Home Magazine Conceptual Dreams on Canvas: an Inspiring Conversation with Nika Zupančič

Nika Zupančič was born in 1978 in Ljubljana. She graduated in Painting in 2003, and with an MA in 2008 in Painting and Printmaking from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana. She has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions in Slovenia and internationally, and has received prizes and accolades  for her work. Her paintings are included in several art collections, including the Albertina Modern in Vienna. Since 2008, she has been a member of the Ljubljana Society of Fine Arts. The artist answered a few questions from the Kooness team to look into her artworks.

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Kooness: Describe what kind of art you focus on
Nika Zupančič
: In my work I strive to bring together everything that has come before me in the history of painting, with the hope of course, of the birth of something new.  In my paintings, this is a concrete fusion, in fact a marriage of the monochrome, modernist abstract surface with the illusory and narrative elements. I use traditional techniques of oil painting building - which I have studied extensively - in the desire to construct something new, something contemporary, something that is mine at this moment, distinctly my personal experience of being, conditioned by the time in which I live. Therefore, my works can also resemble a contemporary experience of, say, video or film, i.e. the image of the screen.

Nika Zupančič. Clouds, 2018. Courtesy of Bažato Gallery.

Kooness: What is your favourite medium?                                                                                                              NZ: My favourite painting medium is oil on canvas. I have always been interested in painting in all its forms and especially in the very manifestation of the material. This living tissue of the painting can be experienced in the works of the great masters, such as those of my favorites Caravaggio, Vermeer, Rembrandt, or in the great abstractionists of the 20th century. The duality of matter and content. Two sides of a coin, inextricably united. Painting has lost nothing in comparison with contemporary media because its nature within matter allows for inexhaustible formative possibilities. This is what fascinates me: the inexhaustibility of the medium itself. That everything is possible. 

Kooness: Describe your painting series
My series of paintings allude to the constant flux of time, to the passing of forms, their disappearing, appearing, emerging through blurring. To present their non-static existence via static form of the painting. To show fluidity, that is, what is supposed to be reserved for other, more contemporary media that ˝sculpt˝ with time. A distinguished art critic noted that the vanitas motif manifests itself in my paintings, exemplified by the vanishing or emerging forms of natural phenomena: clouds, water, leaves, trees. These forms are fused with abstract surfaces, so that the characteristic feature of these paintings is the dualism of surface (self-referentiality) and narrative. We can see these paintings in one way or another: as a pure play of colours - a colour study, or as a play of clouds, of cloud sheep, moving across the summer sky.