Blesok no. 52, January-February, 2007
Towards Evgenij Pantev's exhibition
In his graphic prints Evgenij Pantev explores the maximum resilience of the artistic procedure known as dry-point etching.
As a direct mode of expression of graphic thought, as a subtle paradox in this highly original process, Pantev’s dry-point enables him to create a fine transposition of his poetics, of his draughtsman’s deliberations and of his compositional gesticulations.
In his on-going work Pantev deepens the closed potential of the medium itself, demonstrating its simplest of principles – a drawing made directly onto the plate – in a creative process, in a process sufficiently hedonistically defined that he, as an artist, can survive, endure in the thematic restrictedness. His adherence to the technical aspect of his work is at one and the same time a sign of the freedom of his expression.
In addition to the previously well-thought-out appearance of his work, the techniques and the studious research undertakings are, in fact, its thematic content, its motivation, in other words the sensitivity of its coming into existence. Pantev’s subjects are the ‘selfish’ and long-lasting severity of the engraving itself, within the extensive possibilities of the technique; it lies in the ‘sparingness’ of the procedure and the chamber-like quality of the creation of the work, in the malleability and the resistance of the materials in the tactility of the pressure and the delicate deconstruction in order to achieve, in an ascetic sense, the sfumato perspective of the line.
In creating his graphics, Pantev uses as his matrix the form of the ‘puzzle’. In contrast, however, to its recognisable numerical use as a part of a unit within a whole, a jigsaw puzzle, in Pantev’s case the ‘puzzle’ acquires an independent status, unrelated to any combined organisation whatsoever. He isolates the ‘puzzle’, abrogates it as a utilitarian part of some commercial objectiveness and carries it on into a new game devoted to individualisation; he relocates it in its recognisability in terms of a human creature, with a fullness, with a torso.
In this fashion Pantev builds up the truncated form of his matrix, in the innards of which he draws out the action and the depth of the line. Inside, in that truncated form, in its cut-off state, he ploughs the suggestiveness of his poetics, the tense expressiveness of his draughtsman’s concept, creates linear memories without any stage-directions for a scenographic context, creating lyrical inserts and graphisms, various abstract ambients, urban light-and-dark relations in a pastel manner, a linear and gentle tautness in the nuances of the use of colour.
Pantev’s graphic prints are a fine example of a poetic resolution and an emotive belief in the specific technique of etching. His works, his unassuming, fragmentary transcriptions, give expression to his personal description of the technique itself, a not accidental choice and a contract between etching as a creative process and Evgenij Pantev’s personal wishes, that is to say his intimate desires.
Translated into English by: Graham W. Reid