Zoran Mojsilov: Queen's Fence (Caricina Ograda)

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Zoran Mojsilov: Queen's Fence (Caricina Ograda)
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Bockley Gallery says
Opening Reception: Thursday, March 24, 6 to 8 pm
Exhibition: March 24 through April 30, 2016

Bockley Gallery is pleased to announce the Queen’s Fence (Caricina Ograda), our upcoming exhibition of carved and stained wood sculptures by the Twin Cities-based artist Zoran Mojsilov. The forceful work is a direct outgrowth of Zoran’s 2015 trip to his native Serbia where he was reintroduced, unexpectedly, to the traditional kilim rugs particular to the ancient Serbian town of Pirot. These tapestry-woven rugs are identified as Pirot Kilims because of their fine craftsmanship
and unique designs, and have been painstakingly produced in workshops that date back to the Middle Ages.

Near Pirot is the ancient village of Vlasi, the home of Zoran’s Serbian grandmother whom, as a child, he visited for long summers. In 2011 he launched an expansive, multi-faceted sculpture project that was the genesis of the artist’s last Bockley Gallery exhibition, Grandma’s Magic. Returning to Vlasi in 2015 to continue work on the project, Zoran was subsequently invited to make a sculpture for the town of Pirot. Paid in part with a Pirot Kilim, the artist became curious about the origins of these rugs and began to research their historic patterns, which bear names
such as Devil’s Knee or Woman’s Heart. This eventually led Zoran to create work based on specific Pirot Kilim designs.

Thus, the current Queen’s Fence (Caricina Ograda) offering reveals Zoran’s personal transformation of specific two dimensional, talismanic symbols that characterize Pirot Kilims
into bold three-dimensional sculptures that, unarguably, extend the artist’s aesthetic practice of creating unfettered, expressive work defined by a gritty, but beguiling toughness. Of note, a Pirot Kilim workshop invited Zoran to design a rug.

As one of Serbia’s most revered crafts, Pirot Kilims profess some 122 ornamental designs and 96 different types that are made for different occasions or functions such as marriage, childbirth and success. Since 2002 the rugs have been protected by a “geographical identification,” whereby each
rug is identified by a tag or marking, designating it as a Pirot Kilim.

There is also more than just a geographical connection between Vlasi and the Pirot Kilims. Much like the rugs’ powerful designs, the village of Vlasi recognized Zoran’s grandmother for her
prescient powers. “She was recognized as a ‘healer’ with effective powers – a person we would today label as a witch in this country,” the artist explains, “The Serbs were the last primitive tribe in Europe that used the magic of healing, and they were never persecuted but rather revered for their powers. This idea is the source of much of my work. The Pirot Kilims function in a similar way."
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By: Bockley Gallery

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