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Alexander Tinei

Kristian Touborg

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Alain Urrutia

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Maja Ruznic

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'The Apology' (2016), oil on canvas, 60x45cm
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In 1992, at the age of 9, Maja Ruznic and her mother fled her home country of Bosnia due to the outbreak of war. They lived for a number of years in various refugee camps, the cramped, claustrophobic atmosphere of which caused Ruznic to become hyperaware of peoples’ body language. She uses this skill to glean visual information from her surroundings; she will take walks and notice small and seemingly insignificant interactions and expressions from the people around her, later using these as the bases for her works. In many ways, Ruznic’s aim is to transcend traditional notions of beauty. Illustrating books since before she could read, she claims that her mother never remarked upon the beauty of her drawings, allowing her to see past these confines. With paintings and drawings that flirt between the abstract and the representational, her works aren’t necessarily about her childhood experiences, but they have influenced the ways that she looks at the world which, in turn, trickles down into her works. Maja’s canvasses are densely populated with a tumultuous mass of figures, conjuring images of wailing souls lost between two worlds - similar, perhaps, to the lost souls in the refugee camps she lived in, stuck in limbo between their old and new homes. Her latest body of work, ‘Soil as Witness’, marks a return for Ruznic to large-scale oil painting (where previously she worked exclusively with water-based media). In these works, she has focused on entities called Psychopomps – beings whose purpose it is to transport the souls of the deceased to the afterlife. The act of painting in this way is psychopompic in itself; Maja has immortalized the figures, whom she culls from her experiences with a new life in paint.

Maja Ruznic (b. 1983, Bosnia & Herzegovina) lives and works in Los Angeles, California. She graduated with a BFA from the University of Califorina, Berkeley in 2005 and an MFA from the Califronia College of Arts, San Francisco in 2009. Solo exhibitions include; ‘The Wailing Sisters’, CES Gallery, Los Angeles, 2016; ‘Soil as Witness’, Jack Fischer Gallery, San Francisco, 2016; ‘Yellow Throat Ribs’, Galerie d’YS, Brussels, Belgium, 2015; and ‘Untitled’, Candyland, Stockholm, Sweden. Two person exhibitions include; ‘The Boogeyman is Here’ with Luz Maria Sanchez, She Works Flexible, Houston Texas, 2015; ‘Lonely Hunters’ with Ranee Henderson, Eastside International, Los Angeles, 2015; ‘Refuge’ with Nina Kluth, Born Gallery, Berlin, Germany, 2014; and ‘Amongst the Missing’ with Joshua Hagler, Jack Fischer Gallery, San Francisco, 2014. Group exhibitions include; ‘By the River’, ACME, Los Angeles, 2017; ‘With Liberty and Justice for Some’, Walter Maciel Gallery, Los Angeles, 2017; ‘Phantom Limb’, Shulamit Nazarian Gallery, Los Angeles, 2016; ‘Werewolf’, Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles, 2016; ‘Between Worlds’, Arc Gallery, San Francisco, 2016; and ‘Angels With Dirty Faces’, Galerie Ernst Hilger, Vienna, Austria, 2015.



 



 


In 1992, at the age of 9, Maja Ruznic and her mother fled her home country of Bosnia due to the outbreak of war. They lived for a number of years in various refugee camps, the cramped, claustrophobic atmosphere of which caused Ruznic to become hyperaware of peoples’ body language. She uses this skill to glean visual information from her surroundings; she will take walks and notice small and seemingly insignificant interactions and expressions from the people around her, later using these as the bases for her works. In many ways, Ruznic’s aim is to transcend traditional notions of beauty. Illustrating books since before she could read, she claims that her mother never remarked upon the beauty of her drawings, allowing her to see past these confines. With paintings and drawings that flirt between the abstract and the representational, her works aren’t necessarily about her childhood experiences, but they have influenced the ways that she looks at the world which, in turn, trickles down into her works. Maja’s canvasses are densely populated with a tumultuous mass of figures, conjuring images of wailing souls lost between two worlds - similar, perhaps, to the lost souls in the refugee camps she lived in, stuck in limbo between their old and new homes. Her latest body of work, ‘Soil as Witness’, marks a return for Ruznic to large-scale oil painting (where previously she worked exclusively with water-based media). In these works, she has focused on entities called Psychopomps – beings whose purpose it is to transport the souls of the deceased to the afterlife. The act of painting in this way is psychopompic in itself; Maja has immortalized the figures, whom she culls from her experiences with a new life in paint.

Maja Ruznic (b. 1983, Bosnia & Herzegovina) lives and works in Los Angeles, California. She graduated with a BFA from the University of Califorina, Berkeley in 2005 and an MFA from the Califronia College of Arts, San Francisco in 2009. Solo exhibitions include; ‘The Wailing Sisters’, CES Gallery, Los Angeles, 2016; ‘Soil as Witness’, Jack Fischer Gallery, San Francisco, 2016; ‘Yellow Throat Ribs’, Galerie d’YS, Brussels, Belgium, 2015; and ‘Untitled’, Candyland, Stockholm, Sweden. Two person exhibitions include; ‘The Boogeyman is Here’ with Luz Maria Sanchez, She Works Flexible, Houston Texas, 2015; ‘Lonely Hunters’ with Ranee Henderson, Eastside International, Los Angeles, 2015; ‘Refuge’ with Nina Kluth, Born Gallery, Berlin, Germany, 2014; and ‘Amongst the Missing’ with Joshua Hagler, Jack Fischer Gallery, San Francisco, 2014. Group exhibitions include; ‘By the River’, ACME, Los Angeles, 2017; ‘With Liberty and Justice for Some’, Walter Maciel Gallery, Los Angeles, 2017; ‘Phantom Limb’, Shulamit Nazarian Gallery, Los Angeles, 2016; ‘Werewolf’, Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles, 2016; ‘Between Worlds’, Arc Gallery, San Francisco, 2016; and ‘Angels With Dirty Faces’, Galerie Ernst Hilger, Vienna, Austria, 2015.