Nikola TOPLEV: The Art of Contact

Nikola Toplev Nikola Toplev allows us experiences with a collective segment of his reality. Many works of the fine arts, either written words, or music are based upon a contact between people and the real World. We examine the effects of this reality, so to speak, and accordingly try to establish a connection. This is an active experience which challenges, confirms, exhilarates, is unsettling or calm, frightens or brings hope.

The paintings by Nikola Toplev could be interpretet as a specific attempt at allowing a contact to be made between effect and counteraction, leaving behind a lasting imression. His landscape paintings bear a reflexive interaction between space and nature. The contact beween Earth and the heavens accompany his works as a theme, and the attempt at maintaining a symbiosis with bright, colour compositions and structures, lightning and shadow effects, is appearently prevented through a horizontally straight line: the line of the horizon. The horizon (Greek meaning: character circle) in the artist’s paintings, represents a vision of unity, so to speak, meaning the harmony between humanity and nature, expressing an atmosphere of melancholy, and yet finishing with an optimistically formed undertone.

"It belongs to the essence of art, which brings reality to increased expression and reveals a secret sense of nature, to find, or to create this is a primeval need of humanity."
Hermann Hesse, ”Art and the Artist“

In his "tree paintings", the vertical is also added, generating a sense of energy, yet the formal impression of the tree´slope suddenly produces both movement and countermovement. This in turn, brings about contact under a "codirectionality" that finds its roots in the ground as a so called anchor point, in order to disappear into unseen heights.

Basically, nothing more than horizontal and vertical lines dominate in the paintings by Nikola Toplev (particularly large format canvas paintings and smaller works using carton). They form a construction that lends certain strength to the composition; a basis giving way to a "risk" colour. That’s because colour is important to the painter, Toplev. In his large format paintings, he experiments with colour consistency, and grading, diminishing the boldness with a kind of patina, in order to highlight surface structure of a paste-like colour consistence. His colours need to shine, impress and excite. The paintings are aroused from their static dormancy, and are brought to life. The verticals in the "tree" and stile life paintings can suddenly be combined, producing a surging motion across the surface of the painting. Tree trunks and vase necks seem to glance in both directions, and it appears as if the protagonists on Toplev’s stage speak to one another, staging their own play.

The paintings by Nikola Toplev make contact with us, and we are moved towards an inner vision. They adhere to something wonderful, melancholy, yet nevertheless can build a bridge towards a hopeful or even happy outlook.

Heidemarie Unterer