Back in the 1980s, Slobodan Knežević wrote: "It has become clear to me that my  preference for analysis and elimination, as I see fit, of all inessential elements from the visual plan of the motif is in fact my creative process, my artistic preference and a vital characteristic. I feel that what I have to say as an artist can be expressed in the relationships between the surface and the rhythm of the lines, which remain the basis for the visual existence of the object, following wholesale elimination. I saw that I constantly tended to discover in an object that I take to be a unique visual and functional entity, what might be the motive behind my thinking when setting about the visual representation of that object." Clearly, the young artist, then at the outset of his creative adventure, came very early on to a full awareness of his creative processes, going about the reduction of his art consistently and with determination.  The earliest drawings from his student and early post-academic career show a wide range of interests, from elegiac interpretation of memories of home and his birthplace, a few works showing a Baconesque concept of figuration, all the way to the melancholy scenes of student rooms, dominated by lines that sprawl freely and independently across the paper without attempting to incorporate themselves in any precise way into a meagre setting of a scene.  All these drawings, however reduced and brought down to their essential content and visual structure, show a profoundly experienced autobiographical record, and are therefore the true visual sublimation of all that happened in the artist’s life up to the beginning of his creative activity. A small series of coloured felt pen drawings dating from 1976 represents the peak of Knežević’s early-acquired minimalism. Pure abstraction and a geometric, non-referential linearity dominate the drawings. Therefore, from the safety of hindsight, they may be considered a very special occurrence in the atmosphere of Serbian art of the time, as they are conceptually closer to the universal postulates of the "new tendencies" (Knifer, Srnec, Šutej, Picelj and others), than to the geometrical logic of the gradual reductionist process of the Belgrade "Decembar Group" (Ćelić, Protić, Tomašević and others). Although at this time of prelude the young Knežević’s reaction was simply intuitive, it rapidly became the  launching-pad for his further authentic visual art and graphic work.

Slobodan Knezevic has been creating hand-crafted cardboards (kARTon) for almost three decades now. This graphic artist started it in the early 1980s when he discovered an authentic way to express his unique personal and artistic sensibility. His works of art corresponded in a completely natural way to the changes on the post-modernist art scene from that period: the status and dignity of an individual work of art was being revived after a decade long domination of conceptualism and non-material art (idea = form). Those early kARTon works by Slobodan Knezevic were structured as multilayers of the stiffened and prudently painted paper molasses. During his working process, Knezevic controlled random occurrences in order to create his consistent, yet vibrant expressive compositions - plastic entities of his cardboards bore a resemblance to synthetic creations with an exciting surface faktura or to distinctive reified and "sensitised" cardboard creations of irregular shapes and unusual formats. In some of his latter works, Knezevic's kARTon works were created as individual formal objects whose effect is extended to the third, spatial dimension ...

The opus of Slobodan Abi Knezevic has been in constant development for over four decades. From the very beginning his basic medium of expression has been the drawing - in it the artist is most comfortable and can continue his search for what he names visual representation of an object. In looking for the essence of the apparent, the draughtsman finds his thought in the line and leads it by the line - the most abstract and general element of a drawing, an image, a representation. Even in his earliest drawings, before and during his studies, the line in Abi's works gradually lost its descriptive character and became an instrument of analysis, deconstruction and re-composition of the form and meaning. The reality of a chair, the door, the little stove doors-the known, usual and accepted objects, is set in motion by the choice and rhythm of the line which, like a laser beam or a scalpel, cuts and removes the non-essential in defining of the essence.

Kartoni 1

From Gallery "Hand-crafted cardboards 1"

Novi crteži

From Gallery "New Drawings"