Perica Donkov

Perica Donkov

(Mazgoš, 1956)

Donkov graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade in 1981, having completed postgraduate studies there. He is a full time professor at the University of Niš’s Faculty of Arts. He staged his first solo exhibition in the Gallery of the Kolarac People’s University in 1988, after which exhibitions followed in the Youth Center Gallery (1989), the Salon of the Museum of Contemporary Art (1994), the ULUS Gallery (1998), the Cultural Center Gallery (2002), the Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina in Novi Sad (2003), the Graphic Arts Collective Gallery and Gallery 73 (2011), and as the last one so far in the Heritage House (2019) for which he received the Politika newspaper award [for best exhibition].

Perica Donkov was one of the three artists from Serbia represented at the Controlled Gesture. Examples of New Art Informel and Abstract Expressionism exhibitions in Koprivnica, Ljubljana, Maribor, Subotica, Sarajevo, and Rijeka held between March and October 1988. This series of exhibitions was staged after signs of a phenomenon of “matter painting, action, gesture for the second time“ were noticed at the 13th and 14th Youth Biennale in the Modern Gallery in Rijeka in 1985 and 1987, at the time when there still was a “Yugoslav art space“, which gave rise to a gathering of representatives of the “new informalism“ after which a series of said exhibitions was organized.

The fact that three participants of this exhibition from Serbia (the other way were Slobodan Peladić and Aleksandar Rafajlović) were acting separately and independently of each other, shows a momentary common spiritual and psychological atmosphere, instead of founding a compact and programmatic painting tendency.

For Donkov, during his hitherto artistic activity, painting has been a basic, vital and existential need, but also a mental operation dedicated to language and media attributes of the painting discipline. In addition to the painterly, he also uses outside-painterly means and materials, such as lead on whose surfaces traces of direct, almost violent interventions are visible. Beside pure abstraction, he introduces associative and evocative messages, in line with the titles of his paintings such as Ripppled Water, Street Light, Amor fati, Spreading and so forth which lend themselves to critics of his art to write about “painting of dark foreboding“ (M. Prodanović) as well as about his painting as “a sacralization of a shelter“ (D. Purešević). Donkov achieved suggestivity of his settings with a method of ambientalization of the exhibition space and overcoming its physical limits by creating an impression about an exhibition as a unique “total artwork“.

Perica Donkov – Prostiranje (1996), pigment na platnu, 560 cm x 200 cm

Perica Donkov

Spreading (1996)

pigment on canvas

560 cm x 200 cm