Herald St is pleased to announce its fourth solo exhibition with Serbian born London based artist Djordje Ozbolt. For the exhibition Ozbolt has produced a new body of large scale paintings that deal with absurdist subjects that are often typical of his work. Themes ranging from African iconography, drug paraphernalia, the exotic landscape and the centralised motif proliferate his canvases. Painted with acrylic Ozbolt has stylistically revisited works from an earlier period of his oeuvre, backgrounds and landscapes are painted with a looser sensibility allowing the focus to remain on his subject whilst their context becomes blurred, playful and open. In one painting ‘The Beggar’s Opera’ a primitive robot is captured in a tropical and seemingly abstract landscape, his eyes meet the viewers with surprise and his scale is located by a yellow rubber ducky, a pet or a toy companion sitting atop his head. One of the larger canvases ‘Papa don’t Preach’ depicts a scene in which two African sculptures battle it out amidst a cacophony of expressionist backdrops, playful or aggressive the two characters are at once references to modernist histories as well as to the exotic and the unknown. Partly abstract and flat in appearance the painting ‘Neunundneunzig Luftballons’ takes the 80s cult song by Nena as its starting point, in the painting 99 balloons are literally depicted, filling the canvas as well as our field of vision.
Humour features prominently in Ozbolt’s practice and no less so than in two new sculptures also on view here. A constellation of footballs are cast in different coloured resins, they exist in a cloud like structure rising from a mirrored pedestal, the title of this work is that of the show ‘Mens sana in corpore sano’ a Latin phrase translated literally as ‘A sound mind in a healthy body’. A second sculpture references a new set of materials and revisits well trodden modernist histories, a totemic figure is viewed in the round as a pint sized abstract column. A set of Groucho Marx glasses sits atop his face subverting history once more and re-characterizing the assumed.
Djordje Ozbolt lives and works in London, recent solo exhibition include Hauser and Wirth, Zurich and Taro Nasu, Tokyo. In April this year a major monograph on the artist’s practice will be published by JRP Ringier.