Solo Exhibitions and Art Projects
(2017) “Iconic Turns: Contemporary Orthodox Iconography Meets Raphael’s Sibyls” exhibition of icons and icon-like paintings, Santa Maria della Pace, Rome, November 14-December 31.
(2014) “Painting the Word” exhibition of icons and icon-like paintings, Museum of Herzegovina, Trebinje, June 10-28.
(2014) “Seeing the Word” exhibition of icons and icon-like paintings, Jabok College, Charles University, Prague, May 21-25.
(2011) “Icons of Belgrade (Icone di Belgrado)” exhibition of icons, Monterosa Hotel, Chiavari, May 28.
(2011) “Facing New Faces of Icons” exhibition of icons and icon-like paintings, Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg, Greifswald, April 14-May 15.
(2010) “10/30” exhibition of icons and paintings, St. Vasilije Orthodox Church, Belgrade, May-June. (2008) “The Gaze of the Icon” exhibition of icons, Sodalitas Center, Tainach/Tinje, March-April.
(2006) “Traces of the Artist’s Presence” art project performed in Serbia, Greece and Germany, June-December.
(2005) “Identity. Mask. Person.” video installations (videos: “From Mask to Person”, “Creating…” and “Face”), Students Cultural Center/VIP Gallery, Belgrade, September 12-20.
(2005) “Transformation of an Unknown Space” art project/radio broadcasts, Radio Kojot, Zrenjanin, June 27-July 1.
(2004) “Icons in the Black Forest” action, Freiburg i. Br., Jun 19. (2003) “Funeral of an Author” video-performance, Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade, followed by the author’s presentation, March 12.
(2002) “Funeral of an Author” performance, Topčiderska zvezda, Belgrade, November 23.
(2002) “Marking the Space II” action, St. Petersburg, August 10-20. (2002) “The Body Dressing” action, Belgrade, May 17.
(2001) “Pure Art by Džalto Davor” TV art project, in cooperation with the Center for Youth Creativity, Belgrade, April-September.
(2000) “Verbal and Visual Space Marking” exhibition, Kuća Đure Jakšića Gallery, Belgrade, October.
(1998) “Markiranje prostora” (Space Marking) performance, within the workshop by the Fund for an Open Society, Žabljak, August 18.
(2012) “St. Constantine the Great and St. Helena” exhibition of icons and religious paintings, Embassy of the Republic of Serbia, London, January 30-February 29.
(2009) Exhibition of “FAM-Art” Workshop 2008, Podrum Gallery, Sremski Karlovci, June 10-16.
(2007) “Tactics of Resistance X Global Police Action” international exhibition in Chisinau (Moldova), with “The Red Army” video, June 6-17.
(2007) “ULUPUDS New Members Exhibition,” ULUPUDS Gallery, Belgrade, February 19-26.
(2006) “Aprilski susreti” international exhibition at the Students Cultural Center, Belgrade, with the “Face” video, April 5.
(2006) “Exit Art Installation,” Exit Festival, Novi Sad, July 6-9.
(2005) “Media Art Festival,” Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art, Yerevan, with “The Red Army” video, August 9-15.
(2005) “Transformation of an Unknown Space” radio-broadcasts art project, in cooperation with the Flexible Art Network, Zrenjanin, June 27-July 1.
(2004) “45th International October Salon (Oktobarski Salon)” exhibition, Museum May 25, Belgrade, with “The Red Army” video, September-October.
(2004) “Transformation of Unknown City” art project organized by the Flexible Art Network, Zrenjanin, with the “Creating…” and “From Mask to Person” videos, May 14-28.
(2003) “From Mask to Person” (video) and “Creating of Art Works, Creating of Personality, Creating of Artist(s), Creating of Art History” (video/performance) video installation at the “36th Festival of Professional Puppet Theaters of Serbia,” Puppet Theatre, Niš, followed by the author’s presentation, December 28.
(2003) International “Real – Presence – Generation 2003” art festival, Belgrade, August-September.
(2003) “Exhibition of Religious Painting” organized by the RC Archdiocese in Belgrade, Museum of Pedagogy, Belgrade, with the “Heaven and Earth” painting, May.
(2002) “International student’s Pop-Art Festival” exhibition, Studentski Grad Gallery, with “The Red Army” installation, Belgrade, August 10-20.
(2000-2001) Participation in exhibitions organized by the “Niš’ Graphic Circle” in Belgrade, Niš, Leskovac, Pirot, Kraljevo and Sofia.
(1999) “Exhibition of the Art Pieces by Students of the High School of Art” Paviljon u Tvrđavi and Kultura Gallery, Niš, June.
(1999) Graphic exhibition by the “Niš’ Graphic Circle” Kultura Gallery, Ni, May.
