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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Notes on Undoing

A group exhibition of: Igor Eškinja, Vlatka Horvat, Igor Grubić,
Tina Gverović, Zlatko Kopljar, Dino Zrnec, Marko Tadić, Damir Očko, Hrvoje Slovenc, Viktor Popović, and Ljiljana Mihaljević
Curated by Branka Benčić
Exhibition Dates: November 20th – December 20th
Opening Reception: November 20th | 6-8 PM

Igor Eškinja, Project Room 1, 2011, Lambda print, 90 x 120 cm, edition of 3 + 2 AP.

New York, NY [November 5, 2014] – Garis & Hahn and Ikon Arts Foundation are pleased to present Notes on Undoing, a group exhibition of established and emerging Croatian artists curated by Branka Benčić. Featuring photography, film, drawing, painting and mixed-media work by Igor Eškinja, Vlatka Horvat, Igor Grubić, Tina Gverović, Zlatko Kopljar, Dino Zrnec, Marko Tadić, Damir Očko, Hrvoje Slovenc, Viktor Popović, and Ljiljana Mihaljević, Notes on Undoing is the first survey of Croatian contemporary art at the gallery. The exhibition will run from November 20th to December 20th, with an opening reception at Garis & Hahn (263 Bowery, New York, NY 10002) from 6:00 to 8:00 PM on November 20th.

Notes on Undoing brings together a group of artists with a shared cultural heritage and diverse practices all centered on exposing, unpacking and exploring the dominant assumptions that inform the perspectives of the viewers and the artists themselves. Viewers will observe these artists tackling their practices with disparate yet connected approaches: some show an interest in the experience of how the body or object relates to its environment. Alternately, others choose to focus on the experiences particular to the artist—for example, the relationship between the artist and the institution, or the presentation of work in a space. Curator Branka Benčić further elaborates: “Artistic positions engage with issues of (re)presentation, structure and construction of the work of art, or the act of ‘exhibiting’ itself, pointing to tensions between the observer and the observed, exploring spatial relationships and interactions between objects.”

The exhibition spaceprovides ample material for the exploration of these relationships. Artists Igor Eškinja and Vlatka Horvat both destabilize the viewer’s interaction with space. Eškinja’s photographs challenge and upend traditional notions of the image-space relationship. Horvat’s wall-mounted Equivalents series of diptychs and triptych, created from “non-art” materials, bring into question the viewer’s relationship to the artwork. Viktor Popović’s work takes this a step further.His site-specific found-object sculptures bring “non-art” materials into the gallery context to expose the tenuous relationship between the art and the exhibition space. Tina Gverović’s work, a collection of drawings from her 2013 residency at the Tate modern, explore her interest in methods of integrating her work into the architecture of an environment.

Artists Dino Zrnec and Marko Tadić seek to build on the history of their respective media through their practices. Zrnec treats his large paintings as a series of experiments – eager to manipulate the canvas and explore new relevancies in famed techniques- pours paint from one canvas to another. The work, while reminiscent of abstract expressionist stain paintings, pushes the form into the twenty-first century. Tadić, who works in collage and animation, constructs visual environments with precise and confident shapes, taking the medium of stop-animation to a new place with Until a Breath of Air. Damir Očko willshow three collaged photo-compositionswhich,much like Tadić’s work, use the form of collage to create meaning in layers and juxtapositions.

Film is also adeptly used to unveil complicated relationships between the content, the viewerand the space created between them. In Zlatko Kopljar’s film K16 the artist digs a hole for over ten minutes, evoking feelings of futility and pointlessness through this seemingly interminable task. Ljiljana Mihaljević’s short film The Route expresses similarly nihilistic sentiments. The film begins with a quote from Nobel Peace Prize in Literature recipient Ivo Andrić on the circular nature of civilizations and impossibility of finding a direct path to truth, followed by Mihaljević playing a never-ending game of hopscotch, where the traditional grid has been drawn into a circle. The constructed realities of these films relate to “Chapter IV” of Hrvoje Slovenc’s photography series Marble Hill in which the artist sets fire to a diorama of an apartment that burned down in his Bronx neighborhood and photographs the resulting imagined scenes. The photographic “evidence” reveals typically undocumented details of characters and objects affected by disasters.Again revealing the usually unseen, Igor Grubić’s series Angels with Dirty Faces, shows portraits of the Croatian miners whose strike forced the resignation of Communist president Slobodan Milošević. Grubić photographed these miners against a background of chalk-drawn wings, referencing the miners’ role as political “saviors” in the recent history of Yugoslavia and Serbia.

