All my hopes I owe to nights. On the wings of darkness, outside space, alone between matter and dream, I declared aromas of disappointment to be the scent of joy. Nothing seems impossible in the midst of the night, this timeless possibility. That is when everything is possible, only future does not exist. Ideas become thought birds, yet where do they fly? Into trembling eternity, reminiscent of ether, bitten by thought.
There is no such thing as an empty space or an empty time. There is always something to see, something to hear. In fact, try as we may to make a silence, we cannot. A man entering an anechoic room, a room as quiet as technology allows it to be, can hear two sounds there, a high-pitched one and a low-pitched one; the high-pitched one being hit own nervous system, and the low-pitched one being his bloodstream. There seem to be sounds that are heard eternally, as long as there are ears to hear them...
As part of the „Katamaran Art“, Eugen Feller exhibits 12 medium-size (acrylic) paintings, made in the past few years. These „untitled“ paintings are a part of a cycle which was fragmentally shown to the public as part of „Nove slike“ („New Paintings“) exhibitions in Kranjčar Gallery (Zagreb) and St. Thomas Gallery (City Museum, Rovinj) in 2018. They should be perceived in a wider context of the artist's lifelong art engagement, from radical informel (late 1950s and early 1960s) and his famous cycle „Malampija“ to the radical non-representational (conditionally labeled as geometric) abstraction with dominantly plane solutions and almost no traces of illusionism, which were created by Feller since the beginning of the new millennium up to this day. „Feller's painting after the year 2000 remains manual in its performance process, but it is in fact mental, analytic, self-referential, thus made through painting meditation - which includes the experience of minimal and conceptual art.“ The paintings in the exhibition are based on a relatively simple, monochrome composition structure, a dialogue of colored geometric surfaces. They are (in the good spirit of supremacy of the essential) mostly irregular geometric shapes and lines, visually abstract two-dimensional entities, seemingly without a special meaning, hidden message or key for unlocking the door of obstacles hidden within us, the door of a labyrinth of restlessness which we so escapistly strive to leave, most often seeking the way out in wrong places, outside ourselves, and lastly, in art, once all other „options“ are gone. In these compositions of deep, dim colors, enclosed by cracked facades of weight which is silent and omens of an abyss of the impossible, sound becomes (also), through an irregular rhythm, a part of the whole. If sound is ignored, we remain anchored by doubt in a hermetic cadre, not so much a cadre of Feller's painting as of our own inertia. Feller's painting is then recognized as just a cover of a closed book. In order to open it, we only need to move ourselves, to destroy the distance, to get off our pedestal; to dare go (at least fictitiously) by neglect and indifference through the cracks of the weathered gates and to pass to the other side of the looking glass. Dealing with the formal analysis of the painting is not what fires us, but instead the oneiric diving by the „painting“ of a divided scene which outlines at least two edges: one calm and harmonious, and the other mobile and empty, being the space of its effect. A courageous walk upon a path without a passenger. After all, „maybe Feller isn't alone in his world. In his case, that is not important in the end. What's important is the presence of a persistent explorer who, with tender patience, places signs of his steps toward an unknown and unheard of answer to questions we are asked (and not asked by us)." Thoughts that echo in time to prove their actuality then and now, paintings free from any intentionality and a posteriori reflection.
Eugen Feller was born in Split in 1942. He started working as a self-taught artist in 1957. He was working in Italy since 1969, until his return to Zagreb in 2000. He received the „Vladimir Nazor“ award for his life achievement in 2016.
On view till 19th July, 2019.