Ana Milenkovic: Selected Paintings at PayneShurvell
Now showing at PayneShurvell is the first solo show of paintings by Serbian Londoner Ana Milenkovic.
Anyone who has seen anything previously exhibited by the group will notice a marked difference as they enter 71 Blandford Street from 6th April until 4th May. In a setting that the curator, James Payne, admits is usually home to quite a dark and broody selection of art, arrives an exhibition that is fun, young, and interesting.
Whilst the range of work exhibited is not extensive (there only being eight paintings on show), a strong feeling of youth and playfulness is allowed to blossom from the heart of the display. Bright colours dominate much of Milenkovic’s work with Face to Face II epitomising the light element to the collection. Her use of a joyful motif – a rainbow – dominates the top half of the panel and attracts and visitors to pay attention to that work first.
Like a moth to a flame, however, anyone who wanders over to this work could potentially get burnt. The gallery write that the pieces in the exhibition send “the viewer through a variety of moods” and Face to Face II has the potential to create a more lasting and varied impact than first meets the eye.
There are other works that stand out and deserve more attention than others: Poseidon is one such piece as it uses layering in a fascinating way to situate the great Poseidon behind an innocuous piece of coral. Profile I and Profile II offer an alternate view on what we view as a profile, instead showing a vague shadow of what the viewer can only assume to be a face, a very unsettling feeling is created as attempts to ascribe any sense of personality to the two darkened areas are persistently futile.
Unfortunately, the paintings are not the biggest, and this, along with their limited quantity in a large room, renders the power of this particular exhibition disappointing. Whilst there are moments of genius and passion as she plays off the surrealist work of the 1920s, a few of Milenkovic’s selected pieces that are hanging in West London feel a bit simplistic and powerless.
Photos: Barry Stingmore
Ana Milenkovic: Selected Paintings is on at PayneShurvell from 6th April until 4th May 2016, for further information visit here.