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Olga Bajusova at C. G. Jung Center

Olga Basujova's show closes next weekend.

Do You Love Me?

Born and educated in Slovakia, iconic in her home country, Olga Bajusova is an award-winning illustrator of more than children’s books as well as a noted printmaker who has exhibited in Italy, Portugal, Romania, Canada, Japan, and the United States. This month the C. G. Jung Center showcases her etchings in organic abstractions. Evocative of ancient wisdoms, Olga Bajusova’s art of creatures and landscapes speaks of an intimacy with the world of little folk, trolls, and faeries, in wisps of color, in seasons’ mute transitions, and in the prickly sensations prompted by wings, claws, and beaks. Her images of vessels, birds and enigmatic creatures in flight are reminiscent of Marc Chagall’s bold, emotional gestures and subtle detail. Much like the Italian artist Francisco Clemente, she is able through the restraint of color and quaint facility to evoke a world of quixotic beauty. Her choice of title, Do You Love Me?, might be described in terms of a propitiation, salvation, to be loved if only for a time; in the words of 18th-century ardent, Mille de Lespinasse, “I love you as one must love, in despair.”

Bajusova’s sense of the bittersweetness of the magical touches the viewer beyond childhood reverie in glimpses of narratives we think we know or can guess but long to believe. Her image repertoire is a realm of subtle and clandestine signs, depicting encoded human sensibilities. Strangely sentimental, but with an incredible naturalness, they charm without affectation.

Her illustrated books have won many awards including the Most Beautiful Book in Czechoslovakia in 1987 and the Most Beautiful Book of the Year in 1994. In 1997, Ms. Bajusova received the Mlade Leta publishing prize and was elected to the International Illustrator’s Association. Her works include an animated film titled The Christmas Wizard and numerous illustrated books: The Kingdom of Flowers, Don’t Forget the Fairies, The Golden Gate, An Alphabet for Little Barbara, Girl of the Sun, The Owl of the Mountain, and Five Fingers on the Hand, a book written for children with hearing and speech disabilities.

Bajusova and her husband, artist Jozef Bajus, reside in Buffalo. Her exhibition continues through October 30.

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