THE ROMANTIC IMAGE of the solitary painter, alone in a garret studio, strenuously working at a paint-spattered easel in the dead of night, certainly persists in many imaginations. That painter is charged, obsessed with the work – drunk on wine or turpentine, weary from extended periods of insomnia, living in relative filth. Despite the perceived stink of such a scene, it is an engaging thought that captures the creative vision of the uninitiated into studio practice in painting. From paintings by Amer Kobaslija at Arthur Roger Gallery, it appears that the imagined situation is not much different from standard, fanciful mental wanderings.
For Kobaslija, the studio is a unique and personal world built of interchangeable stuff: floors, walls, shelves, canvases, paint, paper, chairs, tables, brushes, easels, and lighting fixtures repeat themselves across the series, their positions made mysterious by the absent bodies of the artists working (and sometimes living) inside. The invisible movements and patterned routines of the artists order the placement of these unique assemblages, turning each picture into a leftover document of the “work” of the work of art.