Significant Places

 A solo exhibition at  Galerie de la Ville from April 22 to May 23, 2010

     Galerie de la Ville presents in April/May an exhibition of oil paintings by artist Branka Marinkovic Forte entitled Significant Places. These works focus on the idea of the landscape, a subject that has been a part of our artistic environment ever since human beings have had the leisure to sit back and admire the view. Marinkovic Forte honors this tradition, yet imbues her subjects with meaning beyond the perceived scene.

     Capturing the beauty of nature, a landscape painting was originally a window on a scene that was ever preserved from the passage of time, the vagaries of the weather or the changing of the seasons. As time in the outside world passed, as the impact of human activity grew, as the concepts of ‘symbol’ and ‘metaphor’ evolved, however, so did the relationship between artist and landscape. Today, the landscape’s role in art is multi-layered: it is as often a character in the human drama as it is its stage; it is as much a record of an actual ‘location’ or ‘place’ as it is the manifestation of the meaning places – real or imagined, understood or sensed - acquire as our lives unfold. 

     The oil paintings of artist Branka Marinkovic Forte record real places: those able to travel can visit the actual locations the artist portrays, recognize the landmarks, and situate the buildings or architecture. However, the surface treatment and color palette reveal they are also places we see through the eyes of memory or through sensed rather than perceived reality. These places have a personal resonance for the artist; they are imbued with symbolic meaning, and painted in an impressionist style.

Claudine Ascher, Director / Curator, Galerie de la Ville

20x30 oil/canvas 2009

24x24 oil/canvas,  2008. 

24 x 30 oil/canvas  2009.

22x28, oil/canvas, 2010. 

18x24 oil/canvas  2010.  

15x30 oil/canvas 2009.

  15x30 oil/canvas, 2009.

 16 x 20 oil/canvas 2010.

20x30 oil/canvas 2010. 

 16x20 oil/canvas. 

18x18 oil/canvas 2009.

14x18 oil/canvas 2009.   

The Scherzo

In Italian, a scherzo is a joke.  In music a scherzo refers to a quick and light hearted musical composition. I refer to these paintings as piccoli scherzi which for me signify quick studies.  Studies or Scherzi are fundamental to an ongoing practice. They ensure that I am always painting and they can provide unexpected sources of inspiration. These small landscapes began as studies in relationships of form, colour and space.  As is often the case, the painting process leads me to unexpected places revealing the internal eye to the external world. 


 11x14, oil/canvas 2009.

11x14, oil/canvas 2009. 

  9x12 oil/canvas 2009.

14x18, oil/canvas 2009. 

12x16 oil/canvas 2008.  

 Artist Statement:
What is it that gives places a special  meaning?

Experience lives in the minds of each of us.  They are things that have come to pass and although they are not tangible, they are the foundations of who we are, how we think and how we perceive the world around us. Our experiences occur in the world, in our most immediate environments,  where we call home, where we live our daily lives.  The poetry of a place is brought into being thanks to us and it is within us. This is what gives significance to a place.

Home is a place that is familiar to me, a place that I am comfortable in, a place where I am known and that I know. I have visited and lived in many different places through out my life as a painter.  Constant movement means that I am never able to cast roots down in any one place for very long. The place which I call home thus takes on a different meaning.  It is no longer found in my geographical placement, but rather it exists within me as my life's experiences.

When I paint the landscape, it is more than just a study of light and shadow, seasons and weather or the forms of man and nature. Although the places that I paint are known to me, they strive to go beyond the illustration of any particular experience.  They are associated with a feeling, an idea or an emotion that they as places evoke within me. This is what makes these places significant to me.

I would like to thank Mr. Joseph Grimm for the time and effort taken to photograph the paintings of the exhibition.