#19 Transformations (1989-1998)
The period after 1989 Sergej concentrated mostly on his painting and exhibiting to the Macedonian public. He intensified his already turbulent tempo by staging numerous exhibits outside of Macedonia in the former Yugoslavia and especially in Nurnberg. During that time he won six distinguished national awards for his painting.
The intensified pace of Sergej’s working and exhibiting only strengthened him as an artist. His work matured and the depth of his visions intensified. He acquired the self-assuredness and self-confidence to take him higher and deeper on his journey in art.
#20 The acme of this period was the exhibition at the Museum of the City of Skopje in May 1998. Over 100 paintings from 1994 to 1998 were exhibited. This was a cornerstone exhibition in Sergej’s 20 year career. Evident were all the former qualities of his work, the potential of his work, and the indications of his new directions of his painting.
In this period all the familiar attributes of Sergej’s paintings are there: energetic, strong gesture and expression, unrestrained use of color, and explicitly figurative. New techniques that are apparent are the use of non-painterly materials and the treatment of composition. They show us a new, mature Sergej who demands something more for himself and from the canvas before him. It is no longer merely pure impulse painting… it is about the process of creating.
#21 There is no mere duality in Sergej’s process of making art. It is more of a triad or a multitude of “artistic practices” that he can draw upon in the creative moments. This is about cyclical practices from the same source. Yet Sergej himself says about cycles of work, “It often happens that I leave some phases unfinished. I haven’t expressed myself completely. But my way has changed. I don’t do it deliberately. I give in to the current to lead me. I always allow it to carry me. The unfinished phases occurred because the very artworks require it. They took me to another world.”
We should not regret that an artist does not continue in a certain series, but rather chooses to move on to tell another story… to make another painting.
In this period Sergej demonstrates an improved confidence in handling the brush, which is often destroyed, and is replaced by applying the paint to the canvas by squeezing directly from the tube. Eliminating the brush shortens the painting process and eliminates more “obstacles” that impede contact with the canvas.
These paintings are rich in directly applied paint. They emphasize the linear nerve pattern of the hand. The patterns are repeated, one upon the other, one through the other…“they swirl, sprinkle and overflow the surface of the painting”. This happens over and over… drawing with the tubes of paint and with the hands. The resulting textures are sculptural and it is difficult not to touch.
#22 One phase of Sergej’s painting I would like to have seen last longer is his work with non-painterly materials on canvas. In this series he used dry twigs and other materials, applying them to the human figure, to a dog, on a bird to build it a nest. This construction is more expressionistic than architectural. “The man-nest houses the birds from the sky in his own body made of knitted twigs. Poisonous plants grow from somebody’s eye. You see a face made of blades and dry flowers that birds grab with their beaks, taking them somewhere…” Here paint is simply replaced by another material.
This cycle, like many others, did not last long, as Sergej moved on to other challenges. On a smaller scale he used other non-painterly materials such as sand and asphalt.
#23 The third important element in Sergej’s work in this period was the further development of the now familiar expressionistic, gesture, and impulse painting that evokes the warrior. Many of the paintings from this period suggest the bitter fight of the artist with the canvas. They are battlefields after a war. If “aggression” and “war” have a positive meaning it is evident in the paintings of Sergej Andreevski. He wages an emotional war with the canvas. He begins without premeditation to conquer the whiteness of the canvas. The act of painting is flow of energies that come from the very viscera of the artist.
Once again Sergej gives priority to the very process of creation. The result is a rich burst feeling in a context of the immediate stimuli of his environment.