View through the Window

Rima Gallery, Kragujevac, 6 – 30. 6. 2019


Excerpt from the text about the exhibition View through the Window

Author of text: Marija Stanković


The recent series of spatial drawings of Nina Ivanović, exhibited for the first time in Gallery RIMA in Kragujevac, follows the already established concept of combined action of the media of photography, drawing and sculpture. The basic motif of this series is the view through the window, the artist’s gaze from her intimate ambience to the outer world.

          The phrase view through the window is related to the Renaissance understanding of a painting as the picture of a window opening towards the other reality. In his famous treatise De pittura (1459), Leon Battista Alberti stated that when painting he was primarily drawing the frame he saw as an open window through which the painted subject was observed.[1] When we look at the photographs of Nina Ivanović, in fact, we do not see them, we forget about their material aspect since, wherever it shows and in whichever manner, a photograph is always invisible.[2] In some of her photographs there is a visible borderline serving as a passage, an open window which provides the illusion that we are present and participate in the view through. All of her photographs reveal the legacy of linear perspective, her feeling for the gradation of the depth of space where the closest plane is the one next to (the observer’s) open window. Every new segment of the creative work of Nina Ivanović, her draughtsman’s abstraction of photograph and the wired materialisation of the drawing in space, express mistrust of illusory depth.

          The linear constant of the drawing is an imprint of the main contours of the photograph. Without any analysis of the particulars or details, the drawing extracts the fullness, the volume and depth of the photograph and connects with a single movement the close and distant views into one plane. A spatial drawing, although made up of numerous pieces of wire and visibly tied in many places successfully retains the quality of one single plane. One could speak about many aspects of the space a wire-drawing occupies. The drawing itself contains empty spaces. The wire, at the same time thin and strong, takes up a space of 0.3-0.8 mm. The distance between the reverse side of the work and the gallery wall is also an integral part of this seemingly flat sculpture. The spatial gaps are not places of absence but elements of a sculpture, which activate its transparency. When spatial drawings are exhibited light produces visual changes and the shadows that form on the wall complement and complete the immaterial effect of the artwork.

          Spatial drawings were created as a reaction to a need to record views through open windows of intimate spaces. Those works were made after the artist had decided not to archive but to return and enter them.[3] They could be classified, according to their framing into: the works where the gaze extends from the window including the peripheral aspect or the conscious acknowledgement of the window as an inter-spatial borderline, and the works where the gaze comes from the interior encompassing the window as an emphasised borderline between the internal and external space.

[1] “First of all, on the surface on which I am going to paint, I draw a rectangle of whatever size I want, which I regard as an open window through which the subject to be painted is seen…” Quoted after: Lyle Massey, Framing and Mirroring the World from: The Renaissance World Routledge, 2007, 63. Accessed 30 April 2019.

[2] Rolan Bart (Roland Barthes), Svetla Komora (Light Chamber), Artget, Kulturni centar Beograda, 2011, 14.

[3] Mia David, Izložba Naravno da te još uvek volim, tekst za rad “Poljubac”(  exhibition Of course I still love you, text for the work „The Kiss“), Galerija Navigator, 2016.