MISHA MILOVANOVICH

About the exhibition
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Overview

Misha Milovanovich’s practice is primarily concerned with the emotional motifs of identity and displacement. 

Born in 1971 in Belgrade, Misha completed her BA in Fine Art, Painting at St Martins in London in 1997. She lives and works in London.

Misha works across several mediums, from sculpture to painting and live art. Characterised by vivid colour, optical movement and energetic visual cadences, Misha's visual work fuses a diverse repertoire of images and forms. She often features discarded shards of consumerism - unloved icons of disposability and careless consumption. 

Hovering between painting, drawing and watercolour sketches, her new work represents a form of personal expression that is less concerned with the impact and novelty of popular culture and more about the quiet uncovering of emotion. Her trademark organic forms are still present though now they are empathetic rather than explosively joyful. The colours are softer, somewhat washed out and hazy, as if half-perceived or remembered. The colour palette and the energy of the mark making reference to the now buried source material -  abstracted Hentai illustrations, Japanese manga-infused depictions of male dominance, rape and power fantasies.

The never-satisfied, always distracted state in which this dislocated field of sexual aggression persists stands in for our instantly redundant, surface only culture- transactional, bullying and ephemeral.
 
Her paintings are sensorially rich and and yet muted, the masses of fleshy intersections and writhing calligraphy feel like they are moving out of the immediate present and floating up out of time.
 
They are soaked in the in nuances of early modernism- Klee, Miro and Matta. She explores emotive, expressionistic tender spaces in these lyrically rendered conceptual paintings - densely layered works that operate in the enigmatic gaps between rational structure and spontaneity. Misha also echoes Kandinsky and his sensuality of musical movement, evoking his concerns with the spiritual, all emerging naturally from the rich soil she has carefully laid down in her previous work. The language and texture of her materials are important to Misha who prepares her own pigment- paying great attention to form, surface and the moment-to moment physicality of her practise.

About the curator

Olivier Varenne, Co-Founder and Head Curator at Collectionair, is the Co-Director of Exhibitions & Collections and International Curator at Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Tasmania, Australia. Based in London, Olivier Varenne has sourced most of the contemporary art in MONA’s collection. Through his relentless trips around the globe he has been instrumental in the buying and commissioning of works from a vast array of emerging artists, including Michel Blazy, Ryoji Ikeda, Oliver Beer and Ed Atkins, as well as securing masterpieces by artists such as Chris Ofili, Jean Tinguely and Jannis Kounellis. Olivier has also brought important installations such as Richard Wilson’s 20:50, Wim Delvoye’s Cloaca and Gregory Barsamian’s Artifact, to MONA.

Olivier has also succeeded in bringing important established contemporary artists to MONA for exhibitions and retrospectives. Most recently with Matthew Barney: River of Fundament (2014-2015), Marina Abramovic: Private Archeology (2015 - 2016) and Gilbert and George: The Art Exhibition (2015).

Along side others at Mona, Olivier has also co-curated Celeste Boursier Mougenot’s: From Hear to Ear (2009), Christian Boltanski: The Heart Archive (2010), Yannick Demmerle (2012), I Look to You and I See Nothing (2013; Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE); The art component of MONA FOMA and Dark Mofo and The Red Queen (2013 – 2014).

Alongside Jean-Hubert Martin and Tijs Visser, Olivier co-curated the 3rd Moscow Biennale in 2009 and Theâtre du Monde (2013 ; La Maison Rouge, Paris/Mona). In 2010 he curated On and On at Casa Encendida Museum, Madrid. As well as Wim Delvoye (2011 – 2012), Chiharu Shiota: In Silence (2011) and Beam in Thine Own Eye (2013).