THE SECRET LIFE OF THINGS
10.5. – 24. 5. 2010.
The latest contribution from Hrvoje Mitrov is a homogeneous purification and refreshment of his personal vision. It is an intriguing and multifaceted step outside the non-object art.
The basis of Mitrov's artistic strategy is condensation and interpretation of various impulses and building blocks. He continues to explore the surface of the painting with his signature use of schematic imprints; the matrix of the sample is again in the shape of a rolling pin, only this time due to its rotation the plant motives are multiplied across the entire area of the painting.
By sequencing and overlapping repetitive imprints, of different colour variants and motives, a structure appears which serves as either a foundation of a spatial frame, or for the placement of a mundane object. Geometrical and coloritic crossovers of several ornamental surfaces create the illusion of space where we can find flower pots on a moving surface, while the final impression relies on an imaginative collage composition. On the other hand, there are clocks and forks on flat ornamental grids - the wallpaper as witness to the life of things. Although the artist chooses objects from a plethora of everyday things, he does not represent them literally, they are deprived of referential colouring and the flat treatment annihilates their literal plausibility, which effectively boils down all the objects to signs.
The objects are subjectified, they acquire human meaning. The interpolation of comic book balloons allows them to express their thoughts. However, because of the emptiness of their occurrence, the balloons offer merely suggestions rather than profound statements. It remains unclear whether there is a monologue in progress, or a dialogue or whether the vagueness could be a tell-tale sign that plays along with the ornamentality of the painting.
The objects gain an almost purely formal quality, but they are symbolic as well. This is the case with The Bike, an interpretation of a work by Felix González Torres, an American artist of Cuban origin and his piece Untitled (Perfect Lovers, 1991). González-Torres set up two clocks whose synchronized ticking was a visual reminder of the passing of time and irreversibility as such. Appropriately, Mitrov creates a new version of the above mentioned work – he separates the clocks and centers them in each of the diptych paintings, and it is their harmonized ticking and co-existence that brings the painting(s) together. The title is suggestive of a biking experience González-Torres mentioned regarding his travellings along the Croatian coastline, which adds several layers of referentiality, including a new, local meaning.
Juxtaposition and intertwinement with the flatness of objects manages to enrich the paintings in relation to expressiveness, dynamics and metaphorical meanings. The integrity of the painting is constantly reassembled, the whole dissipates and focuses on individual motives which, in turn, can only be viewed as parts of that same whole.
Hrvoje Mitrov dots the i's and crosses the t's of his artistic world through recreation and reinterpretation of his own visual principles and motives from art history relevant to him. His most recent work can therefore be seen as objet accompli with meaningful mental structure, while the little balloons invite the audience to enter into dialogue.
1998 Academy of Fine Arts, Zagreb, Painting, Class of Prof. Đ. Seder
2007 Doctoral course in painting, AFA Zagreb, mentored by Prof. D. Sokić
Member of HDLU (CROATIAN ASSOCIATION OF ARTISTS) and HZSU (CROATIAN FREELANCE ARTISTS' ASSOCIATION).
Around 30 individual and 60 group exhibitions in Croatia and abroad.