In the range of approaches exhibited in Notes on Undoing, the viewer may observe the ways in which these artists’ deconstruct and “undo” the assumptions and structures around them.At the same time, their works create and reveal new frameworks and relationships within these realms. Garis & Hahn is proud to have the opportunity to present this landmark first exhibition of Croatian contemporary art in conjunction with Ikon Arts Foundation.

About the Artists

Igor Eškinja was born in 1975 in Rijeka, Croatia. His practice centers around using quotidian materials to explore the relationships between images and 3D space. His work is exhibited internationally, with solo exhibitions in cultural institutions in France, Croatia, Luxembourg, Spain, Venezuela, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Austria.

Vlatka Horvat was born in Cakovec, Croatia, and received a BA in Theatre Studies from Columbia College, Chicago, an MA in Performance Studies from Northwestern University, Evanston, and a PhD from Roehampton University, London. She was a recipient of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation visual art award in 2010, and exhibits her work internationally through galleries Rachel Uffner, New York, ŻAK | BRANICKA, Berlin, and annex14, Berlin.

Igor Grubić studied theology and film production before becoming an artist, and both disciplines inform his politically and socially conscious pieces, which often take the form of “site-specific interventions”. The performances are recorded and presented as multimedia installations which Grubić has exhibited internationally, including at the 11th Istanbul Biennial and Manifesta 4, Frankfurt. Grubić has also worked as a producer and journalist for activist Croatian video studio Fade In.

Tina Gverović is a Zagreb native who splits her time between Dubrovnik and London. Gverović’s work in Notes on Undoing comes from a 2013 residency at the Tate Modern, London, where she collaborated with artist Sinisa Ilić to create Inverted House, a site-specific installation and accompanying drawings comparing the Tate’s building, collection, and public with its counterparts at the Belgrade Museum of Contemporary Art.

Zlatko Kopljar was born in Zenic, Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1962, and graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice, Italy, in 1991. He has exhibited at the Sao Paulo Biennale, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rijeka, Croatia, The Kitchen, New York, and Gallery Manes, Prague, among others. His work is in several collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Rijeka, Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb and the Filip Trade collection.

Dino Zrnec is a painter educated in Zagreb, Prague and Vienna. Born in 1983 in Zagreb, Zrnec lives and works in both his hometown and Vienna, where he creates large scale abstract paintings which continue to experiment with materials and their application in the vein of the abstract expressionists. Zrnec received the HDLU annual award for young artists and 2011, has participated in residencies in Paris and Vienna in 2012, and continues to exhibit his work in Croatia and around the world.

Marko Tadić’s work draws on the rich and long history of collage and the constructed image. Born in Sisak, Croatia in 1979, Tadić has exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions in Zagreb, Ljubljana, Vienna, Kassel, Berlin, Los Angeles and New York. He was the 2008 recipient of the Radoslav Putar Award for young Croatian artists.

Damir Očko’s recent work explores the potential of the human voice and its relationship to the physical world in projects such as TK and SPRING. Očko graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, Zagreb, in 2007 and has participated in residencies and exhibitions across Europe, including a residency at Temple Bar Gallery & Studios in Dublin, Ireland, and solo exhibitions most recently at Yvonne Lambert, Paris and the Palais de Tokyo, Paris.

Hrvoje Slovenc received his MFA in Photography from Yale University School of Art in 2010. His work has been exhibited at cultural institutions around the world, including the Museum of New Art, Detroit, MI, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka, Croatia, and the Young Artists’ Biennial in Bucharest, Romania. He currently teaches at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City.

Viktor Popović is an Associate Professor at his alma mater, the Academy of Fine Arts in Split, Croatia. He engages the viewer by presenting his work as “non-art”, whether through his choice of materials or installation, working in the contemporary continuation of the “ready-made”. Popović has exhibited internationally in the United States, Finland, Austria, Croatia, and the United Kingdom.

Ljiljana Mihaljević studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, but her recent work has included films, installations and performances that seek to define what cannot be expressed in words. Mihaljević is a member of the Croatian Association of Professional artists and has exhibited internationally at art fairs in Marseille and Holland and in galleries in Croatia, Italy, and the United States.

About Ikon Arts Foundation

Established in 2013, Ikon Arts Foundation is a non-profit cultural organization based in New York City. The role of Ikon Arts Foundation is to inspire engagement with Croatian creative culture. It achieves this by promoting artists, designers and film-makers by way of both online and offline programming aimed at creative culture enthusiasts and creative industry professionals.

About Garis & Hahn

Garis & Hahn is a gallery-cum-Kunsthalle that mounts exhibitions focused on conceptual narratives and relevant conversations in contemporary art. By displaying an array of carefully curated artists, the gallery endeavors to provide accessibility, education, awareness, and a market to the art while engaging both the arts community and a broader general audience.

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