Or: In the name of the painting
#1 I guess it is not a coincidence that Phillipe Davett, art critic of the respectable “Le Monde”, while writing on the Macedonian exhibition “Dialogues: The Art in Macedonia Today” in Paris in 2003, especially pointed and “recognized” Gligor Čemerski and his expressionism as an authentic European expression among the artists1F. This is because Čemerski’s art has been for four decades “… an adventure whose objective has been to overcome the seemingly unbridgeable gaps of the distant spaces and times, which, as the work of this artist shows, are not unbridgeable for the spirit” (Vlada Urošević).
#2 The work of Gligor Čemerski is objectively unique, unprecedented in our country. Although strictly expressional in its surface layer, his art seems to “stay away” from too narrow standardized determinants of the typical art divisions to “expressionism”, “surrealism”, “symbolism” etc. The artists of Čemerski’s kind, by rule, can be clearly recognized outside the stereotypes, in broader philosophical/cultural dimensions. In such a broad context, his art can be accentuated as precursor of the postmodernism in our country today, and Čemerski as an “artist who has been carrying on the alphabet of the postmodernism in his genes for many years before it ‘appeared’ on the European scene”2F! Notably, Čemerski’s artistic reflexes “… explore, research, interpret, rework… artistic experiences of tremendous times, of great individuals and anonymous artists. In fact, it is his natural habitus – the Antiquity, Stobi, the satires, mythology… and the cultural heritage – the Macedonian version of the Byzantine paintings, Kurbinovo, Saint Sophia… while, on the other hand, it never remains limited to the national and the traditional only, very openly seeking for a dialogue with the Civilization in general – the South American culture, El Greco and the Spanish artists, Delacroix, Picasso…“3F! Or as Čemerski says himself, „the Antiquity pastorals, the biblical drama, joy, fertility and abundance are alive today. The suffering as well. I am equally inspired to paint out of everything that makes me happy or troubles me (…) I carry inside me the knight and the snake, the princess, sirens and the women, the apple trees as Eva’s descendants”4F.
#3 It is usually believed that the artistic passion with most of the artists decreases as the physical maturity comes. This “principle”, if it exists at all, works in a completely opposite way with Čemerski. In the last years – in the years of his physical (and artistic) maturity – Čemerski seems to have been working more than ever! Like being under a constant “artistic temperature” which cannot be decreased with regular means used for the average people. Not only in his active painting, but also in his everyday, usual communication, Čemerski (still, or even more!) becomes completely involved in conversations about art, in the description/explanation of his own art and art in general. This must be some kind of a gift given by God – a privilege of those who are chosen.
#4 In this context, the artistic passion and creative oeuvre of Čemerski, not only his recent one, but in general, is probably the most fruitful one in the Macedonian art. It is equal to the one of Martinoski and Mazev – strong, passionate, courageous, magical… Or, as the great Petre M. Andreevski once concluded, “It is rare to have visionaries like Gligor Čemerski who has devoted his life to painting so fervently and with such a passion”5F. Today’s creative rhythm and oeuvre of Čemerski is so intense that it can hardly be followed. Practically, every minute is transformed into painting!
1. Philippe Davet, L’art macedonien, ou l’echo violentdes soubresauts historiques, Le Monde, 04.04.2003.
2. Златко Теодосиевски, Вистински посмодернизам, ЗУМ, 2002, Скопје.
4. Alex Krtov, The Fever Overcome, (catalogue Gligor Čemerski & His No Boundaries Friends), Gral Advertising, Skopje, 2005
5. Петре М. Андреевски, Големиот сонувач, предговор во каталог: Чемерски, Струшки вечери на поезијата, 1992.