Dean Jokanović Toumin
New Painting XIX, 1977
oil pastels on canvas
120 x 120 cm
Dean Jokanović Toumin (1946) is an astute nomadic painter, at home both in Zagreb and Milan – who expands the concepts of painting by meticulously planning projects in which he insists on the experience between the execution and perception of the work (paraphrase, B. Perica). He came of age during High Modernism in the 1970s, at the intersection of analytical art and pure plasticity of the medium with the characteristics of a kind of primary geometry. It was a time of cultural turmoil, determined by the echoes of EXAT-51, New Tendencies and the 1968 student protests, which had a formative influence on Toumin. In Postmodernism, in addition to the move towards the passion of painting and the sensibility of painting on the edge of associativity in the 1980s (Infinitely (with love), 1987), he was preoccupied, and continues to be to this day, with ambient and painting installations, as well as the relationships between imagery and spatiality (Line as a Dimension of Space, 2006). He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb (Lj. Ivančić, R. Goldoni) in 1970, and he was encouraged to learn the art of looking by prof. Đ. Tiljak who pointed to both Poussin and the Russian avant-garde. He took his first international steps in Milan in the 1970s.
New Painting XIX, 1977, from an eponymous series on an achromatic black surface, emits a minimalist primary geometry made from the canvas format and the pastel-coloured vertical, horizontal and diagonal integrated in a mental, psychological and refined aesthetic visual complex. Jokanović’s visualisations simply look good. He staged and participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions at home and abroad (Zagreb, Milan, New York, Cardiff, Ljubljana, Barcelona…), and he realised art projects under the auspices of the Saõ Paolo Biennial, Juan Mirô Foundation, the Venice Biennale (project and exhibition A Casa/At Home, 1993) and elsewhere. He has received multiple awards for his work. He is a professor at the Arts Academy in Split.
Text: Željko Marciuš, musum consultant of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Photo: from the National Museum of Modern Art's archives © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb