Aestheticism
and Great Technique in
Prudnikoff's Portraits

Out of the dark equalized backgrounds rise faces and figures repeating, maybe subconsciously, big lessons of the past. An excellent craftsmanship characterizes the Yugoslav painter who displays his painting at the Priori Palace.

At the Griffin and Lion Palace are exhibited the paintings of Djordje Prudnikoff, a Yugoslav painter whose paintings the public like for the striking atmosphere he succeeds in conjuring up in his works. Certainly, nowadays it is uncommon to be able to observe such meticulousness and "rage" towards the object and not to be also tempted to enter some currents of the present and look for an absolutely new wave. On the contrary, Prudnikoff paints as he feels, while at the same time avoiding to make comparisons with the contemporary: for him there is no shaping which repeats a photographic model; one finds no malice and technological meddling. Instead, there is an ever-present craftsmanship, "the hand" that knows exactly how to mix, dose, and condense. Along with the effects of significant optical force, reminding one of significant optical force, reminding one of various currents and models taking place in the near historical periods to us, the true sincerity of the author is not being questioned.

Prudnikoff should be accepted the way he presents himself: he may be more explicit in the defining the face (true geographic maps of life) than in resolving the structure of the whole body. Be as it may, this is a "wisdom" and force of effect, typical of a sole aesthetician and individualist.

LA NATIONE - FLORENCE, November 14, 1979
The option of a critic on the occ
asion of an independent exhibition in Perugia, Italy.

 

Djordje Prudnikoff's art of painting at the Singidunum Gallery
Unusual Personality


Thanks to Prudnikoff, this gallery has recorded a true boom: thousands of citizens visited the gallery; such a response on the part of the public was, most  likely, also prompted by the advertisement spreading over a full page in the newspaper, in itself a unique event in the publishing practice in the capital.

A graphic artist and a designer by academic training, a painter by vocation over the last ten years, Prudnikoff is an unusual personality, and, taking everything into account, a personality that cannot be reduced to the conceptions and expressive formulae of out times. He does not care about either the nineteenth century or the experience of modernism;
in fact, he owes nothing  to anybody, nor does he mimic anybody in the contemporary environment. As if his art came to a halt in the seventeenth century, as is his creativity came to end with the Italian decadence and mannerism. His thematic-expressive layer, dramatic "tenebroso" and "sfumatto" under the atelier light, licked-clean structure and outpourings of sentimentality take us back to the world of Guidrenni, Giovani Batista or Salvador Rosa. Due to the mentioned, the critics have been circumventing Prudnikoff, perceiving him a bizarre and quite marginal phenomenon in the Belgrade art of painting. Also, the extraordinary high prices of his works could only attract more attention of the public than that of critics. However, in the postmodern practice of the 80.s, along with retrograde tendencies, the canvases of Prudnikoff seem to have imposed a different  interpretation  and reading. Is one supposed to see in these works the anticipation of the art of "anachronism" and pronounce the author as its champion? Whether we like it or not, the center of gravity is also moving from the value and nature of works to the circumstances of a new phenomenon.
It is certain that Prudnikoff's art of painting is an example PAR EXCELLENCE of creativity outside the "protectiveness" of the times. However, while accepting this G.C. Argan's definition that relates to the views of the art of the 80.s, we cannot avoid a specific paradox: "nonprojectiveness" is still a specific "projectiveness" just as much as "antiaestetics" is a specific aesthetics. Anachonic in everything, Prudnikoff is not retrograde by everything but SUI GENERIS.

Therefore, is Prudnikoff a forerunner or only a dishistorical phenomenon.  If we are in our views closer to the latter phenomenon than to the painters of our decade, who have been formed under the influence of Olive and Calvesi, are we quite right.

          Z. MARKUS            POLITIKA, Belgrade, May 12, 1987

 

Modern art has originated as a reaction to the appearance of photography and it is a creation of the artist who had removed the man, the figure off canvas. This may be compared to the situation one finds after earthquake when everything is in ruins. This is the modern art. The greater monstrosity or chaos on canvas the more exhalted modern critics are. The figure has disappeared at one point  of time from canvas, while later on photography itself has been established as artistic work...     
And following the earthquake the situation is getting stable!
                                                                                                         Author

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