(1898 – 1979)
Tavern in Zagorje, 1932
oil on canvas
59.5 x 80 cm
In one of his major works titled Tavern in Zagorje (1932), Ivo Režek depicts the reality of life in his native region of Zagorje with a figurative representation of a woman in a tavern. The image of a woman dozing at the table stands out against the dark background with is white accents, while traces of the ambiance, clothes and accompanying objects refer to everyday life in Zagorje. An entire series of Režek’s intimist works from the 1930s, with their expressiveness and purity of conception, is ranked the among the best works of Croatian figurative painting between the two world wars.
In 1915, Režek moved to Zagreb from his native Varaždin, to attend the Advanced School of Art and Fine Crafts. His education was interrupted by military conscription in 1916. After the war, he moved to Prague where he enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts in 1918, and soon became one of the best students in the class of Vlaho Bukovac. After his first solo exhibition held in Varaždin in 1923, he moved to Paris in 1924 as an already formed painter, where he specialised in the technique of fresco painting under Lenoir at the Sorbonne. He returned to Zagreb in 1931. As an art editor of the Koprive magazine from 1934 to 1938, he often published his own caricatures critical of fascism and the current socio-political situation. From 1947 until his retirement, he taught at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. He often painted religious themes and church frescoes such as those in Trsat and Mihaljevci near Požega. Ivo Režek died in 1979 in Zagreb.
Text: Lorena Šimić, trainee curator of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb, 2023.
Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb, 2023.