Object VIII, 2011
iron, medium-density fibreboard, varnish
93 x 195 x 8 cm
Croatian painter and printmaker Nikola Koydl (1939–2020) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, where he later also became a professor. The early phase of Koydl’s work is marked by the spirit of Lyrical Abstraction, only to have the image later transform into a relief and a sign. In his more recent abstract works, he used the expressiveness of plastic materials.
Koydl’s Object VIII from 2011, is a spatialised motif from his paintings that escapes easy interpretation. Koydl deliberately uses vague abstract language of illogical forms that emphasise the ‘plasticity’ of the neon age of consumerism and its unbearable absence of meaning. Its fluorescent forms evoke contemporary plastic consumer goods, scientific instruments (test tubes, beakers, tubules…), computer screens, TVs, tablets, flashes of the scintillating world of the Matrix. The artist’s fragments of postmodern kitsch produce discomfort in the observer, caused by the gap between the meaninglessness of the enigma on display and the innate desire for clarity.
Text: Ivana Rončević Elezović, 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