The Importance of Being

16 Dec 2023 - 10 Mar 2024

by Ernest Zacharevic

The Importance of Being is Ernest Zacharevic’s solo show at Blank Canvas. The title of the show is typical of the artist’s sense of humour – self-referential, irreverent and multi-layered. More than just a witty reference to Oscar Wilde’s satire, The Importance of Being Earnest, however, the title also implies the existential questions raised in this show.

In this show, instead of producing what is conventionally called “art”, the artist explores the nature of art by presenting an assemblage of works which expands our notions of what is art and what does art mean to each of the artist and to the audience.

These works reflect Joseph Kosuth’s assertion in his seminal 1969 essay, Art After Philosophy, that “Works of art are analytic propositions. … A work of art is a tautology in that it is a presentation of the artist’s intention, that is, he is saying that a particular work of art is art, which means, is a definition of art.” The works play around with various tropes of conceptual art, including found objects, ‘readymades’ (as coined by Marcel Duchamp), and appropriation. 

Yet, the works in The Importance of Being extend beyond their original inspirations, such as Joseph Kosuth’s 1965 work One and Three Chairs and Duchamp’s 1913 work Bicycle Wheel. These works  are more than just intellectual exercises in art history. They manifest the artist’s attempts to articulate through objects his own thinking around and about art, such as what is art, what art means to him, and what his art could mean to others.

At once conceptual but also profoundly personal, these works in The Importance of Being are, literally and metaphorically moving. Why then, are these works ‘art’? In Kosuth’s estimation, these works are ‘art’ because they question the nature of art. And in the parlance of conceptual artists such as Donald Judd and Duchamp, it is also because the artist presenting these works says they are ‘art’.

About the artist

Ernest Zacharevic

Ernest “ZACH” Zacharevic is a Lithuanian-born artist combining fine art techniques with a passion for creating art outdoors. Experimentation lies at the heart of Ernest’s style, with the only constant being the dedication to his ever-changing concepts. With ideas leading the way, he removes the restriction of artistic boundaries, moving freely between the disciplines of oil painting, stencil and spray, installation and sculpture; producing dynamic compositions both inside and outside of the gallery space.

Ernests primary interest is in the relationship between art and the urban landscape, with concepts often evolving as part of a spontaneous response to the immediate environment, the community and culture.