Expression and Balance
Two Essentials in the Work of Ivan Petrovszky

Susana Benko

Visiting a new exhibition of Ivan Petrovszky is a fitting tribute to the Hungarian-Venezuelan artist. There is no doubt that Ivan is tireless and always has something to show.

Medici Gallery has been proposed three years ago to expose systematically the work of this great artist.

Since his arrival in Venezuela in 1945, Ivan has been active in the life of the country plastic. He immediately made presentations and participated in events where he received the applause and critical acclaim. Since 1946 has won major awards: the Michelena, the Planchart, D 'Empaire, National Design Award, etc., And was even worthy for the second time just five years ago, the Grand Prize at Arturo Michelena.

All these applause receives an artist who has been consistent with his conception and interests plastics. In general their attitude is distant or outside groups and fashion trends. Ivan has worked in a lonely yet integrated into the cultural context in which we live. Participates in exhibitions with young artists not inhibited by its position consecration or generation gap. His relationship with art is that of a painter who takes his craft, basing his work on the ongoing investigation of plastic and expressive means which are the hallmark of his work over the years.

The representation of a subject or scene on the street is for more than Ivan the entry of an anecdote. It is the bridge that allows you to talk about the problems plastic. The issue is just a vehicle, scaffolding, as he himself describes it, to inquire into the facts that he is interested. Therefore, the themes are repeated and often are the same.

However, this resource allows you to work in greater depth. Ivan currently works primarily with aqueous techniques on paper and in the intimacy that these means will allow, has come to explore its richness of color. Inquiring into the complementary, achieves "color theme songs" which combinations were, until recently, rare in his artistic production.

The space is conceived in terms of man. It is, as the artist says ... "of a space homocentric: from man to man, only being able to measure." It is then their compositional instrument par excellence and immediate reference to channel the proportions of the image created. It is also, somehow, the rationale of his loneliness. Based on this principle, you can build sets, men working, sleeping, reading, playing chess mothers or people simply enjoying a sun bath. All are captured by the analytical gaze of the painter: ... "I recognize that there is constructive. Mine is a sculptor who has never expressed but in drawing and painting. "

This rational approach to the artistic creation allows you to "manipulate" the angles and points of view of his characters. With this "manipulation" seeks the expressiveness of the forms is what ultimately gives sensitivity and beauty to the work, essential to artistic status. Similar qualities are achieved through the atmosphere created by the charcoal, the resulting texture of the letters printed newspaper or the delicacy of the line using the pen. The expressiveness of the line is often combined with the tonal richness of the stain. With these resources is sought spontaneity, synthesis, transparency, mobility and harmony in a drawing.

In the painting operates differently, as the oil allows you to design figures and urban landscapes with color drawings with a more constructive approach. Whatever means, drawing or painting, "the essence of the work of Ivan is the domain of sensitive technology, making it beyond the manual virtuosity alone.

In addition, Ivan is an artist who knows when to conclude the development of a work. He does not like the details and excesses, while recognizing that the design must be impulsive. That balanced approach, dominates the art. To dominate the picture is spontaneous and expressive.

"The technique," says the artist can be over emotional vicissitudes. Only in this way is how you can move to different sizes, formats, change the materials and support media. "It's having the domain of expressive means in hand to build in every way and his city-universe versions.

Caracas, Venezuela
September 2000