(1998) Participation in a series of exhibitions organized by Fund for an Open Society, Pavilion Veljkovic Gallery and Club Underground, Belgrade, April – October. Participation in the “Raskršća (Crossroads)” exhibition organized by the “Niš Graphic Circle” Kultura Gallery, Nis.
(1997) Exhibition organized by Fund for an Open Society, Pavilion Veljković Gallery, Belgrade, September.
(1996) Exhibition of icons, Open Club, Niš, May.
By Dr. Paul Gwynne, Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Studies
In modern parlance the term ‘iconic’ has become, through overuse, a meaningless label associated largely with dead (or dying) rock stars, sports personalities or Hollywood celebrities. Derived from the Greek word εἰκών, meaning an ‘image’ or ‘likeness’, in art historical terms the term ‘icon’ refers specifically to a religious image (usually of a single figure, often half-length), painted for devotional purposes. While an unbroken tradition of icon painting continued among the Orthodox churches of Eastern Europe, with the tendency towards naturalism in the western tradition the word icon has become associated, often perjoratively, with images that are considered mannered and painted to a formula.
Not so here. Davor Džalto has dragged the icon kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century. In a strange harmony of contrasts and contradictions, combining elements of Bacon and Banksie, his images of saints and apostles gaze out across the centuries in a fury of agitated (though restrained) line and colour, to break the confining limits of their frames and stare into our very souls, while at the same time preserving the nonchalance of world weary dons relaxing and conversing through a haze of cigar smoke at high table. Vibrant primary hues from a restricted palette, applied alternately in thick impasto and limpid washes, enlivened by bold strokes of black and white, give his colours an edge only associated in the modern world with primeaval danger of seas of opposing soccer hooligans. Nature red in tooth and claw and nailed on the cloister wall. No meaningless label here, these are truly contemporary εἰκώνες forged from a fusion of eastern Byzantine tradition with western pop culture: a timely reminder of the continuing vibrancy of religious art in the modern world.
Nell’Italiano moderno, il termine ‘iconico’, è diventato, attraverso un uso spregiudicato del vocabolo, una dicitura utilizzata principalmente in riferimento a rock star, personalità sportive o star Hollywoodiane, defunte (o morenti). L’origine della parola viene identificata nel Greco εἰκών il cui significato letterario è immagine, somiglianza. Nella storia dell’arte, il termine “iconico”, è attribuito ad un’immagine (solitamente di un singolo soggetto, a metà busto), dipinta a scopi religiosi. Mentre un’ondata di tradizione legata alla pittura iconica ha continuato a svilupparsi tra le chiese Ortodosse dell’Europa Orientale, una tendenza naturalistica nel mondo Occidentale, ha attribuito al termine un significato spregiativo, collegato a dipinti ritenuti manierati ad uno specifico schema.
Diversamente in questa specifica circostanza, Davor Džalto ha trasportato in maniera prorompente la spinta iconica nel ventunesimo secolo. Con un inusuale combinazione di armonia di contrasti e contraddizioni, accostando elementi di Bacon e Banksie, le sue immagini dei santi e degli apostoli guardano attraverso i secoli con una veemenza di movimentate (bensì contenute) linee e colori; al fine di sorvolare i loro limiti e toccare le anime dello spettatore, ma al contempo preservare la nonchalance del relax e della conversazione di uno stanco mondo elitario, attraverso la foschia del fumo di una sigaretta consumata ad un bancone. Colori primari vibranti, posizionati su una tavolozza ristretta, con un impasto consistente e limpidi lavaggi, animati da arditi colpi di bianco e nero, danno ai suoi colori una prospettiva associata solamente nel mondo moderno con primordiale pericolo dei mari ad teppisti opposti del calcio. Rosso naturale su denti e artigli su una parete monastica. Nessuna etichetta priva di senso qui, queste sono le vere εἰκώνες contemporanee forgiate da una fusion orientale bizantina con una occidentale cultura pop: un tempestivo ricordo della continua vibrazione religiosa nell’arte moderna.
