Hlebine Art School: First, Second & Third Generation

Koprivnica Town Museum - Gallery of Naive Art, Hlebine

The collection of Naive Art is situated in the Gallery of Naive Art in Hlebine - at the source of the phenomenon of so-called Hlebine School. This School doesn't presumpt a systematic education but an occasional  encounters of Krsto Hegedusic with Ivan Generalic and Franjo Mraz. The Second generation is represented by the works which discover the richness and diversity of inspiration - from the realist tendency to inflame the imagination and enchantment that sometimes exceeds  to the grotesque and burlesque forms. Third generation will look up to Ivan Generalic and authors of the Second generation.   

First Generation: the 1930's
Ivan Generalic, Franjo Mraz, Mirko Virius. Occasional encounters with Krsto Hegedusic. He discovers them the oil on glass technique and encourages them to represent authentic primitive rural environment, peasants in their everyday life, work and customs,realistic, without idylic elements.

First generation (Ivan Generalic, Franjo Mraz and Mirko Virius) paints what they see , the everyday rural life, local reality local, primitive surroundings, people and customs.

Precise physical and psychological characterization.

The usual procession dedicated to a certain saint

Documenting time without idealizing. Mirko Virius criticizes the miserable position of peasants fighting for justice.

Second Generation: around 1940's, 1950's
Dragan Gazi, Ivan Vecenaj, Mijo Kovacic, Franjo Filipovic, Martin Mehkek... "Role models" and advisors: Ivan Generalic and Krsto Hegedusic. In 1950's Ivan Generalic has achieved worldwide success and advised his fellow villagers. Naive Art has started extending beyond Hlebine, across the Podravina region. Innovations: biblical themes, aromatised landscapes, grotesque and burlesque, imaginative scenes

Recurrences of folk collective story and imagination. The symbolic use of color - an aggressive, intense color.

Mijo Kovačic presents a typical farm work in warm colors. Early work with the note of later meticulously detailed approach to the painting elements.

Dragan Gazi continues realist tendencies.

Master of portrait. Besides capturing physiognomy he seeks the essence of the character of the person. He is interested in expressive, not conventionally beauty.

Stylized representation of a typical daily life of archaic patriarchal village

Third Generation: from 1960's
Franjo Vujcec, Ivan Lackovic, Stjepan Vecenaj, Milan Generalic... Ivan Generalic and the authors of the Second generation affect these authors. Some paint by recollection because they don't live in the countryside anymore while others rise grotesque and burlesque to the maximum level.

In 1970's Josip Generalic puts pop stars or ancient emperors in landscape of Podravina region. A compound of tradition and modernity. Demythologisation of representation.

The most common image typified portraits of gypsies or servant. Expressive figuration, powerful distortion. By expressing "antibeautiness" goes beyond frames of Hlebine School.

Master of contemporary figurative drawing. He lived in Zagreb and pictured from memory. Landscapes reflect lyricism, idyllic, they are soul psychograms. Tenderness, kindness, harmony, peace. Everything is generalized and supra-individual.

Franjo Vujcec leads grotesque to the maximum. Burlesque, deformation, aggressive and expressive colors.

Credits: Story

Curator of the exhibition: Helena Kusenic, curator, Koprivnica Town Museum - Gallery of Naive Art, Hlebine
Photographs: Marijan Jakupec, Vlatko Lackovic, 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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