Biography

Anastas Dudan

Born 1958 in Ohrid, Macedonia.
Education: mechanical engineer.
Has worked for ten years in the area of non ferrous metal technology.
With copper, silver, gold, brass work from 1986.
He is a member of the Association of the Applied Arts Artist of Macedonia.

Has received two awards:

1996, for a souvenir of the town of Ohrid, in the silver plated copper technique.
1998, Cultural Information Centre, Skopje, for his work in copper.

Group exhibition:

1998, Cultural Information Centre, Skopje.
2002, Bukurest - Romania.

Solo exhibitions:

1998, Ohrid, Church of St Nicholas of the Hospital.
1998, Skopje, Cultural Information Centre.
1999, Ohrid, Church of St Nicholas of the Hospital.
1999, Skopje, Cultural Information Centre.
August 2000, Ohrid.
2001, Strumica.
2002, Beograd, Zrenjanin, Leskovac.

The "Metal Obsession" of Anastas Dudan
The craft of producing works of art on metal is more than 2,600 years old in the Ohrid region. As early as the sixth century BC, the people of the Trebenista cultural area produced, with great inventiveness, brilliant artifacts that still excite art lovers. With his works in metal, Anastas Dudan from Ohrid revives the historical art object as reminiscence, aiming to achieve the artistic values of the old masters.

He is not the sole artist in Ohrid who expresses himself in metal, but he is the only one who has achieved excellent results "reviving" the exceptional values of the Macedonian mediaeval icon and fresco painting environment, capturing the essence of those works through the beating and hammering of metal surfaces. Dudan has achieved enviable results using his technological knowledge and expertise in decorations adorning the mediaeval icons of the famous Ohrid Collection. He has also managed to recreate the illuminating artistic value of old Macedonian manuscripts with a rare creative devotion originating in the depths of his soul.

With the same enthusiasm that presupposes not only a creative impetus but also a particularly refined feeling for molding, plasticity, meticulous graphic qualities and an incredible sense of compositional arrangement of the essence of the work, Dudan has produced metal jewelry for different secular and sacral purposes. Decorative metal covers designed for the Gospel and other old manuscripts are among his favorites where he can express himself most creatively. Unintrusively, humbly and with great perseverance and tenacity, this Ohrid artist now enters the third millennium, carrying, together with his inspiration and creativity, the knowledge and skill, the traditional subjects and obsessions of the ancient masters not only from the Ohrid artistic circle but also of all other authors of similar works in Macedonia.

Pasko Kuzman

In Ohrid – spiritual center of St.Clement and the national cultural focus, in the last decade of the second and in beginning of the third millennium, upraise Anastas Dudan, highly ranking artist of small metal replicas who’s the most beautiful works are applied traditional artistic and silversmith processing of metal.

Creating small masterpieces, with modern interpretations, he often fulfills his determinations to reveal the metal art technology in the period between 10 and 15 c. in Ohrid Archbishopric and is spiritual successor of the generations of carvers, silversmiths, painters and book – illuminators.

He makes in technique of beating and hammering metal, silver – plated and gold plated applications for churches with religious themes: figural compositions, aureoles, the wealth, that has been cherished with centuries in the Macedonian spiritual treasury, books in old Slavic and their covers, the illuminations of the manuscripts, metal parts of the icons, antique mosaics, medieval carvings, stone decorations and folk embroideries, which is creative challenge for Anastas Dudan to give them modern and applied forms.

Gorgevska Violeta – Lela Koku, Art historian

Anastas Dudan is the only representative of fine art in the Republic of Macedonia who has been involved for several years in metal processing based on the mediaeval cultural and artistic treasury of Ohrid. In the new wave of interpretation of fresco painting, icon painting and the art, of building done by the old Macedonian artists linked with the restoration of the old Christian monuments, only the artistic processing of metal was not represented. Today, in the personality of the mechanical engineer Anastas Dudan an activity has been renewed the continuity of which in the religious sense, we believed has been forgotten by new icon and fresco painters and woodcarvers with whom the Ohrid Region has re-emerged as a guardian of our heritage from the St. Clement spiritual center in the twentieth century too.

What is surprising is the fact that the interest of Anastas Dudan for the medieval icons plated in silver, for the metal objects for liturgical use, for the cover protection of parchment paper has not been developed in schools of arts but it is an expression of his highly profound feeling and interest for the Ohrid treasury of metals. In spite of all this, Anastas Dudan has excellent knowledge of the metal technique and uses this knowledge and skills on medieval models and topics. One can find these models in their original form only in Ohrid, his birthplace. Evidently, he must have gone through a stage of contemplation and daily practice in order to discover all the fine points of the old artists-creators whom he did not know personally and to benefit directly from their experience. Several centuries elapsed from the time when the Ohrid fringes appeared on the well known icons. It is Anastas Dudan and his work that made possible the renaissance, the revival of these metal fringes. We all know that before the fifteenth century there were local, town fringe shops that made objects for the religious service, for the protection of cover pages for the parchments, that they fringed coins for the state dignitaries and that they decorated icons. Anastas Dudan discovered their forgotten way of workmanship and achieved high artistic skill in their reproduction. He got control of the iconography of the festivity compositions from the Old and New Testament and has a wide repertoire and choice of saint’s figures in metal technique according to the memory of the Byzantine art. The figures of the Slav and Macedonian educators St. Clement and St. Naum and their teachers St. Cyril and Methodius play an important part of his repertoire. Today, Anastas Dudan, with this type of cultural creation, presents himself before the Macedonian public and before all those who fully respect our cultural heritage. Therefore, we recommend his work and his exhibits with a desire that they find their place in our contemporary environment that has traditional marks.

I belive that in the years to come the extensive knowledge gained about the metal and the study of the old works will make possible for Anastas Dudan to create his own original compositions and use his technological inventiveness in the applied art, because he has the patience and curiosity for discovering new ways in this field of applied art production.

I also believe that our admirers of art and cultural heritage will be surprised and thrilled from the pieces of art created by Anastas Dudan from Ohrid. He is the first messenger of the renewal of this topic that remained unknown among the artists of ornaments. A calm person, unpretentious admirer of old Macedonian skills, Anastas Dudan reveals the art and technology of the old Ohrid Archbishopry fringe shops starting from the tenth until the fifteenth century. It is because of this that we all send his greetings and best wishes for new encounter with his works hoping that they will be exhibited in Ohrid, in Skopje but also outside the Republic of Macedonia, on their way towards the dissemination of the cultural heritage of the old Macedonian culture and its modern interpretation.

Academician Prof. Dr. Cvetan Grozdanov