Were the two cycles significant (Eyes of Fear and A Pledge of Epetion) that appeared between Second Summer and Conflagrations? Perhaps. But beyond a doubt, our sense of an outburst of foreboding and feeling that governs the mechanism giving rise to the paintings in Conflagrations springs not from guesswork but from the paintings themselves. The wealth of the artist’s emotions is in harmony with a baroque flourish of shapes. The meaning and foerocity of his handwriting determine the appearance of things: symbols of emotions. As to the motif (the Mediterranean) the sudden shift is almost a paradox: the sea (mare…) became a nightmare.
Murtić’s anxiety has not escaped the supervision of his sensibility as an artist: he needs to impose oreder upon the welling of his feelings by gracing them with the trappings of art: the primeval chaos of elements grows into a powerful expressiveness; strong rhythm destroy every notion of a lassitude of spirit or an immobility of language at a moment when it seems that the torches, as Murtić’s fellow traveler Kaštelan records, have been snuffed but everything “chokes in blood and burns in flames”.
Painting motifs, recently, in which “water turns to fire” and embracing the affect that has found its fullest expression in a “wild expressionism”, Edo Murtić’s artwork remains similar only to itself, i.e. it has been constructed on its own inner system. The emotive impulse has not suppressed a need for physical painterly action that continues to hold the artist’s interest in the realm of the optimal free gesture. Its ferocity is equally authentic in the opaque darkness of Conflagrations, not only in its graphic thrust and veracity, but in the color which spreads around it a rich radiation of the essential pigment.