The Nancy Sever Gallery is pleased to present Magda Cebokli | The Essence of a Space, an exhibition of recent work by Magda Cebokli, one of Australia’s leading abstract artists.

Magda Cebokli was born in Slovenia and relocated to Australia as a child. She studied Painting and Art History at State University of New York (1988-91) and was later awarded a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Fine Arts (Painting) by RMIT University (1998) and a Master of Arts by Research in Painting from the same University. She received one of the inaugural Siemens Art Prizes in 2000 and has been shortlisted for numerous prizes since.

Prior to becoming an artist, Magda was awarded a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Psychology at the University of NSW and worked in both the clinical and research areas of psychology. Hence her interest in the ways we make meaning and in our inner processes connect her past career with her art.

She says of her artistic practice: “Working with small differences, simplified form, repetition and a restricted palette, I develop series of often nuanced paintings addressing the function of edge, the movement between light and dark and the structure of space. In this analysis of visual experience, I whittle away at irrelevancies to produce series of paintings that appear minimal but whose surfaces are built up layer by meticulous layer.”

Magda Cebokli | The Essence of a Space is a series of abstract paintings inspired by the harmonics of the space and the light of the pinnacle of Islamic architecture in Spain, the Alhambra, and of Gaudí’s stunning architectural masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona.

Art historians have established that the system of geometric proportion on which the architecture of the Alhambra is based is a series of ratios using a system of progressive diagonals: √2, √3,√5. Magda has followed through on this idea and used the same proportional system as a strategy for creating a series of work in which she explores the interaction of ratio, shadow and reflection.

The group of white-toned paintings in the exhibition was inspired by the experience of walking through the Sagrada Familia and being impressed by Gaudí’s orchestration of light and space, together with his use of geometry.

This exhibition is a conversation in three parts, each speaking to a question raised by another, each exploring aspects of the language of space. None of these paintings is an attempt to depict a specific place. Rather they are abstractions and syntheses of thoughts on space. They can be seen as a conceptual mapping of space and of movement through it, an abstraction rather than a literal depiction of the act of negotiating place.

5 March – 9 April

Level 1, 131 City Walk, Canberra City,
ACT, 2601