manifest international drawing annual 2007 exhibition-in-print
online resource

Vesna Jovanovic
Chicago, IL

Loyola University Chicago, Oakton Community College, and Wright College, Instructor

page 70

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Most of my work exhibits merging dualities. This stems from influences such as illness, culture shock, and identification with ideologically conflicting sides. The dual impact of these events--the combination of fortune and misfortune--motivates my interest in the unity of opposites, and the ways in which they are integrated or interchangeable. Firm ideologies become meaningless, and questioning or just experiencing becomes more valuable. This sentiment propels my artwork, and is also what eventually led me to pursue science.

My involvement in science ultimately caused a personal transformation, which is reflected in my current artwork. During my pursuit of chemistry, moments and events gradually acquired names, and the world turned into a language of formulas. But once something could be named and broken down, it no longer contained its sublime, powerful anonymity. As a result, and despite my continued love of chemistry, I experienced anguish and a need to find other ways to explore the enigmas of life.

Instead of serving as a means of self-expression or communication, art now fulfills the same role that chemistry once did: it is an avenue of inquisition and discovery. Unlike chemistry however, art aims to reveal questions rather than answers. While working, my meticulous mechanical side and my unrestricted intuition function in unison, resulting in a silent, meditative approach to time, technology and the contingencies of life.

My inkspill drawings began as an exploration of chance and order. After randomly spilling some ink on paper, I looked at the shapes and began imagining objects that I associate with science: test tubes, flasks and other laboratory equipment. The randomness of spilled ink, combined with the control of intricate drawing, exemplifies my approach to science, art, or anything else. There is a constant struggle to leave some things to chance. When I returned to this creative method in 2006 (after several years of working mostly within photography), I noticed that with each drawing my test tubes began to look more and more organic--they now resemble veins, branches, intestines, roots and neurons. This shift was not fully realized until Temporal Nexus, in which a central knot ties various organs together. Ultimately this body of work alludes to the confusing mixture of curiosity, fear, awe and mystery that surround the idea of scientific progress. The drawings are at the same time enticing and repulsive; they are detailed and graceful, yet chaotic and unpredictable.




born: 1976, Chicago, IL


The Ohio State University, MFA, 2005
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, BFA, 2003
Loyola University Chicago, BS and BA, 2000

selected awards/honors

Curator's Choice Artist, 10th Annual Chicago Art Open, 2007
CAAP (Community Arts Assistance Program) grant, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, 2007
Drench Award, Illustration, Best of Category Winning Entry, Area of Design, 2006
Recognition Award, Merit Scholarship, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2001

selected publications

Alternative Trends Magazine, front cover and p. 90-97, Spring Issue 2007
Cittá Magazine, Italy, p. 20-21, October 13-19, 2006
Genius & Madness/Genio & Follia (catalog), Primo Piano LivinGallery, Lecce, Italy, 2006
Photo Midwest (event brochure), The Center for Photography at Madison, WI, p. 14, October 2006

selected solo or two-person exhibits

(upcoming) Ebling Library for the Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, 2008
Vesna Jovanovic, Bon Bon, Chicago, IL, 2006
Amy Casey and Vesna Jovanovic, Roy G Biv Gallery, Columbus, OH, 2005

selected group shows

Stalna Postavka, Sue Ryder Gallery, Herceg-Novi, Montenegro, 2007
16th National Juried Show, The Art Center of Northern New Jersey, New Milford, NJ, 2007
Genio & Follia, Primo Piano Gallery, Lecce, Italy, 2006
Photo Midwest, The Center for Photography at Madison,
University of Wisconsin Memorial Union, Madison, WI, 2006

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