Citadels of Salt – Town Hall, Krk 1998

…or Parched Tears and Silenced Tempests

Town Hall, Krk 4th July 1998 – 17th July 1998

The watercolors of Dagmar Franolić are true to the nature of their savor. Tonally refined in countless diversities of representations, they evoke the color of water without exception. Our submersion in the conferred is bravely playful, but simultaneously meditatively silenced. We are swimming trough a whole array of paintings dreamed into existence. The world we are talking about is built by a gentle strength of a female signature.

Working in an aegis of unassuming creative impetus, Dagmar is, for years already, finding “the letters” for her pictorial script in the vistas of the island that silently liaises with the richness of her experiential strength. Although this artist never rushed after civilizational attainments of hastily affirmations nor into the promiscuous mode of trying out the immensity of trends, she left a trail in the archive of recollections of everyone who glimpsed into the chambers of her dreams.

And that dream of hers, heartily liaises with the wake sights of the island thats opening up trough its vedute, its alleys, its rhythms of the open shutters, trough the eyes of small fish that she bestows into cities, trough the history that she writes like an ancient script on the façades of already foundered fortresses, trough the entwines of the sky and the shore,… trough everything that is utterly simple and ordinary until, in the labyrinth of our affection it upsurges to infatuation.

The watercolor is akin to the sensitive human. After a small mistake in approach the water technique resists remediation because of the very nature of its translucence. When the watercolor painting is finished, his epistle emits enormous reserve so it almost confuses us how strongly this reserve rejects the inscription of a hand that is not ready. Exactly therefore the paintress that we are talking about confirms the strength of her artistry in the ease of her results. The watercolor has accepted Dagmar Franolić, and this is almost the biggest argument of her talent. The observer of the paintings we are talking about, as an art consumer has to sense that a true delight is offered here in a refined overture. There are no chromatic excitements, no didascalies, no experimenting or surprises, the doors are closed to every harsh gesture. To the unruly natures it can seem as if a counterpoint is missing. But, trough all this peaceful greenish blues and pallid white sea foam, flows a prayer as a fragrance of the aspiration that things (none the less) stay intact.

The compositions of these paintings spread up to the very margins of the papers they are inscribed into. The setting is as if continued outside the visible borders of the paper, so as a result of such a politics of painting an epic fable constituted of emblems of elements plucked on the field of lyrical discourse is offered. So much is Dagmar Franolić femininely contradictory and adaptable in every context of exhibition. Her watercolors are supple illustrations for a literary paradigm because inside the code of a “wet” art, techniques are virtuously built by the effect of a graphical script. Nevertheless, each of this paintings positioned beside the text is holding up to its origin, it communicates, but also holds back a secret of self-sufficiency. It doesn’t submit entirely although it cooperates with the text. It holds a right to live and refuses to be mere illustration.

Similar to the distant oriental cultures of silk-prints, the universal inscription taught of as an ornament touches the borders of the recognizable motive, as much as it touches the abstract idea as the seal of the spirit. Every moment, her paintings could fly carried by the sea breeze like the Veil of Veronica, but they could simultaneously root in the austere karst terrain as a steadfast stone citadel.

Although gentle and motherly unconditional in their affinity towards the landscape from which they nascent, lets say it at last, the paintings of Dagmar Franolić are neither sweet nor luscious. On the contrary, they are salty to taste.

As tears. As sea. As neutrality.

Nataša Stipanov, 1998.