exhibition of paintings
Elitsa Baramova – Baramó
March 21 – April 13, 2023
The exhibition includes 21 mixed media compositions – acrylic and pastel on paper or canvas, created in the last two years. They are part of my long-term project ‘Sediment Process’ *, the exhibition in Rakursi Art Gallery being the fifth phase thereof /and my20 th solo exhibition as well/. Works from previous sub-projects are also presented to create a retrospective view.
I would describe the current compositions as ‘concrete abstraction’ and ‘abstract images’. This deliberate contradiction is a creative approach to restore the original integrity between polar concepts /and marks the dialectical line on the poles of which they are located/. Recognizable details /in different scales/ are embedded in the works, and the connections between them are abstract, so a new context can be created.
Regarding the practice of articulating the visual: some of the paintings in the current exhibition will “talk” to the viewer and to each other with short lines as in a comic book; viewer has the option of an active intervention, being invited to share what the painting tells him using a note on the wall. This idea is a development from previous projects: a diptych of conceptual text and painting: two means of expression in search of pluralism of perception without having a leading component (The Architect project); texts with a sequence of titles for each work that mark metamorphoses (Guardian Angels project).
The highest Vertex** point could be
another point of view
the inspiration to inspire
the joy of being aware of the present moment,
an aspiration without pathos,
the desire to rise on your toes,
the courage to reach out for what you like…
the right moment, the perfect timing,
the absence of discouragement, regardless of the circumstances
inflating the balloon, raising the tent…
It could also be a starting low point from which to look forward and upward with an effort of will. And then, with holographic lightness, it rises up to the top.
The Vertex point is highest what comes to perception in conditions of gravity. Outside of this context, say in the noosphere where the Absolute resides, the highest point could be perceived as the deepest point, our Monad, the imperishable spark. Moving inward is related to self-knowledge. And namely, the spiritual effort to observe oneself in perspective and not in the past. Relatively, the Vertex could be perceived as the upward
POINTS OF INTERACTION
Ani Venkova, phd (art critic) about the Vertex exhibition
of Elitsa Baramova – Baramó:
What is ‘Vertex’? Highest point, the apex? Isn’t the Vertex what we all aspire to, what we’ve been searching for all our life? The highest form of ourselves, the best version of the Self.
And if we can not achieve perfection within our own existence, do we not seek it in what we create, in sublimated creative energy? It seems to me that Elitsa Baramó’s searches are approaching such a goal…
The current exhibition Vertex in Rakursi Art Gallery is part of the author’s Sediment process project and the so called aesthetics of slow motion. The artist develops a pictorial concept, through which she builds a structure from cross- and longitudinal sections of one or several forms by connecting them in a new configuration. The result resembles several freeze frames of a moving two-dimensional object in space, which, placed side by side in a certain cadence, create three-dimensionality and a sense of movement of the object.
Vertex is the 5-th stage of the concept, which complements and develops the previous ones (The Architect, Passing and Remaining Landscapes, the art film Shared Spaces and Guardian Angels), but also differs from them in several essential ways. In order for the viewer to get an idea of the project that has been developed for many years, the present exhibition includes several compositions from the previous sub-projects: ‘An Italian Style Family’ and ‘Muse’ from The Architect project, ‘Bucephalus’ and ‘Elusive’ from Guardian Angels project. In them, the structure of the individual sections, through which the form is built, is clearly highlighted, the relatively monochrome color, the frugal palette, the search for a sculptural manifestation, the illusion of movement, which are basic principles in the structuring of a composition from the previous sub-projects (with the exception of Passing and Remaining Landscapes).
In the Vertex project, the author expands the boundaries of her research, unfolds and transforms the visual language of the Sediment process concept. With the exception of a few works that have a similar style (‘Striving /Vertex/’, ‘The Skaian Gates /Palindrome/’, ‘Free Thinker’), the compositions in the current project have a stylistic development, they include a richer color. In some of them, the visual language of the Sediment Process is fundamental, elsewhere implied or combined with other techniques in search of harmony (‘The Battle Dance of Dawn’, ‘Departure’, ‘Mirror Images’, ‘Serendipity’, ‘Phantasms /Unconscious Desires/’), and for example in ‘Objects and Ideals’ for instance it is excluded as a pictorial concept. The Vertex project is characterized by a greater formal variety of the artistic language used. In some of the works, the painting approach dominates or is equal to the conceptual structure, without disturbing the balance between them.
Baramó does not directly provide us with her concepts decoded. She does not present us with simplified and easily digestible visual ideas. (The very choice of subject-matter does not presuppose simplification.) Their decoding requires from the viewer reciprocity and depth in reading the message, similar to the author’s when creating the works, with the aim of long-term communication with them. Symbols are veiled, messages are implied and presented in an associative way, the figurative is often transformed beyond recognition. But the author whispers a code to us to unravel them…She guides us by using a visual or textual metaphor.
