Mar 7 – Mar 24, 2013

“Paper is the perfect medium with which to capture human emotions and body language expressions. The very properties of paper are a reflection of the human condition, with aspects of strength and great weakness, as opposed to the imperviousness of stone or metal.”                          

–Ivan Markovic

Galerie D’Este is proud to present “Shades of Isolation”, Ivan Markovic’s first solo exhibition in his native Montreal. The show, combining a new series of Markovic’s popular paper sculptures with a variety of never-before-seen sketches, drawings and collages, will run at the gallery from March 7 to 24, 2013.

In this recent series of sculptures, Markovic depicts a range of figures characterized by the common condition of homelessness. The figures, rendered in folded paper on wire armatures at tabletop scale, demonstrate greater levels of detail as the artist has begun to use moulding techniques to create more expressive faces and hands, and a range of paper textures, colours and thicknesses to suggest everything from weathered skin to wind-blown leather, fur and hair, and even translucent plastic.

Markovic’s talent for communicating specificities of character, emotion and attitude in a simple gesture is evident in his sculpture: the bent head of an old man, the S-curve of a busker at the end of a long day, or the energetic gait of a young nomad. The inclusion of works on paper, including sketches, detailed drawings, silhouettes and collages demonstrate the extent of the artist’s facility in rendering a fully-fleshed individual’s experience in two or three lines. The impressionistic stroke of Markovic’s body of work suggests a rapid glance, such as we might spare a beggar, a busker or a passer-by on the street, but reveals that a quick impression is enough to elicit curiosity, empathy, even admiration. 

Born in Montreal in 1970, Ivan Markovic is nonetheless new to the Montreal art scene. After graduating from Concordia University in 1994 with a passion for art history, he moved to Madrid to learn from the works of El Greco, Velasquez and Goya. Having obtained his MFA at Leeds University in 1997, he returned to Madrid to split his time between his artistic production and teaching. Markovic realized his first sculpture, a relief inspired by a print series by Goya, in 2001, and transitioned into sculpting in paper a year later. In 2010, he returned to his city of birth, where he now lives and works.