting, the movement is stopped at a moment that has no past and no hint of the future. Namely, like film framing, in the images of (un)limited spatial rappers, he places an action that, with its naked truth, reminds of hypnotic visions Federico Fellini i Živka Nikolić. The content repertoire is defined by compositional solutions of classical balance with clear spatial rappers. In his paintings, everything is clearly and precisely designed and masterfully executed. The dreamy atmosphere, azure texture, irrational lighting, dark tonal consonances and a reduced compositional repertoire shaped a strict and rational compositional structure", emphasized Zeković.

Detail from the opening
Detail from the openingphoto: Luka Zeković

Vujović added that the exhibition also testifies to the achievements of a great author like Stanić, in the segment of questioning and expanding the framework of his own author's legacy.

"Exactly that, in addition to the ability to anticipate big ideas and their further explanation into new values, makes Stanić's art unique and exceptional. Even today, his work is an organic part of the creative impulse of our many artists and an important reference in the wider cultural space. Precisely because of this, Voj Stanić's works gain more and more importance over time", she said and pointed out that this exhibition is a logical and necessary continuation of the cooperation between two institutions such as CANU and the Ministry of Culture and Media.

A new dimension of Montenegrin and world heritage

Minister Vujović emphasized that Stanić was uncompromisingly dedicated to artistic research and the process of creative imagination, with which he also presented Montenegro to the world in a worthy way, and thus his painting became part of the universal language of world art.

Detail from the opening
Detail from the openingphoto: Luka Zeković

"Stanić's canvases, deeply imbued with Montenegrin spirit and identity, become archetypal representations of the rich cultural tradition of this region, where art is not only an aesthetic expression, but also an important tool in preserving historical and cultural heritage, preserving it for future generations. His works become ambassadors beyond the borders of Montenegro, simultaneously strengthening the sense of belonging and pride among the local population. Through his work, Montenegrin heritage acquires a new dimension and permanent value, becoming an indispensable part of the world cultural scene," Vujović explains.

Stayed true to the figuration

Vojo Stanić, the bard of Montenegrin art of the 50th and XNUMXst centuries, a sculptor by profession, after graduating from the Academy in Belgrade in the XNUMXs of the XNUMXth century, he redirected his artistic interests to painting, Ljiljana Zeković recalled. This, he adds, enabled him to express what he could not achieve with sculptural works in the domain of artistic-linguistic expression and motif content.

"He remained faithful to the figuration based on the artistic and aesthetic values ​​of metaphysical painting, magical realism, surrealism, expressive naturalism, Bruegel's expressive naturalism, Bosch's hallucinatory visions, the playfulness of commedia dell'arte. He "commented" on the world around him with witty quips and lucid imagination. Through the caricatured characters of 'naive simplified' prosedeo, homo duplex and homo ludens, symbolism and metaphor, he expressed the psychological ambiguity present in an unrepeatable tragicomic representation of life. Ironic and poetic appear simultaneously with humor and fantasy, while the combination of the real and the unreal, the past and the present, found its expressive domain in the field of narration and anecdote", noted the art historian.

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