The foreword from the exhibition catalogue Zabok City Gallery
The oeuvre of Peruško Bogdanić is one of the most intriguing sculptural segments in contemporary Croatian sculpture. Along the lines of the return to sculpture, but at the same time combining constructivist, analytical and geometrical principles of the reduction of the phenomenal world in a complex manner, Peruško Bogdanić stands out for the refined metaphors of his forms, but has also managed to move morphologically and conceptually away from the
demanding proximity to Slavomir Drinković, Ljubo De Karina or Kuzma Kovačić. What is more, irrespective of the choice of materials, Peruško has continuously created forms that are, in fact, closer to the Arte Povera concept, but he has nevertheless preserved the lyrical dimension of sculpture. Simple but in no way archaic, his wood sculptures have remained close to nature and the organic, as if the sculptor had just slightly adjusted and reworked them, the rustic note never passing into coarseness. Inheriting the idea that a good sculpture has to retain in itself the captive energy and strength of Nature, in his search for equilibrium between the selected piece of material and the subsequent sculptural intervention, the artist wishes to reduce the craft or technical aspect to a minimum – to subtract from or add to the form just a little, so as not to distance it too far from the natural.
I have already observed once that Peruško’s sculptures can be, and mean, a great many things, irrespective of the title of the work, which nevertheless allows the observer to inscribe into the form his or her own associations and metaphors. They can thus be totems, signposts in nature, petrified or lignified mythological beings from primordial time or, in an abstract version, can indicate the forces of life: from the pulsing, bowing, contracting, withering or decaying of the “tree of life” as emanations of life energy, but also of allegorical meanings of the motif of hand. It is precisely in drawings that the artist exhibits asceticism and tenderness to the fact of the passage of time, an allegory of the rise and fall of human strength, the awareness of transience.
Protecting himself against overburdening his own sculptural path with any kind of pretentious intellectual and theoretical levels, it seems to me that the artist, in his many of works, has perhaps even unconsciously carved and inscribed a memento mori – for wood is a material that, after all, has an expiration date. This leads us to one more dimension of Peruško’s oeuvre: the meditative and contemplative, which in the case of this artist also completely authentically
springs from the awareness of the character of the material in which he works, whereby there is often no drive for a phenomenal finalisation of forms. In their essence, Peruško’s sculptures are a-temporal, bearing no stamp of trend, style or sign of the time, which takes us once again to the cyclical renewal of forces and the superiority of Nature over all things human and material. For the pulsating energy that is inherent in his works supports just such a proposition.