The Banks of Korana River, 1916
watercolour, pencil on paper
Đuro Tiljak (1895-1965) studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, in Moscow under Wassily Kandinsky whose classes he attended in 1919, and in Paris. Besides his work as a critic, editor, school teacher and professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, his exhibition-related activities are also important, particularly those related to the Spring Salon during the 1920s and the Earth Association of Artists. He was a member of the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts. Tiljak’s rounded painting oeuvre covers a whole array of styles, ranging from his early refined watercolours through the Magical Realism he embraced in the 1930s to the Poetic Realism featured in his landscapes and dramatic figurations of scenes of war, after all of which he returned to watercolours verging on Abstraction.
Featuring subtle shade nuances of greens, blues and browns, Tiljak’s early The Banks of Korana River watercolour from 1916 is a work of art whose atmosphere is almost lyrical bordering between Abstract and Figurative Art. The richness and the amount of thought Tiljak invested in grading the scene tonally manifest themselves in the inversely proportional ratio of blues and greens in the depiction of canopies along the river bank, i.e. their reflection in the water.
Text: Ivana Rončević Elezović, museum consultant 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