The exhibition Apocalypse, A Cycle of Bela Csikos Sessia is opened in the Studio Josip Račić. It will be on view until December 20, 2009.
The Apocalypse or Revelations is the last book of the Bible; according to tradition, the author is considered to be St John. The text is highly complicated in its symbolism, for this is John’s vision of the temptations that the Church and the faithful must go through, as well as the last battle of Christ against Evil (Satan, Antichrist), which will, naturally, conclude with the victory of God before the last day.
In a literary and symbolic sense, the motifs from Apocalypse are close to the poetics of Bela Csikos Sessia, and so this segment of his work should be seen along the lines of Symbolism rather than within the context of religious painting, which did not interest Csikos all that much, particularly not in the sense of the immediate transfer of religious messages.
The Modern Gallery holds part of the Csikos Apocalypse cycle; these are drawings done in pastels, Indian ink, white chalk and charcoal in 1903. With complementary colours, with intermittent contour lines and the dynamics of his composition, Csikos with expressive artistic resources shows all the drama of the literary model. For this cycle, he made many preparations: photographs, sketches in his sketchbooks, studies in pencil and variants in pastel, charcoal, Indian ink and white chalk.
The cycle is also interesting because of Csikos’s iconography that does not literally take over the models in which the Apocalypse is presented in Western iconography as a whole. The selection of scenes, for example, is in line with his conception of the symbolic messages of the story called Apocalypse.
The author of the exhibition and the catalogue is Dajana Vlaisavljević, senior curator of the Modern Gallery.