Waiting Room, 1964
oil on canvas
97 x 116.5 cm
Miljenko Stančić (1926 – 1977) was the pioneer and the most prominent painter of post-war Surrealism and Fantastic Art in Croatia that is based on tradition, precise tone modulation and the legacy of old masters (G. de La Tour, J. Vermeer from Delft, P. de Hoh), as well as the painter of Josip Račić’s pure perception. With his exceptional skill and by having synthesised the old and the new, Stančić created a unique style in the manner of the so-called museum, anachronistic painting. His oeuvre between the early 1950s and the late 1970s is composed of personal metamorphoses (vedute of Varaždin, fantastical transformations of human figures in poetic interiors, erotic contents) and subdued gammas illuminated by “animated lighting and an increasingly virtuoso and melancholic palette” (M. Krleža). He obtained a degree in painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 1949, and in graphic arts from T. Krizman’s advanced graphic arts school in 1951. He taught at the Academy of Fine Arts between 1960 and 1977. In the period from 1954 to 1957, Stančić realized the so-called third phase of his oeuvre, in which the subject matter of his drawings and paintings was mostly Varaždin. During this phase he painted A Street in Varaždin (1955). The painting “Waiting Room” (1964) depicts a surreal, uncouth, crumpled mass of alienated figures rendered in dark colours on a grey foundation inside an abstract ambience, which moves in static dynamism through the space of alienation defined by a non-descript backdrop. Stančić was a member of the Group of Five, and from the 1960s onwards he also participated at the exhibitions of the Belgian group of artists Fantasmagie.
Text: Željko Marciuš, Museum Advisor of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb 2022
Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb 2022