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Croatian Museum of Naïve Art: Two Exhibitions by Ivan Picelj

The exhibitions of Ivan Picelj’s artwork present the unseen part of the artist’s oeuvre, but they also question the relationship between the commissioners of posters and the artist’s perspective as well as the relations between paintings.

Two exhibitions dedicated to the artwork of the Croatian vanguard artist Ivan Picelj will be available until the end of May at the Croatian Museum of Naïve Art. All exhibits come from the holdings of the museum and have not been available to the Croatian public.

The exhibition PICELJ the other side of the oeuvre presents posters of this renowned Croatian painter, graphic artist and designer which were created during his twenty-years-long cooperation with the Museum of Naïve Art, which was operating under the name of the Gallery of the Primitive Art at the time. The exhibition offers an overview of various approaches to the visual solution of exhibition posters and emphasizes the relationship between the informative purpose of the poster and the subjective artistic interpretation.

The exhibition OHO This too is naïve art! along with the author’s work on glass which is already familiar to the audience, also presents other paintings, drawings and sculptures. What is interesting is that it was devised as a dialogue between paintings which complement each other due to an unusual display, they make visitors laugh or they “wink” at them, hence creating and transferring positive energy which is so much needed.

Ivan Picelj, who was born in Okučani in 1924 and died in Zagreb in 2011, was active in the field of abstract art, and also created posters, book-related tasks and catalogues for exhibitions. His work promoted the visual culture of graphic design. He was a member of the group EXAT 51 and of the international movement New Tendencies and is seen as one of the most influential Croatian artists of the late twentieth century.