Member Highlight: Aleksandar Popovic

Aleksandar Popovic, New Territories 5 , 2023, Oil and wax on linen, 42" x 60"
March 16 - April 28, 2024

Artist Statement

“My latest work consist of constructed landscapes which pose some of the following questions: how will geological structures and bodies of water be altered and interpreted at some point in the future? How will these new spaces be represented? Will they be inhabitable? What is the role of human interferences in the formation of these new landforms? What are the parallels of application and processing of different art materials — pigment dissolution or erosion, paint layering or abrasion, different flow and drips of the medium, to that of the land shifting and water level rise or evaporation? The unparalleled beauty of the landscapes that surround us is often in tension with the compromised environments that they represent. My paintings are attempting to investigate the complex intersection of fragile natural beauty and the impact of human intervention.

In the developmental stage, the reference materials and different landscape fragments are integrated into painted images. This part of the process allows for new discoveries and connections that lead to their own creative conclusions. This critical stage provides plenty of space for unexpected and previously unknown ideas to emerge. For example, layering images that were previously in a different context and finding newly discovered passages from one to another.

Employing different materials and new techniques plays a crucial role in opening my artistic practice to experimentation. I wish to develop a vision of scenery that is constructed in the space of possible futures, molding the fragments of existing landscapes into new realities.

Rather than to create a warning about the consequences of human impact on our surroundings, this work brings the viewer directly inside the newly constructed reality of images of possible future worlds. The surroundings which are both built and natural, provide an immersive space that transports the audience in the suggested version of the altered environment. In this way, the content is not merely a warning but provides immediate impact and urgency through singular visual means to question the societal choices in our communities and connect them globally.

This work reflects, on a more general level, the necessity of global collaborative project for human survival and coexistence. It opens up important questions: What are our hopes as we emerge on the other side after a passage through a turbulent time? How do we rebuild a new environment and reconnect with each other? What will the new landscapes in this future world look like?”

Aleksandar Popovic, New Territories 5 , 2023, Oil and wax on linen, 42" x 60"

About the Artist

Aleksandar Popovic is a painter who employs different methods of drawing and paint application to render arresting images that are grouped in a few separate bodies of work. During various periods he has pursued an interest in the figure and explored how it interacts with the space around it. This is evident in his early work, during his years spent in the Former Yugoslavia.

After being awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and moving to New York, his paintings focused on the observational nature of the figure. In his recent work, Popovic has developed series of Sinking Islands—paintings where the absence of figure does not erase consequences of human impact on its surroundings. These images address the general recognition that some irrevocable events in the future may change the face of the planet. Islands as remnants of the land and islands in the process of dissolution serve as a metaphor for what will be left. Suspended Land is a glimpse into the future where land formations are being extracted or capped in protective bubbles. The narrative is abandoned in favor of contemplation, leading to conclusions about the ways in which we populate physical and geographical spaces. In Glaciers, satellite images are juxtaposed with on-ground view of erosions. Hardly visible, human dwellings are surrounded and threatened by disquieting force of steady glacier movement.

Popovic has exhibited in numerous one person and group shows including Kips Gallery, New Renaissance Gallery and Synchronicity Space in New York City, Alexandria Museum of Art, Louisiana, Stephaneum Institute in Serbia, Limlip Museum, Gongju Korea and St.Martin’s School of Art in London.  He received Arthur Ross Award for mural painting in 2003, a Charles G. Shaw Memorial Award for Painting in1991, a J. William Fulbright Award in 1988, a British Council Award in 1982 and a Petar Lubarda Award for Painting in 1981.

Learn more about Popovic at

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