Matica Hrvatska Gallery, Zagreb

In the Time and Space Triptych, being the ambient work composed of fifteen angular canvases (divided into cycles of five) with inscribed different variations of the circle, Gloria Oreb is primarily occupied with the problem area of the architecture of the universe that is being faced with an incredible proportion of all its consisting points whether invisible or latent form.

Although the circle, as the flesh of an infinite space, is timeless, the author has included time in her concept, which is here only a backdrop that changes its colour. In the background made of little golden leaves, there are circles of the first part of the triptych - it is so-called the Aurum because the golden colour in the Early Christian art symbolized celestial, i.e. spiritual world. The circles painted in black acrylic (black stands for terrestrial) are mainly the variations of the elements coming from the medieval architecture (e.g. rosettes, quincunx, Byzantine ground plans in form of the Greek crosses). Let us mention that those variations of the circles can be read as (a sort of) pictograms, somewhat close to the expression of the early Christianity as well, although, in this case, they are completely intangible. They go places where the observer is at the core. He alone creates a story. The meanings are not imposed on him. We could say that in the Time and Space Triptych, what once in the early Middle Ages was celestial, it becomes a sign in this context, and the sign itself in her works has no exact meaning, but it can be read in many ways that is interchangeable in the next cycle of the triptych under title Illuminations.

Against the black background rest the thin, white lines of the circles. Those canvases represent a specific map of the universe. Some of them might be interpreted as presentation of the distance from the point of the Earth to the point of the Sun, the presentation of the planets' points... The point of view shifts even further, into the Space. In the seventh century, Patriarch German referred to the Church as ''the terrestrial heaven... in which God of the upper sky shows himself''. Indeed, as though we could find here the evidence that shows how the architecture of an early Christian basilica was patterned after the divine. The third component of the Triptych brings the background consisting of the golden leaves again. These canvases are actually a counterpart to the Aurum. This time the painter creates the same variations of the architectural elements from the Aurum imprinting identical signs of the angels onto the canvas. As in the previous two cycles, the stamp of her hand is invisible and it is closely related to the poetics of the colour-field painting, which is, again, due to its geometric component, close to architecture. Through her Time and Space Triptych the author attempts to create the ''(golden) ratio'' out of the chaotic, trivia-packed reality that we live in. By the ratio I mean the section on the one hand, and on the other, of course, the retrieval of the order in the present-day world. I perceive her conceptual work as the core of a large circle from which the details of architecture, painting and (visual) letter are evenly spread, joining all together in the spirit.

Neva Lukić

Posted in Kontura, no. 105 / December 2009