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Mirjana Ursulesku retrospective art exhibition

"At Rivers Edge" painting by Mirjana Ursulesku

"At Rivers Edge" painting by Mirjana Ursulesku

Mirjana Ursulesku, Bosnian-born artist now residing in Westmont, is exhibiting her original art and giclée prints dating from 1994 to the present in a new show opening at the Elmhurst Artists’ Guild Gallery on May 15. A reception open to the public will be held Friday, May 18, from 7 to 9 pm in the gallery, at the Elmhurst Art Museum, 150 S. Cottage Hill Ave., Elmhurst, Illinois.

Within the last few years, Ursulesku has been focusing on her “Blue” collection, pieces that are starkly vivid and alive and that attempt to assault the senses with a depth of clarity concerning all aspects of the natural world. “Water, light, landscape and sky are one living, breathing organism laid out before us,” she says, “I want to take the viewer’s breath away with powerful line and the simple yet demanding use of the color blue.”

During her early artistic career, from 1994-1995, her monochromatic charcoals reflected her experience of war-torn life in Bosnia and her memories of the streets, architecture and interior living spaces during that time. “In the turbulent movement of charcoal across the page I convey the raw, emotional upheaval I lived through during my exile from Bosnia,” she stated. The pieces are devoid of people, and the sense of isolation is clearly depicted in these detailed remembrances. Dark brooding seems to surround the buildings, and these structures sit alone, as though abandoned, surrounded by empty streets.

After relocating to the United States in 1996, Ursulesku’s work began to change as she explored light and color through the medium of watercolor. Then, continuing to pursue color and organic settings, she changed the medium to ink, reminiscent of Asian art’s simplicity of line. The subject matter tends to be more alive to the natural world, always moving, physical and ever-present. From 1998 to 2000, her work takes on an ephemeral quality in its depiction of nature. The use of color has softened further, and more light infuses the landscapes. According to Usulesku, she wanted to draw the viewer into an indefinite world, so they could feel themselves floating into the melee of soft color and overwhelming light.

The show can be viewed until June 22 during regular Elmhurst Art Museum hours, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday and from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Friday. Admission is free all day Friday and to Museum members and children at all times.

The EAG gallery is not-for-profit, operated by the Elmhurst Artists’ Guild. It features original contemporary artworks in a variety of styles and media. Each year it hosts several group shows featuring the artwork of Guild members, an invitational show for a significant local artist, and the National Art Premiere, a nationwide juried group show. Exhibits are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. More information is available at elmhurstartistsguild.org.

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