Ever since his first appearance in the 1960s Yugoslavian visual scene, Mladen Galić shaped his artistic creation through various art disciplines / processes, both two-dimensional (painting, collage, prints) and three-dimensional (sculpture, objects, ambients). Such media diversity, however, never questioned Galić's artistic coherence and visibility up to this day. We are talking about a truly extraordinary artist personality formed within the late modernist environment and its last, most diverse period, which was simply named „after informel“ by art theory and art critics. The basic principles of Galić's oeuvre are: an abstract expression which (restrainedly yet inventively) questions differences, borders and even the coexistence of organic and geometric forms; an emphasized expression minimalism; a problem-oriented and active relationship towards space. It's not wrong to state that Galić embedded EXAT 51's experiences into his ponderings, as well as the experiences of a younger group Nove Tendencije (New Tendencies) – not following them obediently but adjusting them to his own mentality in a dignified and intelligent way. His mentality – as mentioned earlier – was not willing to permanently let go of organic forms and asymmetric compositions (whose dynamics and logic often, although not always, came from their „playful irregularities“).

Over the past decade – a period which brought the creation of artworks displayed in this exhibition – Mladen Galić was most devoted to making paintings and collages, i.e. disciplines made of accessible materials and tools but more intimate and contemplative in the sense of the creation process. Nine canvases are parts of cycles Day Two, Day Three and St. Gera, each of them exploring the aspects of space and the possibilities of a facet/surface in its own way, but always mediated by the color-form dialog. The most captivating feature of Galić's painting is his surprising ability of harmonizing the colorist sequences treated by contrast and tone, the former being mostly related to form and the latter springing through the layers of paint, sometimes visible and sometimes discrete. Either way, Galić's new and recent painting reflects a mature vitalism, obviously witnessing – regardless of the form-media changes this artist successfully went through in the past five decades – the durability of a conscious and above all responsible approach to artistic creation.

Vanja Babić

Mladen Galić was born in Široki Brijeg in 1934. He was educated in Zagreb, Graz and Paris. He received the „Vladimir Nazor“ award in 2005 and The Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts' award for his overall art oeuvre in 2006.

On view till 9, August 2019.