The exhibition “In Praise of Painting” will open on Friday, June 9th at 8 pm at the Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik. It is a solo show by the Croatian artist Ljubo Ivančić curated by Zvonko Maković who made a selection of Ivančić’s famous self-portraits next to the easel.
The curator Maković writes in the catalogue dedicated to this thematic solo show: “It is easy to see in the painting of Ljubo Ivančić that certain motifs, or perhaps they should be called genres, inform the whole of his artists life. The most represented are nudes and self-portraits. Indeed, these two themes tend very often to come together, and we can find in the paintings depictions of the nude and the painter himself. If we go further on into explanations and attempt to locate the human figures shown, to determine the place of their being, we will discover that they are located in the painter;s studio. But we are more interested in what the painter is representing, and why, what he wants to tell us with such a selection of figures, what exactly they mean. Self-portraits are vert common in the painting of Ivančić. The self-portrait itself is a standard genre with a wide spread of meanings that in the most literal sense means that the artist in his work is showing his own likeness. Sometimes the figure of the artist is just one of the substances that make up the whole and give it a sense to which the fact that the author is shown in the work is not crucial for the meaning. In Ivančić’s bequest there are a hundred or so paintings and many more drawings based on a representation of his own figure. There are self-portraits in which the painted arranges his figure in the setting of the studio. In this space, two figures dominate: the figure of the painter and the easel that holds the canvas that he is just now painting or has already painted. What is uncommon in these works is that the painter is always turned towards the spectator, whom it is as if he had been expecting, who is not bathroom him in his work, but to whom he has turned the gaze. In size and position the easel acquires the same status in the painting as the figure of the painter, the self-portrait. And this means that it is clearly an important part of the whole composition.”
Ljubo Ivančić (Split, 1925.-Zagreb, 2003.) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 1949. In 1961 he was elected assistant professor and in 1969, associate professor, and in 1975 full professor of the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. In 1977 he was elected associate fellow of the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts and in 1991 he became a full fellow of Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. He won numerous awards, among them four lifetime achievement awards.
The exhibition “In Praise of Painting" will run until July 30th, 2017.