School Gallery is pleased to present The Difficult Path, an exhibition of new paintings by Ana Milenkovic. Milenkovic’s paintings are primarily based on literary characters created by Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy and Hesse. The title of this show is taken from a 1917 short story of the same title by Nobel Prize-Winning author Hermann Hesse. Milenkovic has found affinity with this particular piece of writing, a work full of references to the author’s own experiences, his struggles and poetic avowals.
Milenkovic combines both contemporary and traditional processes within her practice. She explains: “The visual starting points of my paintings are unrelated images found across the web. I use these for digital collages and painting sketches. Transitions from random to meaningful, and from digital to physical make me think about the lack of permanence in contemporary art; hence, the strongest impact on my painting language comes from formalism and monumentality of Assyrian reliefs and Egyptian sculpture.”
The surfaces of these new paintings are multi-layered, using various fabrics that are collaged with extensive overpainting. The paintings are a journey themselves. They have no defined path, one mark creates the next, working from the top down intuitively. With these new works, Milenkovic is allowing her paintings to influence their own creation, not just as a static form, but as a living breathing thing with the power to become an active part in its own inception.