MIODRAG SAMARDŽIĆ completed the Secondary school for artistic crafts, department of chiselling, in Šabac. In 2011 he graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade, in the class of Professor Nikola Vukosavljević and finished his M.A. at the same Faculty in the class of Professor Dušan Petrović, in 2014.
He lives and works as free-lance artist in Šabac.
At the school exhibition of the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade in 2011. we noticed the work HEDGEHOG by sculptor Miodrag Samardžić and bought it for the ZEPTER MUSEUM collection. Since then we have been following Samardžić’s work and we are happy to open his exhibition.
HEDGEHOG is on permanent display and is loc ated on the lower floor.
Eulogy to the Hand
The Sculpture of Miodrag Samardžić
Artistic freedom, which artists had so readily summoned reached its full democratisation in the twenty-first century. Today, every artist can choose his or her own way and follow his or her instinct. Miodrag Samardžić directed his interests and curiosity towards the traditional sculptural crafts. The mechanical treatment of wood and metal “enjoy” reduced, simplified, purified forms, regardless of the fact that those forms could be abstract or discreetly recognised in objects we use every day. The semantic level of Miodrag’s sculpture is not founded on the origin of the previously mentioned objects but can be comprehended in our compliance with their abstraction; in other words, it rests on their formal values.
Artists frequently create in series. That is the best way to avoid one and only, definitive solution. Art does not know something so final. And, why should we “oppress” a sculpture with so much responsibility that requires an exceptional and unique status. If an artist is interested in certain artistic-aesthetic problems, it is provocative to follow the formal development of that artist’s idea and how many solutions “were involved” – an artist expresses and confirms his or her creativity through diverse solutions. Works in series are not accompanied only by the wish to make something different, but to make it better. Therefore, works that belong to series carry certain exoneration which liberates the artist’s imagination and transfers its beneficial presence to the viewers. Miodrag Samardžić has adopted such a strategy – he has also solved his creative dilemmas in series.
This exhibition offers us several series of sculptures – sculptures made from brushes, gadgets, fish and zeppelins.
What one must say is that all of these works do not carry a precisely defined link to representations they refer to with their titles. Their representational origin should be understood quite conditionally. The value of these works lies in their formal autonomy. The FISH are woven from carefully hammered scales, but the rhythm obtained with their overlapping corresponds to the artist’s feeling for dynamics. In an exciting way it brings us back to their animal, organic origins. And in this, just as in water, lies the reflection of their uncatchable completeness.
GADGETS indicate only a possible origin of these works. A bugle, a battery lamp, relay baton, vacuum-pump, and a pitcher represent more Miodrag’s desire to leave his sculptures in the world of objects so that we can accept and experience them as such. The majority of Miodrag’s works has a trinomial compositional configuration, most frequently with one thinned part resembling a handle. We can take them, hold and manipulate them. By taking them, we shall see that their beauty is contingent on a common experience of the eye and the hand, in seeing and touching. With their intimate dimensions they simply provoke our immediate participation.
ZEPPELINS contain the highest possible degree of formal variability. From the totally closed, then those with doubly cut curved wedges or perforated metal rosettes with big holes to the completely closed concave-hammered forms. These metal zeppelins do not intend to fly. Their idea of space “lies” in their horizontal cut which repeats the same form in diverse ways but assembles and joins it differently. Without a defined orientation regarding the beginning and the end, or what comes forward and what comes in the back, these zeppelins float in our imagination comforting it that today everything is possible, and that form made from various metals is as heavy as their audible acoustics. That sound directly undermines our metal memories.
What can one say about the BRUSHES? The artist plays with our erroneous idea about the usefulness lying in their dangerous transformations. Their hammered humour liberates our prejudice and praises their uselessness. The traces of melted wax indicate that we came a few minutes too late to that final act of transformation. Miodrag had already issued their permission for use.
Where could one find the (fore)reason for the creation of these works? In the passion with which Miodrag approaches chiselling, hammering, whetting, casting, filing… It is his entry-ticket to the secrets of the craft, unchanged for centuries. With that kind of passion one can love old-timers, one can be a gardener or a beekeeper, a doctor; with that kind of patience one can fish, with that kind of eye one can be an ornithologist, in a word, whatever one wants. The sculptures of Miodrag Samardžić stemming from such an approach to sculptural craft belong to a timeless and universal value category. If we add his feeling for beauty, for measure and the precious and unrepeatable elements of taste in his works we shall recognise in them the most valuable we are still expecting from art.
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