My first two series are works with pastels on paper.
The first series was born during my last year of studying art in Sarajevo like the fastest way to catch the idea of form for latter printmaking. That is the series I worked on during my first Split-years (1992) and also the idea I was coming back to every now and then, between other paths I explored at the time. I named it 'mater magna' because of the obvious archetypes this figures represented, although with time they lost that symbolic meaning and eventually become just abstract body fragments, with my interest now more focused just on the correlation between shapes and colours.
2001 this evolved into the second series, which is my first New York art experience. That is the series I named 'vis vitalis' because of the fascinating strength these figures invest in the controlling emotive nature of their nervous energy. These are, again, stylized figures representing complex emotions, but some rather different than in the first series - no longer static, captured in circle form, but now vertical, with some movement involved and with more complex interest in colour.
This ends with the third series, where the same themes are made in different medium, like two-dimensional colored reliefs in cardboard and wood. Same forms here are made in few different layers, with flat coloured surfaces and printmaking-like structure contrasting the flat one.
This is the path I'm impatient to explore in the future.
These three series are de facto one in three different phases. After New Year 2002 I started the fourth and last series, which is one I'm working on at present. I named it 'joy' (of life) - 'joie de vivre' - because of stylized human forms now liberated of their symbolic meanings or complex psychological heritage. They now exist in space of colors - they attend to just be in it and be it at the same time. In the same technique and manner, all the here described series evolved in unrecognizable, abstract forms expanding in space.
Bodies of Emotions
We are talking about paintings of women nudes, better to say nameless torso's and body fragments made in the manner of figurative-abstract transactions.
"What plains attention in these works is sublimed in the fact that the drawing is cleaned of all unfunctional details, in a solution simplicity which attracts with the concise cleanness of bringing a historically well spread motive dawn to a personal, subjective sign.
Sonja Svete is, as this exhibition is witnessing, a cultivated and refined creator who has accepted and realized the values of the must - less is more."
Vinko Srhoj, Croatian Art Critic, 1992
"The stylish evolution which obviously flows through these here exhibited works presents an paintress as an artist thinking in an artistic continuity. This artistic idea has head and tail, logic and necessary unpredictability.
In her artistic view all is concentrated, focused around the nude women body, but not as a goal but as an obligatory, all present mean.
She has reduced the nude to a form which as needed, artistic need, is all the more estranged from recognition."
Andro Filipic, Croatian Art Critic, 1992.
2001: Opened Art & Hobby Shop In Split, Croatia
2000: Participated In Art Colony 'Maestral', Kastel Luksic, Croatia
1999: Moved To New York
1998: Participated In Art Colony 'Maestral', Split, Croatia
1996: Participated In Art Colony 'Slava Raskaj', Split, Croatia
1992: Opened Art & Book Shop In Split, Croatia
1992: Participated In Establishing Croatian Society Of Sarajevo's Students
1992: Become Member Of Croatian Art Society
1992: Moved Back To Split
1991: Graduated At Academy Of Fine Arts In Sarajevo, Bosnia And Herzegovina
1986: Studied Philosophy And Sociology At University In Sarajevo, Bosnia And
1986: Moved To Sarajevo, Bosnia And Herzegovina
1985: Studied Technical College In Split, Croatia
1984: Graduated Art High School In Split, Croatia
1965: Born In Split, Croatia
1992: Split, Croatia, Gallery 'Alfa'
1992: Split, Croatia, Croatian Arts Society - Art Guard, Gallery 'Protiron'
1992: Split, Croatia, Gallery 'Art'
1991: Sarajevo, Bosnia And Herzegovina, Academy Of Fine Arts, Graduate's Exhibition
1991: Sarajevo, Bosnia And Herzegovina, Experimental Gallery 'Zvono'
Selected And Group Exhibitions
2002: New York, USA, AQA Gallery And Art Center, Forest Hills, '20AQA02.2'
2000: Kastel Novi, Croatia, Museum Of Town Kastela, Humanitarian Exhibition Of 'Maestral' Summer Art Colony
1998: Split, Croatia, Multimedial Cultural Center, Humanitarian Exhibition Of 'Maestral' Winter Art Colony
1997: Split, Croatia, Croatian Art Society, 'Biennale Of Small Format'
1997: Split, Croatia, Croatian Art Society, 'Art Situation In Split'
1996: Solin, Croatia, Gallery 'Zvonimir', Humanitarian Exhibition
1995: Split, Croatia, Multimedial Cultural Center, Project 'Association In The Box'
1995: Split, Croatia, Naval Academy Gallery, Humanitarian Exhibition Of Art Colony 'SlavaRaskaj'
1994: Split, Croatia, Croatian Art Society, 'X Biennale Of Croatian Printmaking'
1994: Split, Croatia, Croatian Art Society, 'Biennale Of Small Format'
1993: Split, Croatia, Croatian Art Society, 'Artists From Split And Zadar'
1993: Split, Croatia, Multimedia Cultural Center, Humanitarian Exhibition 'For Invalids Of War'
1993: Split, Croatia, Croatian Art Society, 'Biennale Of Small Format'
1993: Split, Croatia, Multimedia Cultural Center, Humanitarian Exhibition 'Friends Of Art School'
1992: Split, Croatia, Croatian Art Society, 'Art Situation In Split'
1992: Sarajevo, Bosnia And Herzegovina, Experimental Gallery, Performance 'Split'
1991: Sarajevo, Bosnia And Herzegovina, Experimental Gallery, Project 'Phantom Of Freedom'
1991: Sarajevo, Bosnia And Herzegovina, Experimental Gallery, 'About One Bosnian Horse'
1990: Split, Croatia, Croatian Art Society, 'VIII Biennale Of Croatian Printmaking'