Art review / Jožef Matijevič
On viewing her paintings, we find ourselves asking the fundamental question of what that extra element is that leads us to tread her artistic endeavours as work of art – and where it hides. What is it that prevents and prohibits us from simply classifying them among the ordinary types of artistic representation that, despite the craft, precision and discipline required, many people are capable of painting. The essence of her creative efforts is hidden in the logical arrangement and coordination of the artist’s own idea and its realization through observance of the aesthetic laws of artistic and creative practice that raise this idea to the level of a work of art. Inextricably tied up with this are the artist’s training and practical knowledge, her attitude towards the world and people, and also her conception of past and present. Ideas of genius are proverbially simple. They float silently around us and in our vicinity, and even hide inside us, but few people are able to see them, feel them, reveal them and embody them. Yet when, with someone else’s help, we are finally able to see them and recognize them and realize that they have been all along, we pretend to others, with a characteristic wave of the hand, that such thing are nothing special for us. (It is difficult to rid oneself of the feeling that such behavior corresponds strongly to the well-known story of Columbus’s egg.)
When talking about Beti Bricelj’s painting, we inevitably encounter notions from art theory such as concepts and geometric abstraction, while everything that is in direct connection with them is a constant of her creative journey. The artist realizes her artistic ideas according to a carefully planned procedure that consistently comes into being on the basis of drawings. She leaves nothing to chance in her work and carefully controls every part of the process. In almost every case, the process takes her from an original, basic sketch to a more elaborate drawings, before concluding with the final execution in paint, which the artist is constantly and carefully planning. Above all, she trusts herself entirely and believes firmly in what she is doing. Her recognizable style of composition, which the artist has honed almost to perfection through numerous experiments, consist of interconnected geometric figures in different colours that illustrate the artist’s spiritual world.
Contemporary art is constantly providing different ways to seek balance between the dimension of the plane and the illusion of the object. The consistently angular but not necessarily regular geometric figures carry the artist’s wide range of colours, from black and white contrast relieved by carefully graduated shades of grey, to a rich palette of colours ranging from warm-cool to tranquil, gentle tones. Her paintings are simultaneously works of art and a convenient arena for technical and theoretical musing.