Exhibition – Blagoja Manevski and Jovan Shumkovski in Sofia

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Retrospection by Shumkovski and Manevski – exhibition part of the annual programe of the National gallery of Macedonian will be open on monday, November 16th 2015 in the Cultural centre of Republic of Macedonia in Sofia, Bulgaria at 18:00 h.


Ana Frangovska

Blagoja Manevski and Jovan Shumkovski are among the most validated and key names in the generation of the Macedonian contemporary scene. They are representatives of a generation of artists who started their activities from the mid-eighties and towards the end of that and the following decade conducted shifts and modernization of the visual artistic expression at the national level. Their “revolutionary” accomplishment overflowing through the contents and the conceptual discourse, as well as through the technical and technological innovations of that age is the reason for the guidelines followed by the next coming artists in the creation of the Macedonian art panopticum. Today they are the main link in the educational system (as professors at the Faculty of Fine Arts) and in modeling the profile of the future artists.

Even though they are very different in their expression, they often exhibited together since they are very similar on a spiritual level, always carrying the spirit of time and relevance. The exhibition Retrospections is not their retrospective, although the title probably carries such associations, but in fact it is a matter of reminiscences with works that haven’t been exhibited or with synesthesia whose analogy can be found in the former ideas, concepts and works. A kind of diving back in order to give a new sonority and recency today and now.

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Jovan Shumkovski with a part of his cycle of works entitled “Recent Past and an Anticipation” (selected according to the space in the Macedonian Cultural Centre in Sofia), namely with the works “First Plate” and “Epitaph,” he goes back to his previous and not-exhibited realizations in which there is a blend of several retro elements, namely an interesting mix of concrete – as a material that reminded him of his childhood and of his father’s deeds with which he grew up and breath the spiri of the creative act, in which he “encaptures” elements as traces of a time, event, moment, presence (very specifical for his visual expression), and the other is a spectre of interests that have always interested him, such as discourses on space, city, proportionality, elemental inter-dependence and, of course, the social input in such causality.

Blagoja Manevski in the drawings “Anxiety” and “Stillness,” in some way, brings us back to his “Logical Images”, but also to former drawing experiments in which the generated element of line (plastic or drawing) is crucial. It creates the content of the work, builds the space of the work itself, but also occupy a certain space, following the former intention of the Minister for Physical plastic transformation of two-dimensional pleats of the work in building three-dimensional element of the given space. It creates the content of the work, builds the space of the work itself, but it also occupies a certain space, according to the former intention of Manevski for spatial plastic transformation of the two-dimensional pleats of the work in a three-dimensional element of the given space. Unlike the previous free lines shaping the “volume” of the drawing, this time the author uses a linear, pleading to the introduction of the industrial element – i.e. the involvement of the machine element in our social life, not only in terms of technology, but also in terms that we ourselves become machines blindly “pumping out” certain imposed rules. The linear repetition up to a complete fulfillment of the entire space creates chromatic differentiations that give direction to the action.

Retrospection by Shumkovski and Manevski is an interesting interlacing of the past and present in their individual developments, but also the past and present in a broader social context. Hence their always interesting relevance and freshness.

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