Natalija R. Črnčec / The Body of Colour
UGM | Maribor Art Gallery, Strossmayerjeva 6

opening: Friday, 23 August 2013 at 19:00

In her first solo exhibition at the UGM Natalija R. Črnčec has introduced herself with a spatial installation entitled 
The Body of Colour. In recent years the artist has become well known for her spatial installations in which she has focused on colour and its perception. Exploration of colour was the central topic of the exhibition Colour (Kibela, Maribor, 2009 and Murska Sobota Gallery, 2010) and the group project Sobežnosti #16 (with Andrej Hrvatin, Gregor Kosi and Nina Šulin, Pekarna – Magdalenska mreža, 2010). Painterly issues represent the core of Natalija R. Črnčec’s opus, and the focus on the basic painterly elements, such as colour and light, is one of the typical features of her work. The use of colour and light creates an impression of an ascetic art language which is skilfully upgraded by the artist into painting compositions and spatial installations of monumental proportions reflecting a close intertwinement of the micro and macro cosmos. To Črnčec colour is an inexhaustible topic; she has focused on it since her early years which were marked by works of more expressive nature, whereas recently the scope of her explorations has moved towards lyrically accentuated interpretations in her paintings and visually intensified spatial installations. The colour spectrum is reduced and ranges between blue and red. Blue is interpreted by the artist in meditative paintings which by only slightly changing the nuances vibrate in front of the viewer’s eyes, while the dynamic red in the spatial installations transforms the entire space into a field of its direct experience. 

In the spatial installation 
The Body of Colour fluorescent red is emphasised as the central foundation element of the installation contents. Its dotted application follows the rhythm of the multi-layered material of the base. This creates a fragmentary entity which illuminated by UV light reveals a richly textured surface. Fluorescent red represents continuity of Črnčec’s spatial installations; what has changed is the base and as a result the final appearance of the colour. Initially the base was white, now it is black. If The Body of Colour is compared with the before mentioned spatial installations, we find that a change in the form has occurred: a sphere (of different sizes) which was the central composition element in the past still dominates the composition, but it has begun to free itself from its standard body. It has been transformed into various two- and three-dimensional derivatives; it has formed hybrid shapes or has even been flattened. With this kind of form genesis unique dynamics in the spatial installation is triggered due to the creation, formation and shaping of new structures and bodies that are being born out of the preform and are developing their fragmented appearance. The installation’s pulsating rhythm is harmoniously complemented and intensified by the colour red. In previous spatial installations colour formed a red background consisting of spheres from which a network of white lines protruded and spread over the rounded surface. This time the artist has replaced the tiny colour planes with dots or points which cover the surface of every single detail of the spatial installation. Contrary to the previous installations dots are now in the foreground and have been used to build a richly structured surface which is complemented by layering a fabric and stiches. Thus structured planes are created and together with various structures they reinforce the impression of tactility of the spatial installation. The density and colour intensity of dots vary while a diverse and at the same time balanced rhythm is created on the surface of individual structures. An impression of glowing, kindling in the depths under the surface is achieved which adds specific dynamics and provides for a mysterious atmosphere. An important contribution to the latter is the positioning of the installation into a dark space illuminated only by UV light. Thus the artist has constructed an ambience filled with a rich diapason of enigmatic forms that protrude from the dark tissue of the spatial installation when illuminated by the artificial light and embrace the viewer in their rhythm. The visitor thus enters a space which is based on sensory experience, the ambience that can be perceived with the entire body and that is offered to be viewed as a body, a body of colour.

In 1996,
Natalija R. Črnčec (1972, Maribor) graduated at the Fine Arts Department of the Maribor Pedagogical Faculty. She has participated in several group exhibitions and has held a number of solo exhibitions. In her work she focuses on colour and light which she thematises in spatial installations and paintings. She works as an art teacher at the First Grammar School and Second Grammar School in Maribor.

sound: Andrej Hrvatin
curator: Andreja Rakovec
Supported by: