Ivan Posavec: Kravata Gallery, Jelsa Jun 26 — Jul 15 / Museum of Fine Arts, Split Jul 23 — Aug 11

Nina Ivančić: Kravata Gallery, Jelsa Jul 17 — Aug 9/ Museum of Fine Arts, Split Aug 13 — 30

Vasko Lipovac: Kravata Gallery, Jelsa Aug 11 — Sep 13 / Museum of Fine Arts, Split Jul 2— 21

This year’s Katamaran Art will be launched on Friday, June 26, 2020, with the opening of Ivan Posavec’s exhibition at the Kravata Gallery in Jelsa. For the third consecutive year, art is traveling on one of the busiest catamaran lines in the Adriatic, connecting Split and Jelsa. Since 2018, when Katamaran Art sailed for the first time, locals, tourists and goods have been joined by works of art and artists who are convinced that the summer heat, fiestas and siestas don’t affect people’s interest in such content. The same belief was shared by the initiators and organizers of the project – the Jelsa Municipal Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts Split – while tailoring a program with three exhibitions that are alternately set in Jelsa and Split during the summer months. Although the parity-based cooperation of the regional center and its umbrella art institution and the relation between a smaller island environment and its museum institution seem unusual, they are not accidental and they have a sort of genesis. All we had to do was follow Juraj Dobrović. Specifically, this prominent Croatian artist enriched the holdings of both institutions with his generous donations, giving his native Jelsa a family house on the ground floor, which will host the Kravata Gallery program. Katamaran Art and its design follow that link and that trail; it is a product of a healthy ambition to put the acquired cultural and spatial resources in the service of promoting contemporary art outside major art centers, as well as the obligation to support such ambition without metropolitan arrogance.

Katamaran Art is open to various media, poetic and thematic combinations. Thus, the project was inaugurated with exhibitions by artists from different generations: Vedran Perkov, Vitar Drinković and Igor Zdunić, and that variety was further underlined by media diversity: from classical painting through site-specific installation to interactive installation. The reference point of last year’s Katamaran Art was Juraj Dobrović, i.e. his artistic legacy, which art critics rightly verified as one of the most significant contributions to the geometric and constructivist current of Croatian abstract art of the second half of the 20th century. Art veterans Mladen Galić, Eugen Feller and Damir Sokić have clearly shown that the language of abstraction can still shape fresh and innovative works.

The 2020 program is relating to the name of the project: namely, the first associations with Katamaran Art are certainly related to ships and travel. While the motif of the ship has become a trademark for Vasko Lipovac and Nina Ivančić, Ivan Posavec’s photography rarely shows ships, which is not surprising, considering that he takes photographs of the people and regions of Pannonian Croatia, which in his case is bordered by his native Dužice near Sisak and Zagreb. However, if we are looking for links between selected works of these three completely different artistic personalities, following the artists’ intentions, we must not focus on the motif, but instead on the artistic, i.e. artistic-conceptual aspect of the work. Just as a catamaran is in the service of art, so a motif is subordinated to artistic gesture and thought. With Lipovac, this means that “the essential content is found within the tense balance of concise and stylized monochrome forms that dominate the frame or (on the other hand) the liberated movement that enjoys its autonomous transparency, reducing descriptive obligations to the necessary minimum”. Unlike Vasko, Nina seems to want to deprive her manuscript of any expression that could obscure her intention to “objectively” depict the ship. However, regardless of the technical precision and number of details as well as the fact that these are specific models of ships, these are not realistic representations. Reaching for the “hyperrealistic” style of project bureaus, which bring the observer’s attention even to that which is inaccessible to the eye, Nina shows that the work of art does not necessarily show reality. Even when it comes to mimetic illusionism or the depiction of a subjective experience of objective reality, it is always about constructs, formulas and adopted habits. The unique experience of sailing at sea brings us a series of photographs by Ivan Posavec. In order to convey this experience to us as directly as possible, the intelligent photographic eye turned its attention to the wind-driven hair of the passenger and we can recognize the sea landscape in the background. Everything else would be too much, including the destination of the trip, the infamous Goli Otok, as well as the ship (in this case a dinghy) which remain outside the mental and photographic frame of the artist.

In the end, it is not unimportant to say that all exhibited works, from recent drawings by Nina Ivančić, through recent photographs by Ivan Posavec to works in ink and tempera by Vasko Lipovac, will have their exhibition premiere at Katamaran Art.

– Božo Majstorović, Marija Plenković – Project Leaders

Nina Ivančić was born in Zagreb in 1953. She graduated in painting in the class of prof. Šime Perić at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 1977. She participated in the Master Workshop with Ljubo Ivančić in Zagreb from 1977 to 1979. She had Fulbright’s scholarship in Postgraduate Painting (MFA Program in Painting) at Columbia University in New York from 1986 to 1987. As part of the Fulbright program, she worked in the library of the Guggenheim Museum in New York (Research and practical training from 1987 to 1991). She lived and worked in New York from 1986 to 1993. Since 1977, she has been intensively exhibiting at numerous solo and group exhibitions in Croatia and abroad. Her work has been accompanied by several awards, a large number of bibliographic items, several TV films, and her works have been represented in private and public collections in Croatia and abroad.

Vasko Lipovac was born on June 14, 1931 in Kotor. He graduated from the Academy of Applied Arts in Zagreb in 1955. From 1955 to 1959, he participated in the Master Workshop with Krsto Hegedušić. He has exhibited in about a hundred solo and over two hundred group exhibitions in Croatia and abroad. He is the author of public sculptures: the monument to Dražen Petrović in the park of the Olympic Museum in Lausanne (1995), the monument to Marko Marulić in Vukovar (2006) and in the Sculpture Park in Santiago de Chile (2007), the Red Flower in front of the Faculty of Economics, Business and Tourism in Split. He also made the bronze doors for the church of St. Mary in Kotor (1989). He artistically furnished the interiors of numerous hotels (“Argentina” and “Babin kuk” in Dubrovnik, “Berulia” in Brela and “Marco Polo” in Korčula, “Marjan” in Split) and public buildings (Center for Culture, Maritime Museum in Kotor). He also created book illustrations, scenography and costume design. He has received a number of awards and recognitions for his work. Vasko Lipovac died in 2006 in Split, where he lived and worked since 1967.

Ivan Posavec was born in 1951 in Dužica near Sisak. In 1969, he enrolled at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Zagreb. He stopped his studies in 1974 as a graduate student to dedicate himself to photography. He graduated from the The Academy of Dramatic Art, Zagreb in 1980 with a degree in filmmaking, in the class of prof. Nikola Tanhofer. The following year, he became a master of photography. He received his MA in photography in 1984 from prof. Dragoljub Kažić at the Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade. He has been working in newspaper photography for almost four decades. He won the “Tošo Dabac” award in 1992, the City of Zagreb Award in 2003 and about fifty other photographic awards. In 1979, together with Mio Vesović, he founded the group Meko okidanje (Soft Shooting). He is a member of the Fotoklub Zagreb and the Croatian Association of Artists of Applied Arts (ULUPUH).