VERA KOVAČIĆ – MASTER OF ART

THE DEPTH FLIGHT OF VERA KOVAČIĆ

By this oximoronic title of her latest cycle, the ceramics artist Vera Kovačić has most fittingly defined a dynamic and a dual nature of her inspiration. By that dexterous syntagma she has pointed out to her immersion and elevation at same time, to her longing for two elements featured with clarity and transparence: for water and for air. She logically uses as her expression material two elements that are completely contrary to the former pair – namely earth and fire: the point of creative activity is always in transformation and in change, in denying the known and the expected towards something different and new. The shapes suggested by the free, not-for-usage artifacts of this artist also belong to two confronted worlds. From one side they refer to wings, from the other to waves. Of course, in both cases the outlines are organic, elastic, aerodynamic; they count in the setting in motion and the successiveness. That is why this new cycle dexterously continues the earlier wholes of the authoress, her structural researches, her weighted relationships between particular compositions and surfaces, her balanced and methodically wrought serials and groups of similar contents.

With her “Depth flight” Vera Kovačić boldly enters in the very nature of her chosen matter, negates its gravitation and inertion, researches the limits of endurability and suppleness. By means of “fire baptism”, that is by the ordeal of shapes in the kiln, she liberates herself of everything superfluous and unfitting, reaches the purity and suppleness, roundness and sonority. Her definitive form still seems to be burdened with a virtual, potential tension, as if she could generate herself from oneself once again, as if she could continue from her very beginning. There lies the sense of ondulatory principle, and the challenge of Mediterranean inspiration as well, since they mean renewal, concatenation, ever rebuilding on the old fundaments, ever following the tradition and a die-hard return to the sources. This most recent cycle retains the fruitful tension regarding some foregoing, previous experiences of this artist. In a series of works with a “Role” as a title she was researching some very rational, geometricalizing premises, in putting different parts together, in some sort of a puzzle of elements and of developing of the spot. In the serial named “Rememberance” she engaged in remodeling of industrial shapes, trying to capture fortuitous in the magma of vibrating, soon-to-condense matter. The difference is not only in using different materials (ceramic or glass); it chiefly lies in understanding of different formative effects in the constructivistic or enformelistic sense. Taking into account the achievements of the forementioned groups of art works, especially some succinct and basic accumulations of the “Remeberance” serial (real archetypal lumps of magmatic features), we consider “The depth flight” to have synthesized some essential knowledge and experience, or to have – in Braque’s words – corrected the emotion with reason, while at the same time compensating the limits of technology and set programs by means of the instinctive and intuitive. So it follows that in the maturity and the balance, in overcoming various binarities and dichotomies, lies the guarantee of the high actual results of the ceramics artist Vera Kovačić.

Tonko Maroević

about cyclus GEOMETRY OF LYRICS:

The ceramics and glass of the artist Vera Kovačić from Hvar represent a perpetual process of defining the boundaries between haptic and optic values in fine arts. In fact, her recent cycle of collage pieces made of industrial ceramics shows primarily the idea of two-dimensional reading of sensations. On the other hand, her glass exhibits toy with the idea of deformation departing from the given form. The tehnical superiority with which the artist tackles those tasks is not a mere affirmation of her high degree of schooling, but is rather a proof of her mental hygiene, which we consider the first prerequisite of independent research in form.

Namely, the ceramic craft is technologically completely different from other forming crafts in its unpredictability as a result of the participation of hands and earth in the complex interchange of fire, air and water. Ceramics is very similar to glass in that it is result of the perpetual game of approaching a desired form and at the same time withdrawing from it, of envisaging the paths however predominantly studying nature itself and the artificial human presence in it. There is no untidy ceramicist simply because the ritual procedure of the magic – technology has to be followed in detail. So, for that purpose we have mental hygiene. However, in this whole process there also exists the hygiene of imagination which mostly manifests itself in the many-varied relationships of the optical and haptical world. Living in Hvar, Vera Kovačić cannot avoid both the purity of the forms that surround her and their innate richness of textures, materials and optical qualities of surface which form the polyvalent matrix of the Mediterranean ambiance. Her opus develops from the surface to the structure and she is apparently entering her structural phase.

