Sergej Kapus

19 November - 16 December 2007
Mala Galerija, Slovenska cesta 35, Ljubljana

Sergej Kapus is a painter and a poet, an art historian and theoretician. His work is based on the tradition of abstract art, which serves as the point of departure for his deliberate analysis of visibility. The ordered structure and self-evidence of the visible world are founded on a system of conventions and classifications that organize the infinitely differentiated and contradictory visual flow. As the identity of an individual is constituted in relation to the visible, the structuring of visibility is one of the basic strategies of power.

The complex nature of Kapus' art reflects these issues: the organized structure of the pictorial field disintegrates and dissolves into differentiated details and their interrelations, directing and redirecting the observer's attention from the whole to the details and back.
Kapus' most recent series of paintings continues the dialogue with the tradition of painting and the reflection on it, addressing at the same time, by introducing an abstract photographic landscape, the contradictory issues of visibility, decentralization, localization, and dissolution of the viewer, the view, and its object.
Kapus links his explorations of visibility, physicality, and awareness of his own identity with visual transformations of everyday world, suffused in the time of the new media technologies and scientific research with the fragmentary mediated images of the developed consumer society and its reaching out into space. Within the pictorial field, however, these found images act as more than mere sensory presence: they are also systems of ordering, categorizing, and directing, or, the systems of control, capital, and power. Thinking about the questions of form and reciprocity within the pictorial field, about the problematic profusion of visibility and the mechanisms of deceiving and directing the gaze, the painter equally abstractly speaks about his experience, essential for the transformations of everyday life and the immediate world. The experience of an artwork has again become a confrontation with the imperfection and heterogeneity of the observer's body and self. Seen from the point of view of the trends in art in the last decade, Kapus' most recent production gains new force, fascination, and meaning.

Sergej Kapus (1950) first became involved in art theory, the nature of visuality, and artistic practice while still a student of art history and sociology at the University of Ljubljana. In 1991 he staged the exhibition Image and Substance at the Moderna galerija; in 1998 he published a study on Jozef Petkovsek Ugrabljeni slikar (Abducted Painter); and in 2002 he staged the retrospective Paintings. Since 2005 he has taught at the Department of Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana.

Exhibition curator: Igor Spanjol.

The exhibition is supported by The Ministry of Culture and the Municipality of Ljubljana.

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