Halfway between abstract (and even pictorialist) painting and architectural photography, Ljubodrag Andric’s body of work is an invitation to contemplate uncluttered, geometrised architectural environments imbued with matter that makes each of them profoundly unique. Immersed in a highly tactile universe, visitors have no trouble appropriating images that seem so familiar to them, without however being able to identify a place or time with any precision. So begins a peaceful and altogether pleasant perambulation during which the eye takes in their enigmatic lines and is caught up in a strange light that appears to direct their composition. The walls are of central importance here, vibrant echoes of frescos from the Italian Renaissance – a pictorial tradition to which the photographer willingly relates.
Printed in large format (about 120 x 160 cm), these “freeze-frame” bears witness to a harmony between geometrical form, light and colour, immersing the beholder in a time controlled by Andric himself. Their titles (Venice, Naples, Mandav, Jaipur, etc.) are geographical references known for their outstanding heritage as well as being extraordinary drivers of any journeying imagination. Through Andric’s photographs, these physical places take over the eye, decked out in the myths and cultures that are their own. They take on a new identity, a hidden meaning distilled by the artist and complemented by the beholder’s sensibilities.
Framing eliminates anything that might make the place where the photograph was taken recognisable, so purging the image of any sociological or historical significance. This determined absence of reference to a narrative substrate further accentuates the suspension of time. In this regard, the art historian Barry Schwabsky explains that “Ljubodrag suggests that, far from being diluted by compromises, the abstract feelings aroused in real places are just as resonant and powerful as those that have no reference in reality. This experience is based on that of duration. It’s not a flash, not a sudden glimpse, not a shock. The image slows you down, cultivating tranquil receptiveness in the beholder”.
Born into a family of artists in Belgrade, former Yugoslavia, in 1965, Ljubodrag Andric took his first steps in the art of photography when he was 15. He studied Human Sciences at the University of Belgrade and devoted himself to photography full-time in 1987. He obtained his first commissions when he was 21, most of them in connection with architecture. His work was exhibited for the first time when he was 23, at the Belgrade Museum of Contemporary Art’s gallery. In 1987, Ljubodrag Andric moved to Italy, where he practiced studio photography successfully for 15 years, in Rome and Milan. In 2002, he moved to Canada, gradually devoting himself to his artistic practice alone. A Canadian, Italian and Serb citizen, the photographer currently lives in Toronto in Canada. His work has been widely exhibited in museums, galleries, and contemporary art festivals and fairs across the world. A monograph on his work edited by Demetrio Paparoni was published by Skira (Milan, Italy) in 2016.
Ljubodrag Andric is represented by the Nicholas Metivier Gallery in Canada, the Robert Koch Gallery in San Francisco in the United States, and the Building Gallery in Milan, Italy.