storyline author: Zvonko Maković
Excerpt from Zvonko Maković's essay about the exhibition:
The goal of the exhibition Tabula Rasa – The Primary and Analytical in Croatian Art is to actualize an extremely important segment of our artistic practices from the period when, during the second half of the 1970s a number of artists, some of them still students at the Academy of Arts, started to question the very nature of the painting, sculpture and media in general through a radical reduction of means. They rid the painting and sculpture of all other content and placed the bare matter in the centre. The faktura of their works reflects the elementary nature of media, but it also bears witness to the work process and reveals the physical act of creating a work of art, one which is free from all metaphysical additions.
During their last years at the Academy, and later in the Master Workshop of Ljubo Ivančić and Nikola Reiser (and the Master Workshop of Antun Augustinčić, in Drinković's case), Milivoj Bijelić, Boris Demur, Slavomir Drinković, Željko Kipke, Antun Maračić, Marijan Molnar, Goran Petercol, Dubravka Rakoci, Ante Rašić and Damir Sokić introduced this reductive and analytical practice into contemporary Croatian art in the purest possible way. At the same time, similar discoveries were to be made in another circle of authors, such as Dean Jokanović, Goran Trbuljak and Mladen Stilinović, whose formation was greatly influenced by the echoes of conceptual art. Certain works by artists belonging to the older generation, such as Marijan Jevšovar, Josip Vaništa and Ivan Kožarić are now understood in a new way, traces of autoreferentiality are perceived in their works. They reflect the same idea which is the central theme for artists belonging to a generation that began forming later, during the second half of the seventies. Galerija Nova was extremely important for the affirmation of all these artists, as it was the place where most of them held their first exhibitions, usually accompanied by catalogues.
The time frame of the exhibition is substantially widened to point out the existence of elements of autoreferentiality outside the phases of the full affirmation of this artistic practice. Once the painting and the sculpture have been fully affirmed as bare objects, further questionings shall become possible, as well as a sort of play with these objects devoid of everything that doesn't belong to their physical dimension. Some of the exhibited works by Goran Trbuljak, Damir Sokić (Paternoster) and Ivan Kožarić bear witness to that exact state: after – death – paintings.
Milivoj Bijelić, Boris Demur, Slavomir Drinković, Marijan Jevšovar, Dean Jokanović Toumin, Željko Kipke, Ivan Kožarić, Antun Maračić , Marijan Molnar, Goran Petercol, Dubravka Rakoci, Ante Rašić, Damir Sokić, Mladen Stilinović, Goran Trbuljak, Josip Vaništa