I have two painting of Ruźa Spak in two different houses: they are triptychs, three sequences of images that run and catch each other. Radiating and shining, are the first adjectives that comes to my mind when describing them. Undoubtedly they lighten my day and are full of light and of life. There is color, there is substance, there is Mediterranean light, there is the emergence of many common expressive affinities: lightness and transparence. Images that stand still for a moment in the course of time. Then, in her following works, they started to arise on the surface of fragments, without the weight of history: icons creased by the past that challenge the law of gravity.
Gratwanderung: Straddling the Edge
A wonderful German word describing the precarious path straddling an edge that precisely corresponds to the painting of Ruza Spak. Positioned on both sides of the gap between abstract and figurative art, Spak’s painting becomes abstract when it is figurative, while at the same time deriving its figurative meaning from abstraction. Yet the painter does not vacillate between these two worlds of painting, she cuts through them, balancing on the razor edge of the tightrope that separates them. Originally known as filmmaker, Ruza Spak has traversed this path since the 90’s, discovering her own very personal artistic language along the way. During these years she departed from figurative painting by attempting to connect space and motion with her broad brushstroke and special depth effects. Yet in so doing, she in no way distances herself from figurative language, but rather creates a synthesis between abstract gesture and concrete objects, a symbiosis dominated by floating colors. Enchanted we participate in a chromatic reversal of the „temperature of color“. On Spak’s over-dimensioned canvases, the blue surfaces are fired by the light of the sparkling sea; the reds are diffused across the plane with the harshness of an oceanic gap that fills itself with the mystery of creation and transience.
All prejudices with regard to the movement of color and to its inner dynamics are delineated and experienced as a form of global drift that does not try to revolutionize the medium, but rather to create a space rich in unexpected shadows where chromatic values gain new energy, forming the basis of the motion celebrated by Spak’s painting. The gesture is not wild as Neo expressionists would have it. Never out of control, it is cleverly guided, guided by the use of vibrant colors, which immediately catch the eye of the viewer. In Spak’s work, the language of abstraction is strangely „passionate“, even emotional - without a trace of poetry or sentimentality. It is a purely explosive energy, which is not without a certain force and aggressive power. Yet her paintings neither succumb to hectic excitement, nor do they attack the viewer. Despite the lively color, despite their vigorous gestures, Spak’s paintings exude a magic aura of lassitude, a quiet flow of thought and serene clarity. It is precisely in this direction, the direction of clarity, transparence and a suffered contemplation, in which Spak positions the new steps of her path along the edge that leads back into figurative art. The language may change along the way, but not the force of color, which accompanies her artistic search.
It is a figurative world that transforms itself into a metaphysical abstract one. A world in which the objects appear to be real – a horse, a boy a dog, a girl. At the same time, they move in a space that is unreal, a space in which there are neither recognizable signs, nor precise connotations or figurative reminiscences. These are surfaces without borders, backgrounds of vibrant colors, a luminous blue, abstract and pure, like the color of light. In these luminating backgrounds, objects no longer obey the lays of gravity, they pass through them: perhaps they are flying, perhaps they are running, or perhaps they dream. It is a world of phantasy suspended above an abyss in which everything has already happened. The figures are frozen, their motions have already ceased, victims of their own fate or will. The canvas is ruled by the peaceful consciousness of the intolerable lightness of being, where in the end, Spak’s journey along the edge should find its fortification.
6 aprile 2006
7 aprile 2006
18 aprile 2006