Category Archives: Maja Maljević

Maja Maljević

“To make something is to sound its own purpose, its own existence.”

Maja Malijevic was schooled in the Classical arts in Belgrade, Serbia. While Michaelango remains a lasting love of hers, it is the work of German Expressionists and other Modernist artists, such as Picasso, that impact her practice outside of formal art training.

Her contemporary painting draws on the rock music of the 90s, punk and grunge that find expression in her formal concerns about the relationship between elements in a composition. Maljević has unravelled her traditional training in order to find her own voice. Her grounding in the academic and the classical allowed her to bloom through abstraction, engaged in an act of creation that sidesteps diegesis. She begins with a ‘dirtying’ of the canvas by layering the white surface with a bright undercolour that opens the picture plane to her intuitive act of jigsaw.

She builds her surfaces with drips, blocks, bands and waves of colour, searching for harmony between colour and form, line and shape, expansive surface and small detail. The act of painting is important to her gestural abstraction. The artist incorporates fragments of the world as it is happening around her while she paints, but without dictating their significance to the viewer.

Selected Projects & Exhibitions:

2014 – Horror Vacui David Krut Projects, Cape Town; 2012 – Ex Nihilo at David Krut Projects, Cape Town; 2011 – Bubble and Leak at David Krut Projects, Johannesburg; 2009 – Into the Spine at David Krut Projects, Johannesburg; 2007 – Pretty Monsters at Obert Gallery, Johanneburg; 2006 – Represented Gallery Zvono at the Art Fair Cologne, Germany; 1998 – 3rd Yugoslav Biennale of Youth, Vrsac, Yugoslavia.