Exhibition setup: Marija Stipišić Vuković, Stipan Tadić

One of the most prominent young artists among those who have succeeded in attaining their position on the Croatian art scene over the past several years, is undoubtedly Stipan Tadić, a painter of systematic and continuos creative endeavour to produce an authentic artistic output. To put it briefly, Tadić's art could be said to foster the contemporariness of traditional approach to painting. His visual artistic expression contains a special kind of experimental virtuosity that is emphasized in all his works. In accordance with this, he reaches for the postmodern resources and methods – irony, paraphrase, pastiche, kitsch, triviality, puzzlement, playfulness. Before all else, his works are characterized by a métier interest in the painterly matter, the pureness of form and the syntheticity of visual language. Tadić strives towards a perfectly weighed painterly space, which is, to his understanding, a stage for his artistic reflections. The social ambience, the history of art and the artistic contemporariness, as well as the everyday 'non-artistic' environment, are all important elements in his works. His art reveals an emotional attachment to the motif, because a certain kind of mutual affection breaks out, even through all that skillfulness of design. The themes of this author's paintings are based on the characters and scenes from his everyday life and surroundings, so they often feature his family members, as well as his closest friends and colleagues.

Tadić's creative energy follows its own creative rhythm and sensibility, noting a constant rise in quality. Whether it's the series of impressive portraits and self-portraits in which he speaks out in the most personal and direct manner, condensing within them his whole living and artistic credo, whether it's his reference to famous artworks from the history of art, imbued with respect towards the art of past times, or some other creative upturn stemming from his own fantasmagorical sources, which make the observer feel affection or secretly smile, what's always noticeable about Tadić's art is his masterful handling of the medium, as well as constantly fresh ideas emanating the spirit of the new generation.

His style emits simplicity and distinctiveness, and is extremely realistic due to his attentiveness even to the smallest details which he brings to perfection. With great patience he covers the canvasses with a multitude of brush strokes, and each stroke is different in tone. This results in a soft and tender whole which has the apperance of a fine painterly weave. These immaculate and eye-pleasing compositions possess solid modulation and structural clarity. They are all small masterpieces of complex dramaturgy and constantly fresh painting process, conveying two different sensations – the one of strong eruptive energy and visual persuasiveness, the other of 'narrativity' and likeability.

The chromatic valence is another important aspect of Tadić's creativity. The scale of calming and skillfully balanced tonal grading ranges from the earth tone palette (browns, ochers, greens) to the airy, metaphysical tones (blues, whites, greys). This contributes to the overall balance of warm and cool colours, hence that element becomes enriched and creates a diversity of temperatures and emotions, which would not remotely have such an emotional intensity if it weren't for such a strong contrast.

To sum up, we are talking about a complex personal poetics, and, above all, about a painter who does not try to catch up with current events, but persistently actualizes the traces of his own continuity. Which is nothing less than a mark of an exceptional talent.

Marija Stipišić Vuković

Stipan Tadić was born in Zagreb in 1986. In 2011 he graduated from Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, the Department of Painting, class of Prof. Zlatko Kauzlarić. He held his first exhibition in 2009 in Gallery Vladimir Bužančić. Since then he has exhibited in numerous group and solo exhibitions at home and abroad. He has been a member of the Croatian Association of Visual Artists since 2010. He lives and works in Zagreb.