Lauba, Zagreb: The Cursed Crew

09. 01. 2014. – 24. 01. 2014

Lauba proudly presents The Cursed Crew, Zlatan Vehabović’s second solo exhibition, at the very address where his first solo exhibition, Sweeping Confetti from the Floor of the Concrete Hole, was set up two years ago. We must point out this was the exhibition that inaugurated a series of solo exhibitions under the title Croatian Art Today, intended for the prompt presentation of current Croatian artistic production. A number of other exhibitions followed, presenting works by artists such as Lovro Artuković, Ivana Franke, Kristian Kožul, Kristina Lenard, Bruno Pogačnik, Viktor Popović and Marko Tadić, and this format became Lauba House’s trademark. In this context, we are happy to be the first to present a whole new series of Vehabović’s works in Lauba.

We must add that the series is not yet finished, and that reviews and texts about it shall be written during and after the exhibition in collaboration with Klaudio Štefančić. What we can say at this moment is that we think that the continuous combination of content and the aesthetic component of Vehabović’s paintings make them intriguing and easily recognizable for the contemporary viewer.

In this series, Vehabović continues his long-term artistic research of certain mechanisms and phenomena, even lessons, which are present in adventure literature. Motifs characteristic of literary adventure are immediately recognizable – men at sea, ships in storms, vast landscapes, fascinating animals. These scenes, even those lacking a figurative presentation, embody the uncertainty that arises from man’s relationship with nature.

Ecological and social systems are connected via complex adaptive relations and it is becoming clear that numerous eco-systems, once perceived as natural, are actually developing as cultural and ecological systems. Man’s presence is the deciding factor for the transformation of various systems, even when the human figure isn’t physically present. The paintings from this series demonstrate this phenomenon.

By hinting at a content component sovereign to today’s attainments, these paintings become aesthetically familiar to the contemporary viewer. Their quality stems from the artist’s exceptional visual literacy and his work process, wherein he often uses photographs. Vehabović uses those photographs as visual sources and inspiration for his paintings. The photographs are not necessarily the painter’s own – he also selects them from popular media such as movie stills, books, newspapers, magazines or postcards. The photographs embody instances of the remembrance of memories and the artist usually changes them until they reach the state from which elements of the painting can emerge.

Zlatan Vehabović was born in 1982 in Banja Luka. He moved to Zagreb at the age of 12. He first enrolled at the School of Applied Arts, and then at the Art Academy, from which he graduated in 2006 in Professor Keser's class. He was awarded a prize for the best thesis in 2006. He enrolled at doctoral studies at that same institution in 2007. He lives and works in Zagreb. Up to now he has held over ten solo exhibitions in Croatia and he has participated in over forty group exhibitions in Croatia and abroad (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Italy, Denmark, the USA).

He has won several prizes, including the Grand Prix of the 49th Zagreb Salon (2010), the Award of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA, 2010), the first prize in Erste Bank's competition New Fragments (2006) and the Second Prize in the Essl Award for Central/Southeast Europe (2006) in Austria. His works have been bought by several Croatian and foreign collections: the Essl Museum (Austria), the Filip Trade Collection (Croatia), Hypo Group and Erste Bank. He is a member of the Croatian Association of Artists (HDLU) and the Croatian Freelance Artists' Association (HZSU).

The exhibition cycle Croatian Art Today was organized with financial support provided by the City of Zagreb, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, and the brand Astera.

Curators: Morana Matković, Vanja Žanko

Translation: Helena Šintić

Proofreading: Morana Matković

Media sponsor: Večernji list

Financial support: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, the City of Zagreb, Astera

Partners: Boonika, Printfaktor

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