Maya Kulenovic Artist - Represented by Galerie LeRoyer

Maya Kulenovic’s works have been exhibited internationally in over thirty solo exhibitions and many more group shows and art fairs. Kulenovic is currently represented by galleries in Canada, USA, Netherlands and Norway, and her work is collected worldwide. A book on Kulenovic’s paintings with introduction by Edward Lucie-Smith was published by d’jonge Hond 2008 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Kulenovic’s latest monograph, Fugue, including an essay by Mark Kingwell was published in Toronto, Canada in 2017. Kulenovic studied art at London University of the Arts (at Chelsea College of Art and Design) in London, England (Masters of Arts), Ontario College of Art and Design University (AOCAD Honours) in Toronto and Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul. While studying in London, Kulenovic was a resident of prestigious London Goodenough College. Born in SFR Yugoslavia and Canadian by nationality, Maya Kulenovic is based in Toronto.


Kulenovic’s paintings and sculptures often depict borderline states that encompass being and non-being, trance and wakefulness, stillness and action. All of the subjects – figures as well as places – are at once the protagonists and the settings of her ‘still narratives’. Marked by traces of past events or filled with anticipation of the imminent, they haunt and are haunted.

Even though many influences are visible in her work, from classical sculpture and painting to film, photography and architecture, Kulenovic’s work resist being assigned a genre or style. There is a relationship to realism and to history in her imagery, but it would be more accurate to think of her work in terms of speculative fiction, distorted memories, dreams or premonitions about the future.

Kulenovic’s paintings are created through many translucent layers, some of which define the subject and others whose primary role is to obscure or partially destroy the previous layer, the remnants of which can be still seen in subtle traces. In the subsequent layers she rebuilds the image upon the remains and echoes of what was there before. She uses solvents, rags, wire brush, sandpaper, eroding and rebuilding the surface with a certain degree of the unexpected, the uncontrolled.

Likewise, Kulenovic’s sculpting technique involves a similar approach to creation, destruction and reconstruction. The original sculpture is hand sculpted in clay or carved in plaster to a polished finish, then it is cast in concrete – material better known for it’s structural properties and brutal aesthetics then for fine art casting. The concrete Kulenovic uses is a refined version of what we normally consider industrial material, as it includes proprietary blend of fine pigments and grades of sand. The process of casting involves methodical, deliberate layering of the material, with attention to textures and colours. The cast sculpture is then re-worked, often eroded by water and various tools or broken, then re-imagined, rebuilt and refined. 

Kulenovic’s work is evocative rather than descriptive. The artist engages with a multitude of possible interpretations which exist simultaneously and in constant flux. This is another way of looking at ambiguity: not as something we have to overcome with certainty, but as a state in itself. Kulenovic’s paintings and sculptures resist closure, as they exist in a state of open-ended, perpetual possibility.