Gergelj Gera Urkom

Gergelj Gera Urkom

(Skorenovci, 1940)

Gergely Urkom graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade in 1969, completing his special course during 1970-1971. He was a membrer of an informal group, together with Marina Abramović, Era Milivojević, Neša Paripović, Zoran Popović, and Raša Todosijević, who gathered around the Student Cultural Center (SKC) Gallery in the beginning of their artistic endeavor. He participated in first historic exhibitions of the new art during 1970s in the Belgrade art scene such as the Drangularium (1971), October ’71 (1971), and October ’72 (1972) in the SKC Gallery, together with Damnjan and Todosijević at the exhibitions of primary paintings in Novi Sad, Belgrade and Zagreb during 1970-1971, but also at a festival in Edinburgh in 1973, and the Contemporary Yugoslav Arts exhibitions staged in Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Italy in 1978-1979. He staged his solo exhibitions in the Gallery of Contemporary Arts in Zagreb in 1980, in the Salon of the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Belgrade in 1981, as well as in the SKC Gallery on several occasions. Starting from 1973, he has been living in London where he took part in a number of exhibitions, and where he lectured at the Chelsea College of Art and Design between 1992 and 2003. According to art critic and historian Miško Šuvaković, “the painting of Gergely Urkom is focused on two problems: (1) optical and conceptual limit of painting, and (2) optical and conceptual reconstruction of of generative ways of building (painting) and establishing a painting as a work of art. His painting is conceptual in the sense that he strives towards a linear relationship between concepts as a pre-idea for generating a picture, that is, to achieve its sensual appearance“. For his understanding of painting, Urkom introduced and used the notion of reflexive painting, assuming under this term “reflection, conceptualization, that is, a preliminary mental founding, and predicting the final appearance of the picture the execution of which is based upon the author’s strictly determined and carefully supervised propositions.“ In the Apple painting (1987), as well as in the series of congenial ones from the more-less same period, Urkom was resolving painterly problems of which he himself testified the following: “Whenever I have something predetermined in advance as a form, I can concentrate upon the process of painting, I can think about every square centimeter of the painting. An egg as an object does not mean anything to me but I need a form, its visual value. Afterwards, with the same goal, I moved onto the form of an apple…“.

<br><br><br>Gergely Urkom, <em>An Apple</em> (1987)

Gergely Urkom

An Apple (1987)

oil on paper cached on canvas,

diameter 180 cm