Borut Popenko: Breaks
16. 3. – 3. 4. 2019
After debuting in Črnomelj in June 2018, the series Prelomi (Breaks) is now showing in Maribor. Formats vary, sizes become smaller or larger; new paintings and modes of presentation arise and connect into a spatial installation; colors are added, pictorial fields are placed in dialogs, the painted surfaces come alive. Popenko’s peculiar work in progress is built on a solid concept, which is enhanced through the power of visual language and re-defined each time with each new exhibition space. Visitors are therefore able to experience a unique setup, visible only now and only here, with the possibility of following the course of future editions, which the artist plans to install in other venues.
The presented works from his most recent creative period are related to the exploration and continuation of a series of paintings dealing with illusory folds, or breaks, in the two-dimensional surface.
Through a minimum painting intervention, Borut Popenko inscribes his illusions of the space onto shaped canvases, using subtly premeditated color compositions to create an enigmatic appearance of his paintings, which thus become virtual objects of illusory and imaginary spaces.
If we consider the works from the perspective of three-dimensional space, their geometric minimalism, the orthogonality of form and the reduction of basic visual elements to color and surface, it seems as though the artist is outlining a map of our perceptions of space and the sensuality of apperception, which establish an autochthonous and autonomous modus vivendi. With regard to etymology, geometry can be understood as geo-metron, the measurement of earth, implying the boundaries of our spaces, delineated by surfaces and defined by individual elements (visual or meritory), such as alternating strokes, linear and surface arrangements and the interplay of the proportions between them, testing colors and layers, exploring hues, shades, tones, searching for the right proportion and assembling the whole into a kind of arte povera, whereby ‘poor’ refers to the elemental composition of structures, internal and external.
The minuteness of surfaces and colors, through which Borut Popenko guides us across his paintings, is a candid invitation for us to enter these spaces, discover them as a peculiar modus operandi, and through them, try to understand ourselves. We may even succeed.
– Peter Tomaž Dobrila