Location: Museum of Fine Arts Split (Ulica kralja Tomislava 15, 21000 Split)



Duration: December 20, 2022 – February 5, 2023

Exhibition curator: Božo Majstorović


On December 20, 2022, a retrospective exhibition of Nina Ivančić, a prominent Croatian artist and long-time professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Split, will open at the Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibition includes works from the mid-1970s to the recent series of collages in a geometric style. This is beyond doubt one of the most significant opuses in Croatian contemporary art, which, despite all changes in styles and motifs, and the diversity of poetics and media, displays a consistent artistic idea. Every stage of the artist’s creative process is carefully thought out, which results in visually attractive works of undeniable artistic value, in which exceptional craftsmanship is always consistent with the concept and adjusted to it, and is manifested equally in her colourful and gesturally sumptuous paintings from the first half of the 1980s and in her later artworks, dominated by aristocratic reticence in expression.


Created in the transition period from modernism to postmodernism and the later neo-modernist turn of the second modern, Nina’s art went through different phases, always “a step ahead of the critics and the prevailing norms.” She matured artistically in the mid-70s, at the time of the emergence of new media and materials, when new forms of artistic action and expression were established, such as performances, happenings, spatial interventions, and artistic actions, and when the process of dematerialization of the art object was brought to completion with conceptual art. The increasingly present innovative routine and self-assertive activism of the New Art Practice were not inspiring to Nina. The decision to build her artistic position within the traditional medium of painting must have seemed retrograde at that moment, especially since she was not interested in painting as a mere consequence of the working process, something that the current primary painting was insisting upon. Time would soon show just the opposite. It turned out that Nina, in fact, heralded the prevalent strategies of the decade to come. Therefore, it is not surprising that she welcomed the 1980s and the noisy return of painting to the art scene after a lean iconoclastic period. She turned into one of the leading personalities of the New Painting, unreservedly indulging in the vices and pleasures of the painting act, in pictorial opulence, broad and free gesture, in unfettered adoption of different manners and motifs. With a cultivated expressionist gesture, she created scenes of organic exuberance on the borderline between real and unreal. She built her scenes with allusions, fragments of symbols and allegories, which suggested rather than constituted an interconnected iconographic whole.


More information is available at https://www.galum.hr/en/exhibitions/exibition/1760/.