Milenko Prvački: E La Nave Va (And the Ship Sails On)

E La Nave Va, 2015, 110 x 200 cm, Acrylic on linen

E La Nave Va, 2015, 110 x 200 cm, Acrylic on linen

E La Nave Va (And the Ship Sails On)  – A solo exhibition by Milenko Prvački

Exhibition period: 15th May – 6th June 2015

iPreciation is pleased to stage a solo exhibition “E La Nave Va” (And the Ship Sails On) of Singapore artist Milenko Prvački from 15th May – 6th June 2015. Championing Singapore contemporary artists, iPreciation is proud to present a new body of paintings by Prvački, as well as the artist’s recent developments and new conceptual concerns which began in the artist’s residency participation for three consecutive years (2013-2015) in Santa Monica, California.

Milenko Prvački is one of the foremost contemporary painters working with abstraction in Asia, fleeing from his country Yugoslavia in 1991, and finding new home in the tropical island of Singapore. Today, his iconoclastic style is a result of a forty-over year experience in making art, exhibiting in major art institutions world-wide and being an art-educator and Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts at Lasalle College of The Arts. Prvački’s paintings reflect the liveliness of his thoughts and life events, achieving great formal balance by means of his mastery in instrumentation with paint and materials and compositions which resemble the tempo of jazz music.

Indirectly interested in the events of Frederico Fellini’s 1983 film under the same title, Prvački’s recent ouvre has been preoccupied with ideas behind a “journey”, be it the excitement for departure, fulfillment of arrival or merely a creative one happening in the artist’s studio. His paintings often develop a more metaphysical relationship to the idea of journey, as a ship full of passengers sailing on the endless ocean. Ever since departing from a major solo exhibition in 2012 “Milenko Prvački: A Survey, 1979-2012” at Institute of Contemporary Art Singapore, Prvački has been on a continuous journey, travelling across continents, one of which is the consecutive travel to the artist’s residency in Santa Monica, California.

The works in “E La Nave Va” are based on visual models that emerged from Prvački’s “storage” (as he likes to call it), developed during the residency period. Some of the models being: unsent letters, tables and sailing ships. At a glance these models seem unrelated, as is the case with numerous other symbols and signs found in Prvački’s paintings which have always been about connecting and disconnecting at various frequencies. His new paintings pose a simple question: “How can a painting communicate an idea?” There are tangents of these ideas present in each work, initiated with the “Unsent Letters” in 2013, a series which examine the dichotomy of communication using technology against a more traditional depiction of the written world, exploring the personal, unseen and unspoken. Each visit to the residency informed the works with new imagery, such as the recurring table-like form which the artist has been using as a device to further communicate his ideas about what painting is, structurally, but also as an object which is often neglected as dysfunctional to conversations and events that happen at the table.

Prvački’s paintings open up a space for slow contemplation and intrapersonal dialogue between the painting and its viewer. As Prof. Tony Godfrey states in the essay for the catalogue “We go to, we sit at a table, we pause and look down upon it. This action of go to, sit down, pause, look down and meditate is a good equivalent of how we should experience these recent paintings.” Regardless the motif, Prvački’s works serve as mental spaces where one deciphers words from forms, lines from materials, colors from objects, but never fully collect all its fragments that endlessly sail in liminal spaces, this being the substance of Prvački’s artistic ouvre for over forty years now.

This exhibition will also launch a catalogue featuring Prvački’s works from 2013 to 2015. The catalogue will include an incisive essay and review of Prvački’s recent works entitled “Learning to float, Or meditating on the table” by art historian, writer and curator Prof. Tony Godfrey.

 About the artist

Born 1951 in Yugoslavia and graduating with a Master of Fine Arts (Painting) from the Institute of Fine Arts in Bucharest, Romania, Milenko Prvački is one of Singapore’s foremost contemporary artists and art educators. Prvački served as Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts for seventeen years at Singapore’s Lasalle College of the Arts. He currently holds the position of Senior Fellow at the institution. Recognized as a major artist in the region, Prvacki has exhibited extensively in Europe since 1971, and in Singapore and the region since 1993. He has held numerous solo exhibitions, including the recent retrospective Milenko Prvački: A Survey, 1979-2012, at the Institute of Contemporary Art Singapore, 2012. In the same year, Prvacki was honoured with the prestigious Cultural Medallion by the National Arts Council for his contributions in enriching Singapore’s visual art scene. He has also received the Silver Medallion for Knights in the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Embassy in Singapore, 2011.


Milenko Prvački’s works are widely collected by institutions and private collectors worldwide. Permanent collections include: National Museum, Belgrade, Serbia; Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade, Serbia; Museum of Contemporary Drawing, Nurnberg, Germany; Singapore Art Museum, Singapore; National Gallery, Singapore; UOB Bank, Singapore; National Library, Singapore; NUS Museum, Singapore; SMU, Singapore and Gallery of New South Wells, Sydney, Australia


Works on Paper

Installation Views

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