Opening Reception: Thursday, May 30, 6-8pm
Artist talk with Barry Schwabsky: Saturday, June 8th at 4 pm
Nicholas Metivier Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of photographic works by Ljubodrag Andric. The exhibition will open on May 30th and run until June 22nd with an opening reception on Thursday, May 30th from 6 to 8 pm. There will be a talk with Andric and Barry Schwabsky on Saturday, June 8th at 4 pm. Schwabsky is an American Art Critic, Art Historian and Co-Editor of International Reviews for Artforum magazine.
Andric is in a different position. He is the inheritor of a culture that has already put its finger on abstraction and has distilled it into extraordinary works of art accepted as such by a public that has learned to understand them. For that very reason there is no longer any need for “pure” abstraction, for an art that must convince its public that the abstract is sufficient. Andric suggests that the abstract feelings to be found by way of actual places, far from being diluted by compromise, are as resonant and powerful as those without any referent in reality.
It is an experience founded in the experience of duration. It is not a flash, not a glimpse, not a shock. The image slows us down, cultivating a quiet receptiveness on the viewer’s part. It is not to be stared at; anything like a fixed gaze is disarmed here. You want to be with it, next to it, rather than to penetrate it. In that sense it serves as a wall as well as picturing one.
- Barry Schwabsky, excerpt from his essay, “Pictures of Time”
There is little reference of scale and much visual ambiguity in Ljubodrag Andric’s large-format photographic works on paper. Inner workings of perception could be said to define his practice, with the intent to create a necessary tension between the abstract and the tactile. It is the unique balance between abstraction and realism that engages, then holds, the viewer’s gaze. Andric’s images are captivating in their apparent minimalism; yet they then slow us down, allowing us to understand what is in front of us as something we are part of. They offer us the experience of time.
India is Andric’s first body of work that is focused on one country. However, specific geographic locations have always been secondary to the abstract, meditative and contemplative qualities he extracts from his subjects. In early 2019, he spent almost a month in Rajasthan, travelling between cities and the desert and photographing ancient spaces. The unique quality of light and extraordinarily nuanced colour palette he captured there formed the base of what is his richest and most prolific project to date.
While the distinctive colour and light allude to India, Andric avoids photographing iconic landscapes or landmarks. Instead, he finds unusual or neglected spaces in his search for balance, measure and proportion. These motifs of choice include not only textured surfaces but also colour and light itself, often reflected from adjacent buildings. His compositions favor abstraction and lend his works their painterly characteristics. Andric has always considered his photographs in relationship to painting. Artists including Piero della Francesca, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Paul Cézanne and Giorgio Morandi constitute an evident influence. In the India series, this is more apparent than ever – especially in the poetic balance Andric’s images achieve through form, colour and light.
To understand Andric’s work is to leave your search for subject and narrative in the traditional sense behind. These images are from a place, India, but they are not simply about India. In keeping with the established arc of his production, these images are more about the artist’s finely tuned eye. He sees layered references to the history of art in places we would pass by without a second thought if we were touring India. It’s a taut formal vision that can only be understood by standing in front of the prints themselves – one needs to stand in their presence – it is only then that we come to understand the full power of his image making.
- Edward Burtynsky
Ljubodrag Andric was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in 1965. After almost twenty years in Rome, Italy, he moved to Toronto in 2002 where he currently lives and works. Andric’s work has been exhibited internationally including major exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts in Le Locle, Switzerland (2017), the Fondazione Querini Stampalia in Venice (2016), and the Triennale di Milano (2016). In 2016, a monograph Ljubodrag Andric: Works 2008-2016 was published by Skira in Europe. Andric is represented in Toronto, San Francisco and Milan. This is Andric’s second solo exhibition at the gallery.