The Dubrovnik artist Izvor Pende discusses his painting “Dedicated to the Sunny Side of the Street,” which is part of the collection of the National Museum of Modern Art in Zagreb. It is currently featured in the exhibition “One World” at Providur’s Palace in Zadar.


“After the first exhibition “Swimming Together” in 2017 at the Museum of Fine Arts in Split, where I showcased my work alongside those of the German artist Daniel Richter, it was agreed that the exhibition would also be presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka. As this was a significant event for me, and an honour to exhibit with Daniel, and considering the success of the project in Split, I continued working. I painted “Dedicated to the Sunny Side of the Street” in 2018, and it is part of a series created specifically for that exhibition. It was a process in which I aimed to prove myself my producing artworks in large dimensions and formats, creating as much and as best as I could. Also, because the exhibition would be showcased in these two prominent museums, it was of great importance to me that the presentation be compelling. In essence, these two paintings are particularly dear to me, “Dedicated to the Sunny Side of the Street” and “The Sunny Side of the Street”. I am pleased that one of them is in the possession of the National Museum of Modern Art, as it will always be available for the public to view. I am especially proud that it has been selected for the temporary display of the NMMU collection, “One World,” at Providur’s Palace in Zadar.
In fact, the painting “Dedicated to the Sunny Side of the Street” signifies the beginning of something new in my work; it led to things starting to develop a bit further. I appreciate flat painting, but in this piece, a space emerged between the planes and the drawing. Significant depths emerged despite the fact that it is still an abstraction, a form of objective painting. In truth, we can’t quite label it as complete abstraction or objective painting. It is something in between, my own creation. One might say that these are objects that can be viewed as some sort of subject. Amidst these prominent planes that are always present, and thanks to the enormous format in which they simply have the space to breathe, these simple, small drawings added substantial depth. Typically, my enthusiasm for a work diminishes quickly, but I’m genuinely content with this painting, and I still love it. I painted it relatively swiftly, I believe within two weeks. There isn’t a lot of colour in it; it is painted quite transparently, unlike my works from the past three years where I use thick impasto layers with a spatula.
It is hard for me to talk about a single painting, as it never really is just one painting, but rather an entire series. And during the creation of “Dedicated to the Sunny Side of the Street,” in particular, my focus wasn’t solely on one painting but generally on the entire body of work.
My art is always really about the process. If we strip away all the concepts, the most important things happen within the process. I always work on numerous sketches and many paintings. Certain elements carry over into new works, to varying degrees of success, which I then attempt to arrange anew into a composition. Composition is truly the most vital aspect for me. As for inspiration itself, the work is my inspiration – the daily process through which development continues. Within the process, unpredictable and unexpected things occur that might pose challenges. While this might sound unfavourable, for the art itself, it’s actually quite beneficial.”

Image: Painting Dedicated to the sunny side of the street" from the holdings of the National Museum of Modern Art in the "One World" exhibition setup at the Providur’s Palace in Zadar / Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb, 2023.

Skip to content