Tina Konec in Maess Anand: Risba kot organizem /
Drawing as an Organism

10. 5. – 8. 6. 2019
ACE KIBLA / KiBela, Ulica Kneza Koclja 9, Maribor

The exhibition is conceived as a conversation between two drawing artists who perceive the drawing as a living organism and the subject of scientifi c and emotional exploration, which they develop to the point of visual culmination. On display is an oeuvre of drawings created in a traditional, analog way, while still retaining singularity of execution.

Both artists work in the same medium, and both engage in the depiction of the microcosm of cells, or crystals. Maess Anand portrays the micro-realm of man fi ghting death, while the works of Tina Konec rep-resent the contrast of various micro-lives within the natural world. Maess’s drawings of malignant tumors are highly expressive, she uses full-toned hues of red, which warn about the potential reality of danger al-ready from a distance. Tina Konec’s drawings, on the other hand, are monochromatic, and thereby softer; in terms of execution they create the impression of floating in space.

Polish artist Maess Anand uses her art to refl ect on the topic of the modern disease of cancer, the malig-nancy that remains, in spite of constant advancements in medicine, one of the deadliest diseases of the 21st century. The oldest documented cases of cancer go as far back as ancient Egypt, and it was Hippoc-rates who fi rst named the disease karkinos, the Greek word for crab, which came from the appearance of the cut surface of a solid malignant tumor, with the veins stretched on all sides as crab’s feet.

In medical terms, a malignoma is the result of mutations in genes that regulate cell division; the typi-cal uncontrolled cell proliferation of the mutated, cancerous cells consequently disables the growth of healthy cells, which are necessary for tissue regeneration and for the general functioning of a healthy organism. The cycle of drawings by Maess Anand was dubbed Abnormal results. It depicts cell mutations in the form of cancerous growths, malignant tumors and metastasis with typical disorderly division and uncontrollable growth.

Malignant cells can be studied with the help of microscopy, with modern imaging advancements includ-ing two-dimensional visualization- and 3D modeling software. Maess Anand makes good use of the scientifi c approach, which she applies to consider the ways in which something like cancer – i.e., some-thing essentially associated with an individuum, with the individual body or organism – can be treated as a “unique digital media event”, visible only with the help of advanced modern-day technologies.

Thus, the artist’s drawings imply organisms attacked by cancer. Imply, because in reality these images are invisible to the naked eye, and cannot actually be observed in nature: they are created exclusively through the use of sensitive techniques for sound manipulation, temperature measurements and x-rays. She creates in the technique of watercolors and colored ink pens on paper, with the entire process lean-ing primarily against the traditional approach to constructing a drawing (in the sense of an art object), while at the same time she uses computerized data to layer the drawing, bringing it closer to scientifi c vivisection. To defi ne the perspective, she uses 3D programs (otherwise used in design and architecture), which allows her to test a variety of diff erent perspectives and, in turn, to create new forms.

In spite of benefi ting from the application of modern technologies, Maess Anand wishes to preserve the uniqueness and irreproducibility of the human hand gesture: she wants her drawings to be exact, or-ganic, rather than mechanic, or even mechanicistic. She contemplates recent discoveries related to the treatment of cancerous diseases, to which she juxtaposes the populist discourse on cancer that fi lls the internet.

Her drawings and studies are named after cancer stages. We are entering, willingly and consciously, the world of oncology: the realm of metastases, histopathology fi ndings or results, early-stage cancer, ductal carcinoma and thrombocytopenia – all with the purpose of confronting ourselves with the most unexpected treatment of some disease, which relies on emotions beyond the ruthless real-ity, and therefore aims to be primarily aesthetic, then investigative, and only on the level of direct confrontation with the art work (the concrete drawing), it aims to make the audience step out of their comfort zone and feel the art work.

One of the drawings, entitled Beautiful things are Afoot, is, for example, dedicated to the famous Polish artist Alina Szapocznikow (1926–1973), who survived the holocaust and later died of breast cancer. After her diagnosis, Alina, too, began mak-ing a “tumor” sculptures using resin, gauze, crum-pled newspapers and photographs, i.e., layers of materials, which is replicated by Maess Anand’s practice. Anand is interested in the experience between the physical and emotional balance, between illness and health: that irreproducible “event”, which remains, through man’s transfor-mation not only on the biological, but also on the psychological level, the joining momentum that brings together visual facts and the expressive im-ages created by the artist.
– Nina Jeza, Artists&Poor’s

 

Tina Konec (1992) graduated in painting from the Academy of Fine Art and Design at the University of Ljubljana in 2015, under the mentorship of Professor Zmago Lenárdič. She is finishing her post-graduate studies in painting at the same institution, under Tugo Šušnik. Since 2017, her works have been shown in several solo and group exhibitions home and abroad, including exhibitions at the Bežigrad Gallery 1, the Ravnikar Gallery Space, Insula Gallery, Kvartirna hiša, and the City Gallery Fonticus in Croatia. In 2018, she received the Grand Prix at the 53rd International Painting Ex-Tempore in Piran, as well as the Grand Prix at the 25th International Painting Ex-Tempore in Grožnjan.

Maess Anand is a Polish artist based in Warsaw. She is a MFA graduate from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and recipient of a scholarship at the Escola Superior de Artes e Design in Porto, Portugal. In 2012, Maess was nominated to the Grand Prix at the FID Prize Paris, and in 2013 she was shortlisted to the Strabag International Art Award in Vienna, Austria. Amongst others, she exhibited at the Plumba Contemporary Art, Porto (2006), Residencia Corazón, La Plata, Buenos Aires (2008), Museo di Santa Cecilia in Rome (2010), CCA Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw (2010), Program Gallery in Warsaw (2011), Wroclaw Contemporary Museum (2013), Galeria Miejska Arsenal in Poznan (2013), BWA Sokól in Nowy Sacz (2013), The Starak Family Foundation in Warsaw, Drawing Center in New York (2014), Polish Institute in Budapest (2015), Kasia Michalski Gallery in Warsaw (2015), Trestle Gallery in New York (2016) and at Biennale de la Biche on deserted island near Guadeloupe (2017). Her drawings were presented in Vice Magazine, FUKT Magazine for Contemporary Drawing and The Lancet Oncology. Residencies include: Leipzig International Art Programme (2014) Virginia Center for Creative Arts (2017) and The Corporation of Yaddo (upcoming). With Alex Urso, Maess curated Biennale de La Biche; the smallest biennale in the world held on deserted island near Guadeloupe. She was event reviewed by The Guardian, Hyperallergic, Artnet, Art Review, Observer (2017).