Her works provoke our logical thinking. Time in them is non-linear. Past, present, and future meet at one point, on one axis. We are involved in mental puzzles, riddles and interpretations. Our cognitive abilities recognize in the same image at the same time a horse and a heart (Bucephalus). But these are allegories of striving and rush, and resonance… In another composition, we see the outlines of a shell, a dove, a helmet, but in the essence of these symbols are war and peace, the self-destructive ability of humankind (The Shell of the Dove). Silhouettes on pedestals resembling chess pieces peer into their transformed reflections to sparkle at once and interflow (Mirror Images). The prototype is simplified, black and white, veracious. We often identify with the refined image in the mirror. We become the product of our own desires, aspirations, longings that define our identity. However, is this product an improved version of us, or a victim of the unattainable and fake that destroys our essence?
Applying a synthetic method on several levels, the author combines figurative and non-figurative. Blurring the boundaries of the form (or the form itself), it acquires fluidity, gradually transforming into abstraction. (Spicy Landscape /Distance/, Serene Axis). The image is built by mixing separate elements and techniques – drawing and painting, adding and removing paint, blurred and strictly fixed outlines – another method that determines the specificity of Elitsa Baramó’s works from the Sediment Process project. Analyzing the structure, she deconstructs the form into individual fragments, which then she re-constructs in a different sequence and logic, not subject to the law of gravity. The object, composed of several forms, with different points of view in certain compositions, rotates in space in one or several directions.
These two opposite, but also complementary, approaches to painting matter (analytical and synthetic) form Elitsa Baramó’s unique style and place her work in the field of contemporary art.
Elitsa Baramó doesn’t interpret topics from our surrounding reality. The transience of being with its conditionality are not the subject of research in her creation. Social engagement is present, but not political discourse. Exceptions are two paintings, dedicated to war. Objects and Ideals and The Shell of the Dove, which are a reaction to the paradox, to aggression and destruction, to which the artist does not remain indifferent. But what really excites Elitsa is the metaphysical perspective of reality – what happens beyond the visible, the familiar; what is inaccessible to the senses. The unfolding of the Divine principle into superhuman manifestation. “Vertex” means culmination, a high point in the spiral staircase of our realized ideals and dreams, goals, aspirations and desires. Zenith. Vertex is also a change (from Lat. – vertere) through the power of free will. Intersection of earthly and divine, knowledge and continuity.
Nor the somatic in its material dimension is an object in the art of Elitsa Baramó in the present exhibition. Presented as a generalized image, a conduit of ideas or a messenger inhabiting parallel worlds, androgynous, man is present in his highest projection of deep awareness, as an individual with free will.
Baramó’s paintings vibrate and resonate, possessing subtle vibrations that penetrate deep into the senses. They are cosmic landscapes, dreams. The depicted matter is not the only reality, for there are slits in it that lead to another dimension. They are a portal from one space to another. They are disembodied, enigmatic incarnations, where truth is not absolute, but implied.
SERPENTINE BEAUTY IN MODERN LIGHT
THE DOUBLE-PERPLEX-VISUAL SEDIMENTATIONS,
SILHOUETTE ALLEGORIES* OF BARAMÓ
in the Vertex exhibition
Study from Prof. Krasimir Delchev /DSc. in Philosophical sciences, Sofia University/
In this exhibition, which is the fifth phase of her project The Sediment Process, the author Baramó carries out a kind of ‘Fruit-Gathering’** of her long-standing creative pursuits.
The term perplexity (ambiguity, entanglement, bewilderment), concerning the audience’s reaction while the perceiving a work of art, was introduced by Arnold Gehlen at the end of the 20th century in his analysis of Fauvism and Cubism in his book Time pictures. On the sociology and aesthetics of modern painting. (1960) /Zeit-Bilder. Zur Soziologie und Ästhetik der modernen Malerei./. However, it is also valid for post-modern and contemporary art, from Duchamp onwards.
With his expression perplexity-effect Gehlen refers to the inevitable confusion due to the interference of two heterogeneous contents and interpretations, in the same place, about the same thing. This effect makes aesthetic judgment difficult, leading to an inability to decisively judge what we actually see as a result of ambiguity and hesitation. With the Fauvists, the effect is achieved by freeing color from the imitation of external reality, and with the Cubists by disassembling the external form through the simultaneous superimposition of several different views from multiple points of view of the same thing, intertwined on one and the same place.
In Baramó’s exhibition, we are dealing with a double perplexity, as the interference encompasses both color and form.
There is a color construction of the space going synchronously with the sediment fluctuations. The background is predominantly dark to translucent in most paintings, and in two of them it is white.
Silhouette allegoreses are present in: ‘Striving /Vertex/’, ‘Serendipity’, ‘Objects and Ideals’***, ‘Desires, Bitten Apples’ and ‘Elusive’, because they reflect abstract concepts.
Contrary to the opinion of Tino Seghal, who participated in the 2005 Venice Biennale, according to whom ‘paintings should be smart, they should not be beautiful’ – those of Baramó are both smart and beautiful. In them, we observe, in addition to color vibrations and sedimentations, also a special serpentine beauty*** – radically different from the glamorous and flashy, defiant, but stupid beauty of the kitsch artifacts, which found a shelter in the Popart.