(Trans. Sharon Carpentieri Gallo)
Painting in Light: The Icons and Icon-like Paintings by Davor Džalto
By Dr. Jelena Erdeljan, art historian
The icon-like paintings by Davor Džalto are inspiring in many ways. Like traditional icons, they appear as synaesthetic portals opening gateways of communication with concepts and sensory phenomena which lie both in the synchronic and the diachronic matrices of the discourse of art and religious experience. They resonate with inspiration which alludes to the works of Late Byzantine masters, especially the flashes of light which mark the brilliant icons produced in Russia by Theophanes the Greek, as much as with the verve of ink drawings gracing the superb and mystical illuminations of the Utrecht Psalter of the Carolingian era. In no way is this surprising considering the education and academic engagement of Davor Džalto in the field of art history. However, these historically determined moments of inspiration are not an end in themselves. The mimesis and performative qualities of the (historical) icons which, on both a conscious and unconscious level, inspire the works presented to the viewer are also a medium, modus, vehicle of expression of the author’s theoretical concerns regarding the problem of presence and absence, of typos and archetypos, of possibility of communicating with the divine presence. Moreover, the (divine) light-infused icon-like paintings of Davor Džalto shine a light on the eternal and always central questions of tradition and modern (re)interpretations in Christian and particularly Orthodox Christian art. Therefore, the sensory effects produced by the form, color and light of the icon-like paintings of Davor Džalto are conducive to the complex and essential crucible of the phenomenon which we, in modern times, have defined as religious art.
Painting in Light.
The icon-like paintings by Davor Džalto
by Dr. Jelena Erdeljan
The icon-like paintings by Davor Džalto are inspirational in many ways. Like icons themselves, they appear as synaesthetic portals opening gateways of communication with concepts and sensory phenomena which lie both in the synchronic and the diachronic matrices of the discourse of art and religious experience. They resonate with inspiration which alludes to the works of Late Byzantine masters, especially the flashes of light which mark the brilliant icons produced in Russia by Theophanes the Greek, as much as with and the verve of ink drawings gracing the superb and mystical illuminations of the Utrecht Psalter of the Carolingian era. In no way is this surprising considering the education and academic engagement of Davor Džalto in the field of art history. However, these historically determined moments of inspiration are not an end in themselves. The mimesis and performative qualities of the (historical) icons which, on both a conscious and unconscious level, inspire the works presented to the viewer are also a medium, modus, vehicle of expression of the author’s theoretical concerns regarding the problem of presence and absence, of typos and archetypos, of possibility of communicating with the divine presence. Moreover, the (divine) light infused icon-like paintings of Davor Džalto shine a light on the eternal and always central question of tradition and modern (re) interpretation in Christian and particularly Orthodox Christian art. Therefore, the sensory effects produced by the form, color and light of the icon-like paintings of Davor Džalto are conductive to the complex and essential crucible of the phenomenon which we, in modern times, have defined as religious art.
IN THE PRESENCE OF THE ARTIST
by Marie-Christine Fritsch
Davor DЕѕalto is an artist of manifold talents. His œuvre until now is varied and complex, yet communicative and accessible and therefore interesting.
It comprises traditional, modern and contemporary techniques and mediums which allow him to present a wide range of expressions. His paintings which include icons, portraits, figurative and non-figurative as well as abstract works but also his graphics, drawings and calligraphy show a colorful and positive approach, combined with sincere and profound consideration of every detail. In his objects and even more in his installations and video(installation)s his diversity and interests, clearly rooted in the post modern discourse, become even more evident as he appears as person, artist and author. So the inherent aspect of presence and absence in gradually changing intensities make the object of his discussion: He “marks” chosen natural or public sites and spaces (or even himself) with his varying shadow or clothes, with drawings, imprints and traces of his own body, his feet or hands, or with letters and words in order to define space (РјРµСЃС‚Рѕ) and his position and relation to it. All these elements serve as re-definition of space either physically, visually or verbally and they all can be of permanent, ephemeral or even of temporally limited nature.
The color red as a guiding line is a recurrent theme in his installations. They engage the observer in the artist’s critical reflection about where to place one’s physical as well as spiritual home. Not only geographically but also within the time we live in today. His critique illustrates in several facets that this time and our position in it, most probably due to our own faults, is subjected to conditions and influences, which we don’t recognize as such, i.e. the often covered mechanisms of globalization and hidden imperialist aims. Maybe that is because we forgot to learn how to consider our own position and our own possible role as an attentive observer and above all as an individual within a space and time, we are not anymore capable of defining by ourselves. And even if we do so, it happens without us being conscious of our own perceptions.
Facing an artwork of this potential, the very process of reflecting upon our own presence or absence may appear to be a disconcerting exercise, because we don’t know where to turn to. And exactly this dilemma brings us back to the important number of icons in the work of Davor DЕѕalto. By their nature icons approach us in our space we strive to define. They issue an invitation to re-establish an interactive relation between the observer and the icon, to initiate a dialogue about truth, verisimilitude and (our own) transience. It is up to us to deny or accept. And this is probably where we need to learn again, how to engage in this dialogue, which then basically will not be only about art and our “space” but mostly about ourselves as a person.
It will be interesting to follow closely the development and career of Davor DЕѕalto as person, artist and author and to see the ideas, reactions, questions and answers he will find for himself, and how he then is willing to share them with us.