(…) Tadić is interested in the reality that surrounds him, but his distinct astuteness and ability to convey, through the selection of motifs and conception of the composition in the segment of quotidian life, a much deeper view of reality than what directly meets the eye, which makes him an excellent chronicler of everyday situations. (…) Branko Franceschi, excerpt from the text in the exhibition catalogue.
The title of Tadić's Zagreb exhibition, opening at the Račić Gallery on 10 January, is a paraphrase of Melvin Van Peebles’ song The Apple Streching, which describes metropolitan life in New York, immortalised by Grace Jones on the Living My Life LP record in 1982.
Branko Franceschi, director of the National Museum of Modern Art and author of the display concept, chose 18 works for the exhibition of this respectable Croatian painter, comic book author and muralist, who has been living and working in New York since 2018. These are works on paper, oils on canvas, oils on wood and paintings on glass, in which Stipan Tadić records, as if in his own diary, the transformation of the lifestyle habits of New Yorkers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a different atmosphere that the great city exuded at the time.
Depictions of life and portraits of members of Tadić’s generation are the most striking part of the artist’s New York oeuvre, Branko Franceschi points out, therefore, in addition to the scenes of empty city streets and squares, subway stations, giant residential buildings plunged into the gloomy atmosphere of civilisational standstill, he has also included a portrait of his friend Rene and several of the artist’s self-portraits (Self-Portrait with New Jersey, Self-Portrait in Chinatown, Self-Portrait with Street Food, Walking Through Mott Street).
Stipan Tadić’s exhibition at the Josip Račić Gallery will remain on view until 5 February 2023.
Image : From the exhibition set-up. Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb 2023