Sanja Jureško / Sanja Jureško
In the western part of Diocletian’s palace substructures, Sanja Jureško, a young painter from Rijeka, presents herself for the first time in Split. The artist, who graduated in the Department of Painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, under Professor Zlatko Kauzlarić Atač’s mentorship, exhibits painting cycle entitled Silence. Part of this series, previously displayed at Greta gallery in Zagreb, originated from Hush, painting which was exhibited at this year’s Erste Frangments, described by the Arteist web portal as the ‘most powerful artwork of this year’s, 11th Erste Fragments’. This painting, currently on view at the Split exhibition, is currently owned by Erste Bank.
About motifs and theme of the exhibition
In Jureško’s silence it is possible to discern two different, yet equally important motifs: on one hand there is the sea, and on the other, motif of a powerful woman, entwined by the artist into common theme of silence. Jureško has painted sea and portraits for a few years, ever since she enrolled into the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. This is especially significant in times of quick exchange of information, as well as in terms of trends in contemporary arts, where artists relatively briefly pay attention to a specific motif, technique or medium. Therefore, the continuity of using sea and human characters as inspiration for her art explains the quality of Jureško’s works and reflects her work ethics and personal approach to art.
Sea, a cradle of life, intrigues the artist as a place where one can be simultaneously alone and directly connected to nature. It is a place of well-being, peace, contemplation and relaxation, where there is no social unrest, wars, problems or trivial information; place suited for people and their psycho-physical development. At the same time, it teems with life, flora and fauna, and colours and currents that can overwhelm and force one to absorb that very moment and emotions. That is why the author created this cycle.
The other motif is a powerful, self-conscious and independent woman, respected by the author for her strong and decisive character, physical strength and warm personality she partially ascribes to her Dalmatian roots. Her independence, self-awareness and pride are qualities valued by the author and that is why she settles her into sea ambient, where she feels ‘like home’. It is possible to read this from her facial expression and assured, somewhat fierce look. The woman as if plunges into weightless state, womb’s fertile water where no one can hear or see her, a place where she is safest; into state where everyone questions nothing but themselves, their own personality and identity; a state of no worries, only opportunities for meditation and working on oneself; a place of curiosity and exploration. Peace, hush and silence.
About visual language
In Jureško’s work so far, one can recognise well developed sensibility and affinity towards the figurativeness, nurtured by the artist since her time as a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. Her paintings are individual, intuitive, originating from personal choice of the figural and do not fit into rigidness of ‘-isms’. However, as art historian Sonja Švec Španjol noticed, the artist constructs seawater ‘in spirit of tachism’. Influence of tachism is also acknowledged by Lora Rajčić in her text for Jureško’s Greta exhibition. In this cycle, she creates large dimension paintings, using acrylic and stains to paint; in the manner of action painting she spills, drips, splashes and spreads paint on canvas. She paints the body using concrete layers of paint and strong, realistic drawing. She allows some coincidences which happened in the process of painting to stay in its primary form, and accentuates the shapes of human characters using bright colours. It is also important to highlight the fact that the artist assumes a scientific perspective in studying and exploring topics she paints and takes interest in, reading literature related to various disciplines, for instance works by R. Arnheim, Y. Michaud, M. S. Peck, E. Fromm and S. Maitland, making it a great theoretical preparation for her painterly production.
Finally, it is interesting to observe how this exhibition works in the context of Diocletian’s palace substructures: without superficial poeticalness inspired by the history and symbolism of the space, it would be rather convenient to notice how architecture and light of the antique palace impact Jureško’s sea world and what kind of impression in this context the exhibition leaves.
Sanja Jureško was born in 1990 in Rijeka. She graduated from the Painting Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, in the class of professor Zlatko Kauzlarić Atač in 2015. She exhibited in solo (Greta gallery, Zagreb, May 2015; Supetar Summer Gallery, Supetar, July 2016) and group exhibitions (XI Erste Fragments, 16th and 18th International Exhibition of Miniatures, International Watercolour Biennial, Passion Heritage, Mosaic Today, etc.). She particpates in artistic colonies, workshops, projects and art residencies. A member of Croatian Association of Visual Artists.