It is therefore appropriate to mention here the old definitions of the craft of forming: that is a sequence of dance postures which the artist takes towards the form and the world and which he or she exercises according to the precise variation of rules. In other words, it is wise to supplement the mental hygiene with the hygiene of imagination. In the work of Vera Kovačić we find perfect examples of this activity.

Vladimir Rismondo, Jr.

about cyclus THE SEA OF CHEERFULLNESS:

When our talented cermicist Vera Kovačić asked me to write an introduction for her exhibition, I had thought to start the text in three directions. I had intended first to evoke briefly the development of the ancient art of pottery, starting from the first appearance in the Neolithic, through the pinnacles of the application of ceramics in the architecture in the ancient Mesopotamia, Greek vases and Tangara figures, also through the Spanish-Mauric forms of the late Middle ages, the Florentine ceramoplastics of the Della Robbia family, the works linked to Italian Faenza and German Meissen, the engenious achievements in that field in Pre-Colombian America and Far East, to the modern attainments of Picasso, Dufy and Miró, and to the most recent trends. I also wished to talk about the Neolithic pottery discovered in the caves of Hvar, the Grapčeva cave in particular, thanks to which the very island where Vera Kovačić lives entered in the world scientific literature. The forms found there made of coloured fired clay show a sense of pure form and understanding of the latent laws of the material at a time which fades in prehistory. Finally, I had wish to stress that ceramics had always been a dear guest at the exhibition halls of the Gallery in Split, as far back as in 1962 through the exhibition of the “Gagona” ceramics group, up to the works displayed at the exhibitions of Mladen Pejaković, Zvonimir Lončarić and Ante Jakić.

However, I am of the opinion that it is sufficient just to touch those topics and talk at large about the works by which Vera Kovačić presents herself at this exhitbition. The artist come from Novi Sad to Hvar in 1970, where she acclimatized well without closing herself only within that through centuries culturally rich town and island, but exhibiting in this country and abroad and following the developments in her field in the artistically intensive and dynamic time in which she lives and works.

I was first acquainted with the ceramics of Vera Kovačić several years ago through her work “The Methamorphosis of the Sun” which was given to the collection of the Art Gallery in Split. I felt that in that pure and simple ceramic shape the artist wished to express the link between the plastic and pictorial preoccupations. Therefore, I was not surprised later when I learnt from the artist herself that at the moment of choice of her vocation she was at the crossroads between sculpture and painting and finally chose ceramics through which she could express in her particular way both, shape and colour. I followed her further maturing and noticed progress in the direction I had sensed: namely, the artist increasingly endeavoured to be modern in her expression, to feel the material which she uses and to achieve forms which look as if they had grown from the very soil which inspires her. Further varying the shapes with association to the subject of the Sun, she gradually converged to some new motifs primarily linked to the sea and its word. shells, smooth pebbles and rocks weathered by waves. Now Vera Kovačić transforms and transposes those natural shapes lyrically and subtly, at times exploring the drama through the rough surface and at times introducing discrete erotic tunes. The surprise offered by the process of creation of the ceramic object achieves the desired accents through her will and the colour contributes to the creation of personal experience thanks to the pureness of its whiteness or grayness or to the rich and intensive stresses, at times by refined vibrations of feminine sensitivity of the interwoven golden thread. It is not by chance that the titles chosen by the artist are connected to the secrets of birth, growth, and maturing because as if though she wishes to express in her interpretations of the themes inspired by nature also another deeper dimensions which the natural object – which remains a tangible source of inspiration for new structure – hides or hints in itself.

Kruno Prijatelj