Upon entering Galerie Hertz, one is met by a collection of oil paintings muted in color palette with meticulously delicate detail. One may assume the works of Boris Zakic are Action Paintings due to what is initially perceived as spontaneous smears of paint. Once investigated further by the viewer, it becomes apparent that these works are actually detailed paintings of smeared paint. In this recent body of work, Zakic seems to draw from the Old Masters of the High Renaissance and the Abstract Expressionists of the New York School. Zakic’s Classical European training is especially evident in two drawings baring resemblance to studies by Michelangelo. “Marble Study/Barberini Faun” and “Marble Study/Boethus of Chalcedon” are delicately beautiful studies of ancient Greek sculptures.
One may be tempted to step to the side while viewing these paintings, only to find that the surface is absolutely smooth. “Rotation,” is a particular painting in which I found myself checking for three-dimensionality. Gerhard Richter’s over-painted photographs come to mind in the way the paint blob floats atop the surface. The difference is that Boris Zakic’s work is all painting and the blob is no blob at all. In “Rotation,” more depth is created in the way Zakic has handled the background. There appears to be a flat surface receding back into space, and a paint smear rests on said surface. The blurred depth of field in the background allows the painted smudge in the foreground to pop out at the viewer. The crisp precision of the image coupled with the skillfully placed shadows truly allows one’s eye to believe the paint form is an actual smear.
Classical Realism involves a direct observing of the world, and Zakic appears to be strongly observing the very medium with which he creates art. Looking to photorealism in his execution of a piece, Zakic is able to accurately document the nature of paint as an artistic medium. This is especially evident in “Candlelight,” where ribbons of paint seem to gently, yet spontaneously glide in a single brush stroke. The raw linen on which the painting rests is allowed to peek through the center of the painterly form; this adds visual depth and reminds the viewer that they are indeed viewing a painting rather than a photograph.
Galerie Hertz 1253 S. Preston St.
Louisville, KY 502-581-8277