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Milan Vagač
Black Box

Text by Domenico de Chirico

April 6 - June 3, 2023
Opening April 6, 2023 - 4 pm / 9 pm

The title of this exhibition might for sure sound misleading, especially if we consider that to put oneself in front of the composite and fascinating paintings by the young artist Milan Vagač, born Slovak but Czech by adoption, does not mean of couse to observe neither blackness nor something which is distinctively dark. We are instead launched into a world of pure abstraction, which is in a certain sense a double abstraction, since it is ruled at the same time by rythm and repetition, the morphology of which looks at the past, specifically at the authentic forms of Modern art, including the typical Avantgarde motifs of the Bauhaus school, where, in a crucial way, the important twentieth century dialogue on the relationship between technology and culture took place.


By elaborating, complicating and even by disrupting those forms, Vagač examines their internal mechanisms, which, at the same time, are shown in all of their intrinsic complexity. It is a purely aesthetic process in which forms are reigning and stratification reveals itself on the surface through smart multi-dimensional choices. In this last series of works titled “Gizmo”, Milan Vagač refers to the machine or, more precisely, to the meaning of the word itself, in relation to a technological object, usually of small dimensions, of which, generally, we do not know the specific name but which nonetheless owns a specific function. What Vagač is interested in is the approach that the majority of users have towards a device, which presents itself as captivating and progressist, but always just favouring the surface, to be understood as an envelope, and never questioning what it actually contains, those fundamental internal parts which make that object what it really is, comprehensive of its inner mechanisms which allow it to carry out those same functions for which it was originally created.


The “black box”, from which the exhibition title comes from, is precisely a system of which the internal processes are not known, so much so that we could define it, metaphorically, as a magic box. The way in which Vagač looks at the medium of painting is exactly this, which is to say as a material place filled with both remarkable attention and tireless exhaustion, as well as with long and complicated processes which emerge to the surface, the only visible area for the viewer.


Through his works, he wants to show both what is behind and what is inside, creating illusory reliefs, exposing only partially the surface and revealing structures which would otherwise stay hidden, not by denying the surface in its onthological meaning but rather by turning the whole work in the surface itself. In this way, by denying the flatness of a work, by revealing its immeasurable layers and its hidden structures and by questioning their very origin and aim, every single element, full and naked, surfaces and sinks at the same time in a cluster of forms, in a well-ordered and severe formal magma, constituted, as the German painter and sculptor Oskar Schlemmer would say “by spatiality, by the space feeling”, in turn perfectly mounted in a world in which “human beings are both flesh and bone organisms and mechanisms made out of numbers and measures”.

Domenico de Chirico

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