David Krut Projects, New York is pleased to present "The Silence of the Change," the gallery’s first solo exhibition with artist Maja Maljević. The exhibition features a selection of works on paper from Maljević’s recent series titled "Winter Files."
Maljević has collaborated with the David Krut Workshop in Johannesburg since 2007. Here, she began experimenting with printmaking as a way to expand her painting practice. Her most recent series of unique works on paper titled "Winter Files" marks a breakthrough in terms of the artist redefining her own relationship to the process of printmaking, a result of the sustained relationship between the artist and print workshop for the past 12 years.
In this new body of work, Maljević expands upon her signature style, which playfully borrows formal touches from Modernist era art history, creating non-narrative compositions in which graphic blocks of bold color are nestled within and atop foundations of lyrical and gridded lines. Focus on specific subject matter carries little traction for the artist, as she prefers an intuitive approach that embraces spontaneity and experimentation. This work is nonetheless influenced by Maljević’s particular state of being – rendering the state of her nervous system and her lived experience of the moment through line, color, and shape. What emerges is a language peculiar to Maljević of densely layered, confident and colorful components, each assembled in the moment, and without prior negotiation. What is made can only be made in that moment and not the next.
Maljevic's fast-paced and fluid method of painting presented a unique challenge in the print workshop since, by comparison, printmaking requires additional time and advanced planning. In an effort to preserve Maljevic’s natural creative flow, Master Printer Jillian Ross and her team streamlined the assembly of the works on paper by preparing a number of printed elements in advance – from etching and relief printmaking techniques to surface roll, silkscreen and monotype – creating custom palettes of inks and papers for the artist to work with. While Maljević was in studio, the entire workshop and its team were dedicated to her process. Having all the different moving parts and people within the studio in a constant flux of motion liberated Maljević from the time lag between decision and review, allowing her to shape, layer, and arrange works within the slipstream of her creative unconscious, creating elaborate constructions where line and shape are intricately layered through both chine collé and collage. Each work is created using up to 9 printmaking techniques with the addition of hand work.
Maja Maljević (b. 1973 Belgrade, Serbia [formerly Yugoslavia], lives Johannesburg, South Africa) is an abstract artist working in painting, printmaking, and most recently sculpture. Since 2009 she has had nine solo exhibitions with David Krut Projects, South Africa. The Silence of the Change follows the success of Maljević's 2018 solo exhibition at David Krut Projects, Johannesburg titled Polytekton which was reviewed by Sean O'Toole for ARTFORUM. She has had numerous solo exhibition at Kalashnikovv Gallery (South Africa), Nirox Projects (South Africa), Obert Contemporary (South Africa), and Gallery Zvono (Serbia) since 1999. Maljević’s work has been included in recent group exhibitions at Barnard Gallery (South Africa), Contemporary Art Space (South Africa), Salon 91 (South Africa), SMAC Art Gallery (South Africa), Highpoint Center for Printmaking (United States) and numerous art fairs. In 2011 she was an artist in residence with the NIROX Foundation (South Africa). Maja Maljević holds a Masters of Arts degree and undergraduate Fine Arts and Graphic Design degrees from the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Arts, Belgrade. Maljević has lived and worked in Johannesburg, South Africa since 2000.