Artist Interviews 2022

Nevena Prijic  
By Johnny Otto

Skin of the Sun
December 10, 2022 – January 7, 2023

Nevena Prijic (b. 1985, Belgrade, Serbia) earned her BFA and MFA in Painting from The University of Novi Sad, Academy of Fine Arts, Serbia. Prijic immigrated to the United States in 2017. Her work has recently been exhibited at Hesse Flatow (New York City), Bozomag (Los Angeles) and The Hole (NYC and LA). Nevena Prijic lives and works in Los Angeles.

M+B is delighted to present Skin of the Sun, a solo exhibition of new paintings by Nevena Prijic. This is the artist's first solo show with the gallery. The exhibition opens at our Doheny space on December 10, 2022 and will run through January 7, 2023 with an opening reception on Saturday, December 10 from 6 to 8 pm.

For several years, Prijic has depicted the universal body and its merger with machines, plants, and insects. Through the lens of biomorphism, she employs intense hues with various painterly techniques to manifest radiant and translucent new forms. They are thus futuristic in nature, yet inspired by artifacts of the Neolithic Vincha culture of present-day Serbia, operating in the swirl of ancient art history and science-fiction.

In her new body of work, Prijic continues to emphasize the evolution of the body and its fusion with technology and natural organisms. Her process starts with broad strokes, sprays, and planes of color over which she progressively layers more detailed and granular elements. By virtue of each one remaining translucent like a jellyfish or plastic sheathing, Prijic renders visible her painting’s progressive states of becoming; this conceptually mirrors the expansiveness of her forms, for they appear to evolve from the past to the future, to death and back again. In this porous time continuum, they are at once insectoid, botanical, humanoid, and cyborg; they reflect an interconnectedness of all things, a universal living body.

In Prijic’s symmetrical works such as Surface Ripples, and Red Umwelt, both 2022, she centers the “rib cage” as the fulcrum of the composition. From its rhythmic natural design she arrays bulbous appendages, scaffolds of exoskeletal structure, and engorged organs. Her exacting brush strokes and airbrush caress the swelling shapes, their marks resembling the fine grooves of ancient sandstone, or in other instances, the capillaries of x-rayed organisms. The non-symmetrical paintings proffer similar configurations and details, but instead of arraying outward from the center, they build atop one another dynamically into unwieldy assemblies reaching homeostasis.

Through painting, Prijic represents what the universal body could be, and what it is becoming. Incorporating appearances of the natural and synthetic, their demarcated boundaries become increasingly blurred as we ponder how humans are forging new relationships between nature and technology. Whilst probing the elastic possibilities of painting itself, Prijic constructs universal bodies in continuity and adaptation, nesting biomorphic formal language into images of propulsive evolution.

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