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NEW WORLD

From the time he appeared on the art scene in the early nineteen-nineties, right up to the present day, Hari Ivančić has been systematically building his own artistic poetry, presenting it through his choice of subject matter and the specific character of his almost classical artistic idiom. These are his personal and creative constants: Istria as his thematic and motif focus, and the informal construction of the picture.

But what is it that makes him so convincingly special, if the heritage of landscape painting is so rich in names and creations, in the treasury of world heritage? What makes him different from all that heritage, when the brilliant works of Šimunović and Gliha are still unsurpassed? What is the special significance of his work, after Bassani’s landscape analysis of Istria, Budićin’s radical synthesis, Kokot’s powerful tectonics or Diminić’s structural limitation to that same Istria?

Even if it is post academy, from his home in central Istria he has created a recognizable icon, more an allusion in symbols than in essence, from that first appearance, from artistic sensation and thesis, through a decently, honestly and honourably executed analysis of every aspect of the piece, twenty years later, we have before us today an artist of masterful synthesis.

His dialectically crystal clear path, with no surprises, has produced a man and work which as conspirators bring us coherence, which means consistency in the choice of subject and in the choice of artistic materials. Only the stylistic elements of his work have changed, systematically, gradually, carefully, arising from deep inside the artist’s spirit. From the delicate associative-symbolic iconics of the early nineties to today’s artistic synthesis, in which from his mimesis only the monumental dynamic configuration of red, white and grey fields remains, moving rhythmically upwards, to the heavens, like a prayer.

On first sight the reduced palette of colour contains all the complexity of the informal construction. Not just the material, but also the complex colouration. In the creative process of compression of statement and expression, the artist in fact uses a radical but supple reductionist principle. Only a distant association remains in the picture from the “primary” homeland image, in the three colours of the Istrian soil, whilst in the interpretation what is most important are the internal tectonics, which in regular and alternate rhythms synthesize their ode to the beauty of the land. The semantic basis is still visible in the vertically arranged ploughed fields, but there are now interjections, new forms and shapes, in which a new metaphysical meaning may be read. In the cosmic creation, heaven and earth join forces in the dazzling unity of this vision of a new world. A new world in the biblical sense is a world rediscovered. Eased of the burden of the weight of sin, it is transfigured and has rediscovered its own fertility. Hari Ivančić tells us about that abundant fertility. About the Garden of Eden, where everything is ready to blossom and welcome fruit. That is why his garden is exciting, passionate, fragrant and tactile. It is fertile and open to growth. The repetitive waves of the ploughed field are like a hymn, mysterious and full of unknown gifts. But his Eden of Istria has been divested of carefree sweetness. In the physical absence of man it is full of signs of man. It is full of blisters, tectonic, fateful and essential, as the artist presents most strikingly at the exhibition from 2010, in the triad of Red, White and Green Lands, as his personal creative credo.

Precisely because Hari Ivančić is a striking example of an artist who, out-growing his homeland micro-topos, has discovered universal meanings, creating them through his contemporary expression of great suggestiveness. That is what makes him unique.

Gorka OSTOJIĆ CVAJNER, July 2010
Director of the Istrian Museum of Contemporary Art
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