Drawing Art Gallery CHAOS

Rada Selakovic (1952, Belgrade) graduated in 1976 and got MA degree in 1978 from the Painting Department at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade.
Education abroad: Greece, 1981-82 (Greek Government’s scholarship), USA, 1985-86 (Fulbright scholarship program), France, 1994 (Cite Internacional des Arts - Paris).
Since 1980, she had 37 individual exhibitions in Serbia, Montenegro, Greece, USA, France and Germany.
Since 1975, she had more than 400 collective exhibitions (paintings, drawings, graphics, mosaics, objects, videos and ambient) in the country and abroad.
The most important awards among 22 university, national and international ones are: ‘Petar Lubarda Award’ for painting, 1978, Belgrade; October Salon Painting Award, 1983, Belgrade; Yugoslav Portrait Golden Award, 1983, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina; First Jury’s Award at the International Art Contest Denizli, 1987, Turkey; Special Jury’s Award L' Aigle de Nice, International Grand Prix of Fine Arts, Nice, 1991, France, Golden Pallet Award of the Serbian Fine Artists Association 1995, Belgrade, Great Stamp Award of the Graphic Collective, 2004, Belgrade, Autumn Exhibition Award of the Serbian Fine Artists Association, 2005, Belgrade; Award of the Serbian Ministry of Culture and Media at the 10th Biennial ‘Under the Light of Milena’, 2005, Pozarevac.
The most important public space work: ‘Cosmorama’, wall mosaic-fountain, central hall of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Belgrade, 1991.
Her works are included in numerous museums, galleries and private collections in the country and abroad.
Rada Selaković passed away in September 2008. and was buried in the Alley of Distinguished Citizens in Belgrade.

She went away suddenly, untimely, with no farewell, with no intention for it to be forever. She flew away on wings she made herself for the project named Flying Suggestion – WINGS in the first year of the millennium. In fact, she went away into another cosmographic project of hers – Tellus Mater – into the earth, Mother Earth, to protect herself from the Nothingness. Her works: her paintings, drawings, graphics, mosaics, objects, collages, video works, laser prints, instalments, as well as all the reminiscences of her works witness that her departure is not forever. This exhibition is just one of many of them that should emphasize, confirm, enlighten and remind on Rada Selaković’s versatile and strictly defined artistic opus.

I used to call her Rachela, and she called me Borgesa. We were connected in so many ways, by friendship and beauty, but most of all by mutual respect for each other’s work. When I went with Rajko to her atelier to select the works for this exhibition, we have realized one more time how committed and precise she was in everything she did. So many works, all so different, but with so convincing plastic transformations. Everything in order, put in its own place, carefully shelved, flawlessly protected, documented. With promise of plenitude of new, just started possible projects. With the feeling of incompleteness in constant need for experimenting with the personal creative energy in different media, materials, motifs. She, who has never stopped to dare and experiment, kept on testing possibilities of perpetual artistic game within her work and visualizations of differently originated ideas. It can not be said that she was not in step with the time. On the contrary! Within that ambition and collusion with time and trends, she was just remaining herself: precise, thoughtful, highly professional, rigid, slightly ironic, extravagant, sensual, focussed on the very essence of an idea, the essence of plastic method.

Lead by the reasoning that we should choose the works that were exhibited rarely or never before, we have opened the drawers in her atelier and took out works on paper from several periods, several different stylistic and thematic cycles. The lower part of the gallery contains the drawings made by quilt and pencil in her beginning phase, during the specialist studies and travels. They simply radiate intimacy, erotic charge, fashionable and advertising details, post-modernistic atmosphere. It is figuration with narrative, with different thematic preoccupations. These works represent the author’s perception of an artistic scene in the 80’s and witness of her skilful drawer’s hand and wide education.

Later, especially after coming back from USA, impressed by the New York’s verticals, she has firstly transformed her own chosen syntax into the associative, radial, spiral and wavy linearization before turning to the pure abstraction. Her works from the time after the 90’s inevitably had got not only ontological, but also the phenomenological and afterwards the semantic meaning. Rada Selaković reduced her artistic expression to the totally abstract forms and very reduced solutions of the plastic problems. She confronted highly intensified warm and cold colours, clashed acrylic colours and crayons, i.e. acrylic surfaces and geometrized shapes: triangles, trapezes and circles into sort of artistic spaces, which is obvious in the works exhibited in the upper part of the gallery. The line is always present in these shapes’ building while energy radiates from every plan of the constituting elements and fine structures of the paper.

In her last works, which we have also included in this exhibition, Rada Selaković used the thinnest and the finest paper to draw and embroider with golden threads torsos, male and female body, in order to turn her composition into triptych as an abstraction with multileveled associations. She has also made leopard’s skin motif as a part of the fourth cycle called Fire (the first three were Air, Earth and Water) and used golden colour to generally underline sacral and decorative, to ironize, to emphasize fashionabillity, trendy glamour, points out the need for domination, the possible beauty of the cosmic structures, which there works certainly are.

I see her both fragile as that fine, almost transparent rice paper and convincing and dominant just like the artistic speech of her works, in this case on paper.

In tribute to Rachela, this exhibition, this homage with expression of deep and sincere respect for everything she has created, of which this is just a small part, is dedicated by her Borgesa.

Borka Božović

Working time: 12-20h Every day except Sunday


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