Lara Pan in Conversation with Izvor Pende

Izvor Pende, Daniel Richter, Swimming Together 2018 
Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb 
 

By LARA PAN September, 2020 

LARA PAN: Your work is in good international collections and you have collaborated with some extraordinary painters. Who are you? Can you introduce yourself to Whitehot Magazine's readers?

IZVOR PENDE: I studied painting in Düsseldorf, where I lived for many years. I currently live in Dubrovnik where I have a studio. Dubrovnik is a small beautiful city, everything is close-by, the climate is excellent and it is an ideal environment to isolate oneself inside the studio walls.
These last few years have been quite dynamic with numerous exhibitions and projects. I would single out the joint exhibition with Daniel Richter “Swimming Together” by curator Branko Franceschi, who presented himself in three Croatian museums of contemporary art – in Split 2017 and in Zagreb and Rijeka in 2018.

It was an excellent experience and the project was named the best exhibition of the year in Croatia, for which the curator received a well-deserved award. Then there was the exhibition Point of Interrupted Departures with artists Marijana Pende and Slaven Tolj, with which the city of Dubrovnik in cooperatin with the city of Venice presented itself for the first time at the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019. And Yes, my paintings are mainly in private collections in Germany and can also be seen in museum collections.

LP: The New York exhibition "Golden Hours " which opened last year at David Richard gallery, which I curated, was a success story and now as a result you have been discovered by several galleries. Tell me more about this body of work that was featured in NYC?

IP: The exhibition at the David Richard Gallery in New York was my first solo exhibition. I presented myself at ths exhibition with selected works from the series I exhibited at the museums with Daniel Richter. These works are very important for me as they represent my artistic turning point. The gallery space is exceptional, and for me, after the paintings themselves, this is the next most important aspect. Some of these paintings can still be seen at David Richard Gallery in NYC.
 

Izvor Pende, David Richard Gallery, NYC 
 

LP: From a figurative painter you now find yourself making abstraction. How did this process happen?

IP: After a long period of figurative expression, I felt something was missing so I decided to make a radical change and continue in a completely different direction. Painting is a way of thinking for me – the construction process of the painting depicts the artist’s thought process. For me, this is the most important factor. This transition period was not so simple. During the first year, I created a small series of paintings in which the figuration was still visible. It was necessary to radically change everything I had done through the painting process, and detach myself from my sphere of safety - tear down elements that had actually worked well for the purpose of creating something new.

LP: When I say creative process what are you thinking about? How do you describe evolution in your new paintings made during the lockdown?

IP: Hard work! Paintings from series to series gradually evolve. I believe it is a matter of the process itself. From abstract images and spatial compositions in the beginning to recent images in which the repetition of certains forms are transferred to other works which result in a specific fictional construction - my individual fictitious subject abstraction. I don’t think the current lockdown situation has particularly influenced my work, as in creating each new series, I am in a sort of ‘lockdown’ of my own in the studio.
 

Izvor Pende, Galerie Gans, Wien 
 

LP: Now you have a new exhibition at the Gans Gallery in Vienna. What are your impressions? Is it your first collaboration with Gans?

IP: Gans is a new gallery with an old inheritance. Susie and Marina did an excellent job with my exhibition. I am looking forward to following collaborations in the near future. I am happy that my work has been shown to Vienna public through their eyes...

LP: Your next exhibition is called Sweet Dreams and some new paintings (as you said) looks more aggressive - not to say evil. What are your plans with this new body of work ?

IP: I am currently working on a new series which will partially be exhibited in the Lazareti Art Workshop in Dubrovnik. The exhibition has come just at the right time to see how the paintings function outside the studio, in an exhibition space. I am also interested in how the audience will react, as this new series differs somewhat from the previous works. The images are more expressive and quite aggressive - but I wouldn’t call them evil! It remains to be seen how things will further develop. WM 

 

Lara Pan

Lara Pan is an independant curator and writer based in New York City.

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