The Dayton Visual Art Center Presents Close to the Edge: Paintings by Vera Scekic
by Lesley Neufeld, Guest Essayist December 8, 2013
Although some critics argue that painting is an obsolete art form, artists like Vera Scekic are demonstrating that contemporary work can reference 2D works on canvas yet encapsulate the physicality of other media; it can challenge traditional applications propelling it into new territory. Scekic’s inventive manipulation of this fluid medium allows her to explore textures and a vibrant palette of “unnaturally natural” colors in assemblages that become sculptural. Her interest in biology finds form in metaphoric images evoking cells, the fundamental building blocks of all nature.
Scekic pours viscous acrylic paint onto prepared surfaces and then either air-dries the wet layers to create cracks and fissures or waits for natural processes to dry the paint into smoother finishes. After the pours have dried, she cuts and layers shapes to compose new combinations of color and form that she affixes to wood panels, canvases or walls. She juxtaposes nature’s hues with chromatic, chemically-produced colors to reference the endemic condition of our environment in which we accept that organic and manufactured exist side-by-side, seamlessly intermeshed; whether it is in the food we eat, the dye-infused flowers we buy, the pharmaceuticals we ingest, or the genomes we alter in labs.
Imagery from the biology lab fuels Scekic’s work. She states that she is “interested in not only what is presented (cells and their constituent parts) but how that information is presented: in isolation from the whole organism, magnified, backlit, colorized, on a monochromatic background and typically framed by a clean circle or square. This act of isolating and framing irregularly shaped, highly particular contents generates a compelling visual and conceptual tension. Cells have been analyzed and manipulated extensively, and they are at the forefront of recent developments to synthesize novel life forms.”
DVAC is thrilled to present Scekic’s paintings as form and content in her explorations are fused so deftly to express ideas at the confluence of representation and abstraction; painting and sculpture; science and art; natural and synthetic; traditional and contemporary.