In the recognizable artistic expression and content of Slađana Matić Trstenjak's paintings, whose theme of the forest has been upgraded in the most recent phase with scenic and even cosmic motifs, echoes of expressionism are reflected on the one hand, with a pronounced flatness, deformed shape and distinct contour, on the other hand for variations on the theme of geometrically stylized, sign-symbolic rendering of landscape motifs with an emphasis on forests or individual trees and alternating fields and hills, to which even stylized houses join in the final phase. The simultaneous appearance of double, equally large celestial bodies, i.e. the sun and the moon, and the childishly optimistic pink color, which took the place of the threatening black parties of the past period, is unusual. As a specialty, there are collaged inserts in the form of multicolored torn pieces of paper, drawn with an abstract, charcoal or colored graphite, gesturally vibrating drawing, often extending beyond the frames of the canvas supports. In the last period, the artist thus preserved her style, but supplemented the dominant theme of ecologically endangered forests with a more positive vision of human settlements and heavenly visions, moving into the transcendent spheres of human existence. The works that Slađana Matić Trstenjak exhibits in the Lendava Synagogue are therefore inappropriately more optimistic than those she presented in the Maribor Synagogue, as the threatening Golem (war, holocaust) is completely absent.

Marijan Mirto's sculptural figures are increasingly losing their humanity through ever more silhouette-like figures, with slightly spidery elongated lower and upper limbs, if the latter still exist at all. For sculptural material, the artist most often uses iron wire, as reinforcement and iron, also because of its symbolic disintegration, as a result of rusting, but at the same time also the remains of asphalt slabs of Maribor (and Zagreb) roads and sidewalks. As a rule, Mirto's unique world of artistic motifs has its starting points in ancient mythology, both in Ovid's Metamorphoses, with an emphasis on the story of Daedalus and Icarus, and the Odyssey with the story of Polyphemus. If in the first case we have the content of fallen man's effort to achieve the impossible, with the latest allusion to refugees, in the second case there is the symbolism of man's blindness, both ecologically and socially. The works he exhibits in the Synagogue in Lendava are a shade darker, such as the works Flesh without Blood and Broken Wing, where people's upper limbs and even their wings are actually cut off, as symbols of man's free mind. People still look confusedly and absently at the non-existent future, if they still have eyes and heads. The characteristic polychromy of the last period is completely absent, all that remains is the bituminous darkness of the general world situation.

Mario Berdič Codella, art critic, Maribor, September 2019

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