The Metal Wheel exhibition presents cycle of asymmetrical diptychs made in graphite pencil and acrylic on square MDF boards during 2014 – 2017 period, accompanied by a series of sketches that preceded them. The illusion of a shiny metal surface – appearing to be a painting rather than a drawing - has been achieved by densely saturating the surface of the circle with repeated pencil strokes to the point of giving a haptic quality to the applied material. Cycle’s formal aspects reveal the genesis of Runjić’s artistic expression from the tradition of monochrome painting. His persistent repetition of silver circles, as well as their consistent link to the series’ textual elements following the tenets of conceptual art, introduces a powerful line of thought unifying the individual pieces into a sublime interpretation of current social and cultural phenomena. Drawing of circle occupies the upper, dominant, and larger part of the composition, while the lower and smaller segment bears inscriptions spelling out “Metal Wheel” in various languages executed in the Roman capital typeface. This font has become the preferred choice throughout the Western world for official or ceremonial purposes, such as inscriptions on public monuments. In a culture marked by a discourse of its own demise, the end of history, the death of painting, and dystopia, without even mentioning myriad ecological, social, and political problems, devotion to one’s own circles seems to remain the only attainable goal.
Jadranko Runjić (Gospić, 1956) is a painter based in Split, Croatia. He graduated from the Department of Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts, University of Zagreb in 1980. A peculiar persona in the context of Split artistic scene, he does not exhibit frequently, but when he does, he prepares his shows in great detail. Essentially, Runjić creates elaborated painting cycles based on the tradition of minimalist painting. Runjić is professor at the Department of Painting at the Academy of Art in Split.