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A Study in Blue: Artist Shares Her Journey from Desolate Bosnia to a Life Lived In Color

Elmhurst Art Museum will hold a public reception May 18.

Bosnian-born artist Mirjana Ursulesku has been focusing on her "blue" collection, pieces that are starkly vivid and alive, and that assault the senses with a depth and clarity about many aspects of the natural world.

"Water, light, landscape and sky are one living, breathing organism laid out before us," she says. "I want to take the viewer's breath away with powerful line and the simple yet demanding use of the color blue."

Ursulesku's work will be on display at the Elmhurst Art Museum, 150 S. Cottage Hill Ave., beginning May 15 and running through June 22. A public reception will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 18, at the museum.

Her early work, from 1994 and 1995, reflects her experience in war-torn Bosnia and her memories of the streets, architecture and interior livings spaces during that time.

"In the turbulent movement of charcoal across the page, I convey the raw, emotional upheaval I lived through during my exile from Bosnia," she says.

The pieces are devoid of people, and there is a strong sense of isolation. Dark brooding seems to surround the buildings as they sit abandoned on empty streets.

Her work began to change after she relocated to the United States in 1996. She explored light and color through watercolor, and then ink, reminiscent of Asian art's simplicity of line. From 1998-2000, her work takes on an ephemeral quality in its depiction of nature. The use of color has softened further, and more light infuses the landscapes.

Elmhurst Art Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday. Admission is free on Friday, and at all times for members and children.

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