Nikola Savic by Paul-Carey-Kent
London-based Serbian painter Nikola Savic makes big, beautiful paintings-as-objects: sharply-finished, intensely-coloured, complexly-interlocking forms. They’re often on steel, setting up the performative aspect of reflections of the viewer and surroundings, and sometimes make innovative compositional use of the culturally charged shaped ground of the star, calling to mind the American flag, various religions and deep space. The traditions of pop, cartoon-suffused Japanese super-flat painting, and abstraction – both geometric and biomorphic – come together and take on a slightly trippy feel. Sometimes that’s set against some of the more rhetorical passages from the bible, the texts of which cut across the formalism to imply clashes between belief systems and other modes of potential transcendence in modern society (‘I John 1-7, 2008, states that ‘the blood of Jesus… purifies us from every sin’). Even when there are no words, elements suggestive of the machine, of computer modelling, of sci-fi exploration seem to butt up against the void, as if what humanity has set in train has been taken to its logical conclusion: the prospect of apocalypse. Easy as it may be to have lots of love for its intricately attractive combinations of colour, shape and metallic shine, all isn’t quite right with ‘Lots of Love’, 2012. It’s that ability to jam together dissonances so that they cohere on the surface, yet retain an underlying tension, which generates the dynamism and originality in Savic’s work.