Points of support
acrylic, graphite and silver pigment on natron paper 350gr
480 cm x 300 cm

Perica Donkov’s work is defined as new art informel, explained as “sign, gestural and matter painting, for the second time” – a movement that emerged on the Yugoslav art scene during the 1980s, characterized by a pronounced non-figurativeness and predilection for painting matter. His work is based on the idea that art is an articulation of existential hardships and that it can provide a spiritual shelter from the downfall of civilization. With the necessary but not drastic changes in visual expression, with a constant preference for monumental formats, at the beginning of the 21st century, Donkov reduced the use of colour to black, white and lead grey, always remaining in the sphere of visuality, without narration, motif or objectness.


The work in the October Salon Collection is an attempt to establish the image space determined by the points of support. The space is formed by horizontals and verticals without a specific pattern, which give orientation to chaotic homogeneity and a certain kind of sacrality. This sacrality is achieved by the monumental dimensions, but also by emphasizing the wide vertical silver field that stands out in relation to the dark font of the painting. The vertical, with its symbolic values, is the main constructive principle in the process of sacralization of a space, in this case, the space of the painting. It symbolizes the evolution of the spirit, becoming a pillar, i.e., a point of support for a person’s spiritual change. This sacrality is not necessarily perceived in the Christian key, but it opens the door to contemplativeness at the general civilization level. “I create a shelter, a personal space for the prayers of a vulnerable individual who recognizes and confronts nonsense. My works are icons of a believer in the existence, persistence and supremacy of the spiritual over the material.” (Perica Donkov)

If we start from the presumption that non-referential painting stems from contemplation, then Perica Donkov’s painting is a direct reaction, his memory and understanding of the world around him. The work has a communicative potential, because with its visuality that starts from the material, it abstracts emotions and intellect into the field of contemplation and calls for the displacement of the viewer into segments of the spiritual and the non-material. Although dark in colour, the painting does not represent the artist’s pessimistic view of the world, but rather, in his own words, opens up the fields of a new humanism.

© Cultural Centre of Belgrade, the October Salon Collection and the artist
Purchase Contract: III-5-379/16.11.2016.
Inventory No. 1454
Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Selected Bibliography:
Perica Donkov, Exhibition Catalogue No.52 (KG), Apr. 11 – May 6, 2019, author of the text Milica Todorović, RIMA Gallery, Kragujevac
Mileta Prodanović, Perica Donkov: A Picture as a Shelter. Texts: Ješa Denegri and Danijela Purešević. Translated by Novica Petrović Belgrade: Vujičić Collection Foundation, 2015
Milica Todorović, Perica Donkov: Works 2016–2019 (monograph to be published soon), Stevan Sremac Public Library, Niš, 2020
http://www.politika.rs/scc/clanak/16318/ and http://www.politika.rs/sr/clanak/445563/Politikina-nagrada-za-najbolju-izlozbu-Perici-Donkov (accessed April 2, 2020)


Perica Donkov (1956, Mazgoš, Serbia). He graduated (in 1981) and received his master’s degree (in 1984) from the Painting Department of the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade, under Professor Radenko Mišević. Since 1983 he has been a member of ULUS (Association of Fine Artists of Serbia), first in the status of a freelance artist, and later of a distinguished artist, and in 2018 became a member of the Council of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts – Branch in Niš. He has received 15 national awards for painting, from the FLU Student Award in 1980 and the University of Arts Award in 1981, to the Nadežda Petrović Gallery Award in 1984, Đorđe Krstić in 2001, ULUS Golden Palette in 2007, Beli anđeo [White Angel] in 2007, Milan Konjović in 2010, Politika Award from the Vladislav Ribnikar Fund in 2020, the 11th of January – the highest award of the City of Niš in 2010. He has had 35 solo exhibitions in the country and abroad, participated in more than 200 group exhibitions and in all major art events in Yugoslavia and Serbia (Controlled Gesture, Yugoslav Documents 89, Thirty Most Important Artists of the 1980s and 1990s in Yugoslavia, Biennial of Young Artists, October Salon, etc.). His works are part of major public museum and gallery collections in the country and some private collections (Vujičić, Popović, Trajković, Erić, RIMA, Marjanović, Wiener Städtische, Telenor, Philip Morris). Since 2008 he has been a full professor at the Faculty of Arts in Niš.