"Painting is the simplest and most accessible of art forms. Painting can touch anyone, even the most naive. And even the works of the greatest masters show an essential naivety and that may be the very thing which makes the painting good. When I say naivety, I mean the spiritual freshness that some people manage to preserve throughout the whole of their lives." - Vojislav Stani. For over half a century the Montenegrin painter Vojislav Stani has been living and working in the small town of Herceg Novi, observing the lives of its inhabitants from the window of his attic studio with a sharp eye and an impish intelligence. Here, so Stani claims, is a microcosm of life. One can see universal emotions and traits - love, lust, joy, fear, wonder, jealousy - played out in the parks and cafes of this bustling little port town on the Adriatic.But if many of Stani's insights come from keen observation of his neighbours, it is his idiosyncratic outlook and his eye for absurdities and gentle ironies which make his work so compelling.
And if he draws on the work of such artists as Bosch, Magritte and de Chirico, it is always with a lightness of touch which leaves one in no doubt that Stani is a major artistic talent in his own right. This book, including insightful essays which trace his artistic development and explore his uniquely vital imagination, promises to bring his work to the international audience it deserves.
Robert Boyers is editor of the American arts and humanities quarterly Salmagundi, and Director of the New York State Summer Writers Institute. He has taught at Skidmore College and was the first Tisch Professor of Arts and Letters. He is the author of nine books, including Excitable Women, Damaged Men, a collection of short stories, and The Dictator's Dictation, essays on the politics of novels and novelists.Valeri S. Turchin is Professor of Art History at Moscow State University, a permanent member of the Russian Academy of Arts and Director of the Moscow Society of Admirers of the Art of Vasily Kandinsky. He has written more than three hundred articles and fifteen books, including The History of West European Art Criticism in the 18th and 19th Centuries, Alexander I and Neoclassicism in Russia and Kandinsky in Russia.Emir Kusturica is the internationally renowned director of films including When Father Was Away on Business (winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival in 1985, and nominated for an American Academy Award for Best Foreign Film), Time of the Gypsies, Underground (winner of a second Palme d'Or in 1995) and Black Cat, White Cat. His most recent feature was Promise Me This (2007).