Mile Saula

Installation Views

Ethan Cohen Gallery is pleased to present Mile Saula's first solo exhibition in the United States. Born in Belgrade, Serbia in 1970, Saula Mile is a painter with a unique vision and a heightened sensibility for lyricism. Mile expresses his investigation into the unconscious mind through the highly layered abstraction that he gradually builds in his deployment of contours, figures, and mystical phenomena beyond the visible world.


Should we believe the dreams into which these paintings draw us? Although Saula's work relates directly to the history of painting, combining abstract expressionism with various German influences, and is thereby intimately tied to the historical lineage of master artists, he remains uninhibited in the expression of his imagination through his medium: oil paint.


Saula says, "Painting is my inner need, my way of expressing one's life energy and vitality. Everything starts from the feeling of a certain monstrosity of the world of reality. My answers are in the expression of color, in the formation of relationships that I build during the creative act." By exploiting the possibilities of fantasy and enchantment, his painting becomes the expression of a total response to the need for mental oxygen and escape.


His practice is deeply connected to the new post-perceptual regime in relation to computational technologies. Even if his mental landscapes are influenced by psychoanalysis, and avant-garde art and literary movements, his work is deeply connected to the technologies of the present day. It could be said that in them, he tackles the question of representation on a different plane; and through them, he opens the space for a new understanding of our technologically mediated landscapes.


In the context of the transition from optic to entoptic media, and the radical democratization of AI-generated art, we are afforded a new perspective on Saula's work. His approach to art is similar to how neural nets generate new holograms or, shall we say, socio-somatic consensual hallucinations that go beyond the phenomenological experience of reality. His work is thus populated not so much with abstractions, but ingressions-rigorous investigations of our psychological interiority that yield new perspectives on our individual and common experience.


Because of this shift and the new emphasis on "that which can only be seen in the corner of one's eye, where paintings serve as the guides that allow the viewer to discover their own contemplative states, visions and mental vistas," we can truly appreciate Mile's artistic practice in this day and age of fully mediated, and therefore artificial, lives.


By sparking our memory, his paintings speak to our imagination, and leave the doors wide open to draw our attention to an unexplored potential for innovation.