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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 44 | volume VIII | September-October, 2005



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 44September-October, 2005
Gallery Reviews

The Painting as Sacrifice Object or Paintings Bleeding

p. 1
Sonja Abadžieva

”Culture has always been beyond-national”
    Robert Musil, Essais, Seuil, Paris

Immediately after the years when Petar Mazev left the physical context of our environment there was silence or a sign of satiety with his imposing artistic presence. A time distance was required to reconsider, reexamine, reevaluate his abundant opus and his constant influence on the artistic happenings in Macedonia.
    When the time distance (more than ten years since his death) tamed the passions and biases, the truth was crystallized in its objective form. Today one could hardly deny the fact that he is a mythical figure, a cult personality in the Macedonian painting. Petar Mazev was and continued to be the paradigm and the spiritual leader of many Macedonian painters born in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. These individuals, for generations raised under his aura, yet developed into autonomous personalities, are not followers of his explicit language but of his explicit skill in managing the painting phenomenon and his charisma.

The piercing sound of Petar Mazev's painting reached as far as the artistic circles of the republics of former Yugoslavia, with an enhanced echo in the places where he was exhibited, mostly in the USA. John Russel told the Americans in The New York Times of the “irresistible energy of his paintings.”[1]. In order to define him more closely he compared him to Francis Bacon and Willem de Kooning. The critic Harry Schwalb of Pittsburgh did the same. In the Art magazine he pointed to the “surprisingly subtle expressions of the faces”[2] in the paintings of Mazev. In some aspects he even preferred our painter to de Kooning and Jackson Pollock.

* * *

This exhibition is focused on the last ten years of Mazev's professional engagement. Most of these works are exhibited for the first time. I think that now is the proper moment, in this, as I already mentioned, more relaxed conditions, to open to the public the works that have been patiently waiting in his atelier for their time, for more than a decade. Painted in the period of growing disagreement with the circumstances in his immediate surrounding and the cruel family tragedy – the death of his elder son, the painter Konstantin Mazev – mostly during his voluntary isolation by the Dojran Lake, the proposed paintings, following by necessity the traumatic context, could not be the same as the previous ones. They were composed of the color / matter soaked


1. John Russel, Petar Mazev, The New York Times, New York, February 13, 1981
2. Harry Scwalb, Gallerymania, Art, Pittsburg, July 1981

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