Object 92-13-B, 1970
plastic and oil on wood
63 x 87 cm
Mladen Galić (1934) is a classic and one of the first representatives of Minimalism and Environmental Art in Croatia. He has been creating his own variants of Reductive and Geometric Abstraction. He has also been creating objects, collages, less abstract organic forms, sculptures and prints – that is, all aspects of graphic design – which influenced the Zagreb School of Graphic Arts. Although the mediums he has used since the Post-Art-Informel period are diverse and heterogeneous, Galić’s oeuvre as a whole has not been visually dispersed. On the contrary, his oeuvre is coherent and features an elegant harmony of forms and structures imbued with his highly form-specific expression which he has been developing continuously since the High Modernism of the 1960s. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb between 1956 and 1959, and then moved to Paris in the late 1960s. In 1965 he started reducing painterly gestures to plastic facts. The fiercely criticised “Hit Parade” exhibition (Student Centre Gallery, 1967), where Galić exhibited together with M. Šutej, A. Kuduz and Lj. Šibenik, marked the transition from paintings-objects to Environmental Art, and symbolically anticipated the subsequent urban ambience action and exhibition called Possibilities for 1971. After the objects he modelled in wood and plastic, in the 1970s he started creating neon light installations. Object 92-13-B from 1970 is one such polychrome object made of wood and plastic. It is both a painting and an object that grows into a real three-dimensional space with geometric fractal forces of bent geometry. The dual tactile pattern (white, blue) curves out into the spatial perspective. Parts of the object are counterpointed with the three-partite coloured surface (red, 2 X white, blue) and create, on the psychological-optical axis, an extremely dynamic, almost mobile plastic-visual assembly. In the late 1970s, with his Spatial Facts series, he went back to the geometric dual principle of achromatic black on achromatic white, like in his Spatial Fact XX painting from 1979. Mladen Galić has been exhibiting since 1961 at both solo and group exhibitions in Croatia and abroad. He received numerous awards for his work and in 2018, the National Museum of Modern Art staged a retrospective exhibition of his work (J. Denegri).
Text: Željko Marciuš, 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