Nikola Žigon was born on 13th July 1958 in Ljubljana, in an artistic family. He graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade, the Department of Painting, in 1991. During the first period of his career, he dealt with drawing, which he considers to be the most important fine arts discipline, and also with video art and art installations, which he presented within the framework of exhibitions held at the Students’ City, Belgrade, in 1992 and at the Salon of the Museum of Contemporary Art in 1995. During this period, he also presented his projects within the framework of the Malo Sterijino pozorje [Small Sterija Theatre] festival in 1993, the Festival of Short Film and the October Salon in 1994.
In the year 2000, he lived and worked in Paris, where he entirely dedicated himself to painting. In his two Paris exhibitions, and also in the exhibition held in Belgrade in 2001, following his return from Paris, Nikola Žigon proved himself to be an author who had found his fine arts expression. Lyrical states of the soul and artistic dilemmas were transformed into pictures – into a fine arts trace, which is nothing but a psychogram of sorts. Their basic tone is that of inner life.
It was owing to these exhibitions that, as of 2002, he became an exclusive member of the prestigious Prom Gallery in Munich.
His pictures have been bought by a number of German museums and are featured in numerous private collections throughout Europe and America.
At the exhibitions held in Munich in 2004 and 2009, in Portugal in 2005, in Belgrade in 2006 and 2007, Nikola Žigon presented his white pictures, which constitute the artist’s view of shifting the limits of endurance of the colour matter. It is emotions that determine everything, from the network of lines, the spatial movement of the plane to the interplay of variously coloured surfaces. The refined harmonisation of spaces and interspaces encourages the appearance of the fantastic as an obligatory attendant element of Žigon’s pictures.
In 2009, while simultaneously exhibiting pictures in Tivat, Petrovac and Sveti Stefan, Žigon staged an exhibition of drawings at the New Moment Gallery in Belgrade. This cycle of large-format drawings serves as a warning; it is an invisible magnetic field that the artist is drawing our attention to. What Žigon deals with are scenes unfolding in front of a picture, not solely in it.
This author also presented his work to the Belgrade public in December that year at the Gallery 212, exhibiting his latest pictures. As the art historian Milena Marjanović says: “Nikola’s art does not wish to deceive the world, for he does not wish to deceive himself either.”
There followed exhibitions in Belgrade, at the Progres Gallery, in Milan, Piran, Dubai… In his pictures from this period, Žigon, as the art historian Danijela Purešević points out, does not reduce or abstract the phenomenal world, but strives to shape abstract contents, to translate them into the language of the picture.
A new cycle of paintings, which the artist presents at this exhibition in the Cvijeta Zuzorić Pavilion, created over the past 3 years, brings warm colours, as well as a predominance of intuitiveness and impulsiveness. In canvases of informel structure, where whiteness and bright colours dominated, and where drawing represented an important element, the artist introduced intense, powerful colour spreads in the spirit of abstract expressionism.
Nikola Žigon lives and works in Belgrade.