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Indepth Arts News:

"Private and Confidential: Works by Predrag Pajdic"
2003-03-07 until 2003-04-03
Catto Contemporary
London, , UK United Kingdom

The most striking feature of Pajdic’s work is the skill and virtuoso draughtsmanship on display. His pen and ink renderings on canvas reveal a technical ability on a par with the great Masters of the Renaissance. But this undeniable fact, though in itself a rare commodity indeed, is not what makes Pajdic an important contemporary artist. It is, to my mind, the level of visceral intimacy and the immediacy of impact that makes his work an artistic force to be reckoned with. We scratch the surface to find many levels of interpretation and meaning, in which artistic tradition and thought is re-examined and reinvented.

In the series of panels, we see a development, an active circular progression and regression; a figure initially crouched, then gradually rising up, alert and alive, then perhaps sensing his own humanity, his existential angst, he screams, like a primal beast and cowers again. This dramatic motif, has it’s own history. It was Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) who first gave us studies of the motion of animals and human models. His work in stop-action series photography led directly to invention of motion pictures. In terms of painting it was Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) who in 1913 showed "Nudes descending a Staircase", at the now legendary Armory Show in New York, an explosive piece of work at the time, as important to the development of Dadaism and Surrealism as ‘Les Demoiselles d’ Avignon’ was to Cubism and the Modernist movement.

In Pajdic’s work we see the artist’s fascination with the mechanics of anatomy and the divinity of the human form. This ideal originally part of sacred geometry, realised in Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, where the human body is the model of perfection. How much like then is this series part of the Orphic creation myth? A modern Dionysus being born out of violence and conflict, humanity is thus part divine and beautiful and part vicious and material like the Titans. But what do these details of artificial mathematical settings signify to the contemporary viewer? Perhaps it relates to our obsession with science and technology, and issues connected to genetic engineering. For Pajdic it is as if the realised perfection of form is as important as the inner workings. Where the physical interacts with the personal, and the subject, the artist’s partner is charged with an animalistic prowess, yet tempered with tenderness and compassion.

The subject here has taken on a whole new raft of significance, the male nude, traditionally standing heroic and victorious, has here transcended literal interpretation, we see a figure, poised and like a coiled spring, ready to explode into action. The series of six smaller pieces, each have their own inner force and latent power. The figure, at times, confronts the viewer with unabashed energy and a self awareness that makes it immediately apparent that the examination is a two way street. The subject as muse, who is continually being studied and duplicated in order for the artist to simultaneously unravel the mysteries of man, whilst re-asserting and constantly rediscovering his own personal relationship with his partner.

Charting a development in Pajdic’s work, it is easy see these themes recurring, in whatever medium the artist chooses, and therefore it should come as no surprise that there is a poetic and beautifully crafted video/installation in this exhibition. ‘I will love you Forever’ is richly worked piece, interwoven with fine threads of meaning and emotional verité. Pajdic constantly plays with tradition and form as he blurs the distinctions between subject and object.

This is Pajdic first major solo exhibition in London, though his work appears in the most prestigious collections and museums in the world. ‘Private and Confidential’, as the title suggests is an intimate and revealing exhibition, but ultimately it shows us an incredible talent at work.

Predrag Pajdic
Peculiar Image of Man II
102 x 76 cm
Ink on Canvas

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