The exhibition Ivica Malčić: Zoran Pavelić – Concept of Image: Image of Concept was opened this evening at the National Museum of Modern Art. In the presence of numerous guests, Branko Franceschi, NMMA director and Željko Marciuš, museum consultant and head of the Collection of Painting after 1945, who have jointly conceived and set-up the exhibition, made introductory remarks. Following director Franceschi’s opening remarks, Željko Marciuš talked about the postmodern condition of today’s world in general and of art, in correlation with the visual and textual form of the two artists. The envoy of the Mayor of Zagreb, Mirna Rudan Lisak, PhD, expert associate for museum activities at the City Office for Culture, International Relations and Civil Society, who officially opened the exhibition, emphasised in her speech: This evening’s exhibition delights with a dialogue that takes us in many directions. In fact, it is as if this evening we are celebrating dualism through art, because with this exhibition, the two curators have brought together the two artists so that their works could communicate with each other. Thus, in the best possible way, new relationships and connections are established through art, and it is not surprising that even the exhibition title is a mirror image, inviting us to move from the concept of image towards the image of concept, so that, as an audience, we can establish a final dialogue with the exhibition as a whole. In addition to the displayed artworks, the audience has this evening had the opportunity to observe Zoran Pavelić’s performance “Looking for a Mental Construction for My New Body”.

Starting from the conceptually opposite initial positions – Ivica Malčić from the position of traditional visual art and Zoran Pavelić from post-conceptual art – they meet in the middle with their unorthodox approach to the painting discipline. They both use text and references to key cultural figures and phenomena, thus sublimating the most important dilemmas, issues and ideas that have determined the construct of visual culture at the turn of the millennium, with an emphasis on local themes and contents. Therefore, their parallel presentation at the NMMA provides the audience with a view of fundamental cultural issues: what is art, especially painting, and what should it be today, what is the artist’s position and what is their view of the curator-institution-audience construct that they depend on.

The exhibition remains on display at the National Museum of Modern Art until 28 August 2022, and is accompanied by a bilingual catalogue in Croatian and English with essays by art historians Branko Franceschi and Željko Marciuš. The catalogue is designed by Ana Zubić.

Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Foto: Goran Vranić © Nacionalni muzej moderne umjetnosti, Zagreb, 2022.


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