Exhibition opening: Friday, July 20, 2018 at 8:00pm
Curators: Ješa Denegri, Danijela Halda
Assistant: Selena Junačkov
Through his fully active years, starting with his first public appearance in 1979 at the exhibition of young artists "Perspectives," then his first individual exhibit in 1982 at the Gallery of Graphic Collective, followed by exhibitions at the Gallery of the Cultural Center (1991), Zepter Gallery (1995), ULUS Gallery (2001), Pavillion at the Niš Fortress (2001), Belgrade Sales Gallery (2010), but also due to numerous awards he had received for his artistic performance, Dušan Junačkov had had a profound presence at the Serbian and Belgrade art scene for over three decades. But it is now, after his passing, that we are given the opportunity and task of a more detailed and appropriate analysis of the place, meaning, and significance of his unique body of work. Aware of the fact that the moment of revalorization would, sooner or later, have to happen, Junačkov made a request compelling others to fulfill it: to make all posthumuous exhibition and discussions about his art relate only to his later work, without analyzing initial stages, thus leaving behind all which is not of fundamental importance for understanding the essence of his legacy.
This legacy consists of Dušan Junačkov's bequests at the Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina in Novi Sad, Cultural Center in Pančevo, and the Center for Culture in Vršac, with some works located at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Zepter Museum in Belgrade, private collection of Dragan Radivojević, as well as other private collections and family inheritors. All these paintings and objects are immediately recognizable by their pronounced black material, which instantly identifies the artist's distinctive expressive profile.
... Dušan Junačkov's paintings appear as large surfaces of black, dense, relief material, consisting of a mixture of oil, acrylic, pigment, polyester, applied in number of layers, on canvas or wooden base, developing in the course of long sessions of painting, interrupted and continued for longer or shorter periods, always of uncertain and immeasurable time duration. It is for this reason that the dates on all of his works are, for example, 2000-2003 or 2003-2006, as the artist himself could not have ascertained with certainty a precise moment of start or completion of these paintings, for whose spiritual meaning exact dating is of least importance. They were painted with brushes, but also with other tools, most frequently hands, so as to bring the artist and the substance with which he worked as close and intimate as possible. All of these paintings originated on the ground, during a prolonged work process and of uncertain final appearance, in the course of painting and constant mobility of the artist's body, much like a lengthy performance, but instead in front of an audience, with the artist alone and removed from the sight of others. These paintings were made in closed environment - an art studio which was also artist's living space, where work and habitation were one and the same, the fact which will prove fatal for artist's own health. But had the price of these paintings not been so high, their meaning and value would not have been so dramatically filled with such a unique part of the artist's existence.
(Ješa Denegri/ The substance and black in Dušan Junačkov's artwork)
DUŠAN JUNAČKOV / WORKS 2003–2012.