Zvonimir Lončarić, Woman in Blue Stockings, 1986

Zvonimir Lončarić
(1927 – 2004)
Woman in Blue Stockings, 1986
polyester, paint
195 x 70 x 140 cm
MG-4471

Sculptor, graphic artist, stage and set designer Zvonimir Lončarić graduated from the Academy of Applied Arts in Zagreb in 1956 (K. Angeli Radovani, E. Tomašević). In 1958 he started working for Zagreb Film production studio as a cartoonist and set designer, and he authored four animated films. He created a respectable graphic art oeuvre, also did ceramics and stage design, and produced series of imaginative children’s toys. He modelled figurative sculptures, most often in wood and polyester painted in vivid colours. By having synthesised the sculptural experiences of tradition and the language of contemporary art, he created a distinct oeuvre, in which elements of the fantastic and the surreal are imbued with a specific sense of humour. This is also reflected in his witty mobile statues set in public spaces.
Lončarić’s production of animated films is also reflected in his sculptural expression, which features unconventional, simple and elementary forms of accentuated volumes and colours. The inflated oversized erect figure of the semi-nude woman with outstretched arms, accentuated eroticism, long wavy black hair, in blue stocking and red shoes, belongs to the series of his colourful simplified and oversized puppet sculptures.

Text: Tatijana Gareljić, museum consultant of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb

Dragutin Trumbetaš, Around the Furnace & A Mother and a Daughter, 1986

     

Dragutin Trumbetaš
(1938.-2018.)
Around the Furnace & A Mother and a Daughter, 1986
ink on cardboard

The experience of working as a migrant worker in the Federal Republic of Germany decisively influenced the work of Dragutin Trumbetaš, a self-taught painter from Velika Gorica near Zagreb. He worked in publishing in Zagreb until 1966, and his knowledge of different printing techniques was of great help later in his career. He expressed himself mainly through drawing; he would group his drawings and publish them in thematic series. It is from one such thematic series – namely, Life Like a Snake – that we are presenting two drawings. Their central theme is the everyday life of people coming from the lowest social strata. Unlike the artists gathered around the Earth Association of Artists – who were in the interwar period equally devoted to the social problems of both the countryside and the city – Trumbetaš focused almost entirely on the phenomenon of the lumpenproletariat or the lowest stratum of the industrial working class. That this attracted his interest was contributed to mostly by his Gastarbeiter (migrant worker) experience in the Federal Republic of Germany. In other words, his stay in a country that was at the peak of its economic development in the 1970s. The hard life of millions of migrants to West Germany was a lasting source of fascination and inspiration for Trumbetaš.

What we immediately take notice of in his Around the Furnace and A Mother and a Daughter drawings from 1986 is – besides his linear style of drawing – Trumbetaš’s attention to detail. He not only depicted a heap of discarded items and rubbish under a bed or furnace, but also decided to present some of them exactly as they are in reality – to write out their brand name and to show their design so that viewers would not be confused about what these are. This, on the one hand, complexifies the composition and holds viewers’ attention and, on the other, it contextualises the scene historically and geographically. In doing so, Trumbetaš did not lose on the universality of that which is depicted. Despite all the signs that point to the scenes having a historical framework, these drawings do contain a certain universality and it is this universality that lends them a critical quality.

Text: Klaudio Štefančić, senior curator of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Translated by: Ana Janković
Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb

Željko Kipke, Metro – I am the master of the forties, but the eighties are mine, 1986

Željko Kipke
Metro – I am the master of the forties, but the eighties are mine, 1986
oil on canvas, 258 x 236 cm
MG-4428

Željko Kipke (1953) is one of the most intriguing postmodern artists in Croatia. He is a painter, filmmaker, theoretician and writer. He has produced enigmatic, significant and provocative works in these fields. He calls himself a painter of the new eon, claiming to be both a decorator and a typesetter, an architect and an anti-architect. Kipke’s painting does not spring from pure artistic motives. It is a painting with symbolic meaning beyond the presented (J. Denegri). He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 1976 (Lj. Ivančić). He worked as an associate in LJ. Ivančić’s and N. Reiser’s Master’s Workshop (1976 – 1981). His painting oeuvre ranges from primary and analytical painting to expressive image and postmodern surrealism with references to film, avant-garde, hermetic symbols, signs, rebuses and works by other artists. He publishes theoretical texts and critiques on visual arts and film, as well as on his own work (A Guide through the Subterraneous, 1992). He also writes prose (Beware of Imitations, 1993). He makes experimental films (Invisible Galleries, 2009; Boulevard 9 Lives, 2012). The painting Metro – I am the master of the forties, but the eighties are mine, 1986, belongs to the integral painting of the new eon that the artist created from the mid-1980s (Theatrum mundi, 1986) to the late 1990s. This entails an enigmatic, hermetic, possibly esoteric symbolism which, by paraphrasing M. Duchamp and K. Malevich, also evokes a parallel with the mysticism of A. Crowley anchored in the title of the work. The magic and power of the image evoke a kind of mysterious reference. He participated in the Artists’ Space exhibition in New York in 1989, and H. Szeemann’s exhibition Blood & Honey / Future’s in the Balkans in Klosterneuburg (Vienna) in 2003. His works are kept in numerous collections (MUMOK, Vienna; FRACK Collection, Toulouse; P. Stuyvesant Collection, Amsterdam). He represented Croatia at the Cairo Biennial in 1995 and the Venice Biennale in 1993, where he was also was the selector of the Croatian pavilion in 2007.

Text: Željko Marciuš, museum consultant of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Photo: From the photo-archive of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb

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