Rade Petrasevic (b. 1982 Vienna, Austria) is a Bosnian-Austrian painter who lives and works in Vienna. He has recently created a large-scale mural that covers the full length of the front glass facade of Kunsthalle Wien Karlsplatz, Vienna (2021). Selected solo and group show of Petrasevic’s work include ALMA ZEVI London (2021) and Venice (2020 and 2018); Christine Konig Galerie, Vienna (2021, 2020 and 2019); ALMA ZEVI Celerina, Switzerland (2019); Friedman Benda in New York (2019); Salon, Hamburg (2019); Charim Galerie, Vienna (2018); Buro Weltausstellung, Vienna (2018); Everybody Needs Art, Budapest (2017); Limoncello Gallery, London (2016); Circle Culture in Berlin (2015); The Breeder, Athens (2015).
RESIDENCY: 31 JULY - 20 AUGUST 2022
EXHIBITION: 20 AUGUST - 4 SEPTEMBER 2022
Castello San Basilio is delighted to present DO YOU MIND IF I SMOKE? a solo show by Rade Petrasevic, produced in collaboration with PATERSON ZEVI. Installed in the castle’s tower, the exhibition is comprised of four new paintings.
With their bold colours and impulsive, two-dimensional brushstrokes, Petrasevic’s paintings initially appear humorous and light-hearted. Often informed by compositional structures from Renaissance paintings, such as the still life, the works deal with the banality, melancholy and intensity of everyday life, whilst also exploring complex narratives surrounding life and death. Petrasevic uses this playful approach to address the transient nature of the human condition.
Densely layered with applications of paint, the compositions reveal the artist’s lyrical, gestural approach to a tightly organised picture plane. The scenes are enhanced by his use of flat, expressive brushstrokes that handle the oil paint as if it were a marker pen. In Petrasevic’s tableaux, characters, objects and scenes all clamour for space and the viewer’s attention.
CIAO BELLO, COME STAI? depicts a ‘vagabond’ carrying his painting material, his cigarettes and his pet, a pigeon bird. During his residency, Petrasevic was fascinated by the area’s wildlife, which he maniacally sketched, wrote poems about and eventually included in his canvases.
The timeless compositions of the paintings allow the defining conversations of our era to seep through their cracks, traversing themes of identity, sexuality, fetishes, class and wealth divides. In THAT IS NOT THE TOPIC, the ordinary is rendered extraordinary through a humorous and simplified vignette which he filled with mundane everyday objects like cigarettes, sunglasses, washing up liquid, bottles of wine and coffee machines. The symbol of the cigarette is a recurring element in Petrasevic’s works; it depicts small pleasures of life that are also brooding reminders of our mortality. This light-hearted use of everyday objects allows the artist to capture the viewer’s attention whilst confronting them with the unvarnished nature of the issues that haunt us.