Stanka Kordic (b. 1962) makes oil paintings and drawings that feel highly personal even as they touch upon themes all of us recognize.
Most meditate on the interconnections between man and nature — or, more accurately, woman and nature: feminine forms in breezy sylvan settings are Kordic’s most frequent motif. She uses models she already knows, but believes
that a compelling portrait transcends likeness; it is not the subject, so much as the sensation, that registers most strongly in her images, which emit a natural energy, a maternal vitality, a rare melding of rhythm and stillness.
Born in Cleveland to Croatian parents, Kordic studied at the Cleveland Institute of Art and worked as an illustrator before devoting herself to fine art in 1988. Today, working in woodlands near her Cleveland Heights studio, she sees herself less as observer than as participant.
Kordic proceeds slowly to capture sensations vibrating all around, applying and removing layers of paint over weeks or months. Like a shoot unfurling from a seed, the process is gradual, the effect dynamic. For most viewers,
Kordic explains, “The figure is the trigger to the familiar. They follow the figure to the painting’s more ambiguous passages. Then, something changes — a subtle shift that is actually felt, not visible. An expansiveness occurs, and many possibilities of seeing and feeling become apparent.”
Romantic portraits by American artist Stanka Kordic
Kordic’s oeuvre defies easy categorization because it is simultaneously abstract and figurative, as much about nature as it is about people. The influence of bygone artists and movements is evident in her works, which are, nonetheless, completely contemporary in feel; it’s as if Waterhouse’s Ophelia has somehow floated into the
studio of Jackson Pollock. Such paradoxes give Kordic’s pictures their unique character, making them as subjective as her perception itself.
To observe them is to become suspended, for a moment, in her dreamy, compassionate vision. This is a vision of connections: of humanity to Arcadia, of past to present, of artist to viewer. Kordic is represented by Saks Galleries (Denver) and Scottsdale Fine Art.