The Proposition Gallery is pleased to present “Asphyxia” & “Scenes from the Interior”, recent drawings by Croatian artist Davor Vrankic.
During the past fourteen years Davor Vrankic has been working on drawings using graphite on paper in a predominantly large format. Without using any model or precedence, Vrankic’s intent is to create a kind of virtual image using all the visual experiences assimilated from classical painting, cartoon, video and photography.
Vrankic sees a direct association of cinema image frame and camera lens distortion to Flemish painting. The small strokes in the drawings, while evoking the character of old engravings, also reference the bold contrasts of black and white in film noir or German expressionist cinematography. The result is an image, at first glance appearing real, but is entirely invented, combining the logic of synthetic images with classical drawing. With virtuosic skill, Vrankic pushes this technique towards photorealism, in this process addressing and critiquing the role of image today and it’s more and more ambiguous character.
The title Asphyxia identifies a group of drawings of imaginary beings representing toys and real animals agonizing in a neutral setting. In spite of their tragic dilemma, a strange sense of calm is perceived as if in acceptance of one’s own weakness or fate. These creatures appear to have been petrified at the moment they were confronted by a terrible truth. It is impossible to decide whether the reason of their sudden fright comes from the exterior or from within themselves. The use of perspective has the effect of swallowing the onlooker into the picture so as to become completely enveloped by the event.
Scenes from the Interior is a group of smaller drawings representing architectural interior, still lives and landscapes. The assembling of familiar objects and textures juxtaposed in unfamiliar ways creates a kind of symbolic labyrinth or a parallel reality immersed in an atmosphere of suspense. These drawings challenge our perception and experience of everyday life and normality. By disturbing the familiar, the very banal appears as the ultimate experience of otherness.
The paradox between the two worlds of Asphyxia and Scenes from the Interior is that in the former the apparent tragedy leads to a rather peaceful feeling while the latter, although seemingly tranquil, conceals something evil that has just occurred or is impending.
Davor Vrankic was born in 1965 in Osijek, Croatia. Vrankic began to study graphic design at the École des Beaux-Arts, Sarajevo, Yugoslavia in 1986 and graduated from the École des Beaux-Arts, Zagreb in 1991. He received further training in Plastics Arts at Paris VIII Paris in 1999. Vrankic’s first solo gallery show was held at the Chateau de Plaisir, Paris in 1994. The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, presented a solo show of his work in 2001. Recent large-scale drawings of his corporeal distortions were featured in the “Drawing Biennale,” the Museum of Modern Art, Rijeka, Croatia, 2001; and “Disparities & Deformations: Our Grotesque,” SITE, Santa Fe, 2005, curated by Robert Storr. This will be Vrankic’s second solo exhibition in the United States. Vrankic lives and works in Paris.
Asphyxia & Scenes from the Interior
April 8 - May 13, 2006