Željko Lapuh, Light Gatherer,1991

Željko Lapuh
Light Gatherer,1991
oil on canvas
195 x 145 cm

Željko Lapuh is a postmodern painter who combines figurative (traditional) painting with elements of Surrealism (avant-garde) into his own stylistic symbiosis. The painting Light Gatherer depicts a solitary sculpturally defined figure devoid of individuality, with a face like a mask without human characteristics. His “gaze” is aimed at the observer whom he invites and ushers into his mystical world. The protagonists of Lapuh’s compositions dominate the undefined, imaginary landscape which they are situated in. In this painting, the surreal, metaphysical atmosphere is accentuated by a neutral black background and dark colour palette that create a habitat for the “mythological creature” from Lapuh’s bestiary. Monolithic geometric forms constructed beyond mathematical or natural laws form the stage set of the presented world. The only indication of character, or better yet, the identity of the portrayed protagonist is derived from the title of the painting, Light Gatherer. In his painting, Lapuh uses symbolic language to introduced the observer into the world beyond reality, in the vein of the Italian art movement Pittura Metafisica and its founder Giorgio de Chirico.
Željko Lapuh (1951) was born in Split. He finished primary and secondary school in Zagreb. He obtained a degree in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 1976 in the class of prof. Šime Perić. He was an associate in prof. Ljubo Ivančić’s and prof. Nikola Reiser’s Master’s Workshop. He received critical and broader public acclaim for his two cycles; Metamorphoses, 1989–92 and The Secret of Change, 1990–96 which have intrigued the art scene. He had solo exhibitions in Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Milan, New York and throughout his career he organized more than thirty solo and 150 group exhibitions.

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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