Ivan Generalic was a simple person - a man who loved the nature, his property and his native village. The painter was discovered and confirmed as a great master, an innovator, a visionary - a combination of circumstances and life experiences, and probably the inherent talent and the (pre)sentiment - was ahead of its time. In the1960s he was the first who advocated for the construction of the Gallery in Hlebine. Despite the resistance of the native population and government who feared of  the change vigorously opposed the construction of the Gallery. Thanks to his perseverance and stubbornness Gallery of Naive Art was built and opened to visitors on May 12,1968. 

About the Donation
Ivan Generalic donated paintings to the Gallery in 1980, which for lack of space could not be constantly exposed. So it is decided that annex must be built so all works can be continuously available to the interested public, as part of a permanent exhibition, which was officially opened to visitors on December 14, 1985. The donation from 1980 consists of paintings from the 1970s belonging to the last phase of Generalic's creative work. In addition to monumental proportions files, connoisseurs of his work will observe the variation of already used motifs and their identical repetition in a new context. Donation has 30 works most of which are actually donated, and a smaller part of the redeemed. The exhibition is enriched with graphics which were made on a template of earilest drawings.

Ivan Generalic begins artistic development with drawings. From the blank and deserted villages in the autumn-winter ravaged landscape Such views are enriched by a larger number of characters and clearer compositional elaboration of plans.

In the 1950's Ivan Generalic's painting flourished, spreading in thematic terms, with the introduction of symbolic motifs or scenes

Fantasy, color symbolism, wild imagination, allegory
In the 1950's by the influence and advises of Dimitrije Basicevic Mangelos (Croatian artist and first curator of museum now known as Croatian Museum of Naive Art in Zagreb) Ivan Generalic is bringing new elements and meaning to his paintings.

Symbolic use of colors with a distinctive type of forest – meticulously detailed treetops wtih lots of curly twigs.

Motif of unicorn is a proof of inflamed imagination and new sources of inspiration - such as folk tales, legends, myths and fairy tales. According to legend, the unicorn comes to forest glades in search of food, and if it meets a man, will fulfill all their wishes.

Ivan Genralic has an exceptionaly successful exhibition in Paris in 1953. During his stay in Paris made numerous sketches which he later transforms into paintings. In this painting he compounds urban details and symbols with and rural landscape in the background.

In the 1950s he introdeced the night scenes that reveal and technical training in the presentation of the characters, lighting and composition.

In 1970's opposite to the paintings with a multitude of elements, details and brilliance of color, there are also scenes which increasingly tend to simplification, to the essential, in the colors and motifs.

Figure in serious expression, facial wrinkles scarred, clothes of dark color, while the background dissolves sublimated hilly landscape of bright colors in the dynamic changes of light and dark tones.Psyhological portrait.

Minimalism in colors and expression, leading to absolute simplicity. The absence of the elements leading to the ultimate purity and clarity of painting expression.

Drawings + Paintings = Reduction to the essential
In several paintings from 1976 we can see already known drawings in the foreground on the painted surface. The successful blend of drawing and painting skills. Simplification will first be reflected in the background plans to eventually widespread simplification when the motive functions as a symbol.

In several paintings from 1976 we can see already known drawings in the foreground on the painted surface. The successful blend of drawing and painting skills.

In this painting he distinguishes one element of early drawings - the mask. A mask can be read as a kind of rebellion, hiding or statement (unconscious, intuitive) about playing the role - the role of the painter or any other.

Map of serigraphs
Serigraphs inspired by an early drawings.
Credits: Story

Curator of the exhibition: Helena Kusenic, curator, Koprivnica Town Museum - Gallery of Naive Art, Hlebine
Photographs of paintings: Vladimir Kostjuk
Photographs of graphics: Tina Antolic

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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