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Ivan Tabaković


I. Tabaković in his studio                 Self portrait (1938),
                                                        Collection of Nikola Marjanović

In presenting and historicizing artistic phenomena of the Graphic Collective’s decades-long exhibition program, a prominent place belongs to Ivan Tabaković, painter, professor, and academic, an influential creative whose oeuvre in various media - drawing, collage, ceramics, painting – is an inevitable part of Serbian and Yugoslavian art history of the interwar and postwar period. He grew up in a notable civic family, and his formative/creative path followed the line of Arad-Budapest-Zagreb-Munich-Paris-Novi Sad-Belgrade. While living in Zagreb, he co-founded the group "Zemlja" in 1929, which he left in 1932. His first exhibition in the Graphic Collective entitled "Hidden Worlds", was held in April 1964; on that occasion, he exhibited drawings and invited Dragiša and Milan Stanisavljević, farmers and autodidacts, as guest exhibitors with their sculptures. He took part in the initiatives and programs of the Graphic Collective, such as periodical exhibitions dedicated to drawing. An homage to Tabaković's creative lucidity and erudition was paid with an exhibition held in November 1999, authored by professor Lidija Merenik, whose focus was on collages/photomontages from the '60s and '70s. This exhibition marked the 100th anniversary of Tabaković's birth, complemented with prof. Merenik’s foreword by the suggestive title "Satirical Anatomy of Human Stupidity and Misery or Decentralization of Ideology." The selection of works indicates akin sensibility and proximity to Hoffmann's artistic views, in whose school he trained, followed by the artistic inheritance, ideas, and approaches of modernism - Surrealism, Pop-art, Kandinsky, Klee – up-to-date ideas of the new figuration and an underlined critical attitude towards social reality and its petty-bourgeois side. "The work of Ivan Tabaković, as a special supra-ideological whole in the corpus of Serbian post-war art, provides an outstanding example of independent artistic and ethical activity," concludes Lidija Merenik in the text. (translation: Maja Simić)

Invitation for the exhibition, The Graphic Collective, April 1964.

Ivan Tabaković (1898. Arad – 1977. Belgrade), studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest, and afterwards, at the Royal Academy of Applied Arts in Zagreb and Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. Tabaković’s education under the mentorship of Ljubo Babić in Zagreb and with Hans Hofmann in Munich, guided his painting towards the foundations of modernist painting. In 1925. he went to Paris and in 1927. he was engaged as a part-time draftsman at the Institute of Anatomy in Zagreb. He exhibited his works in 1934 in the Art Pavilion in Belgrade, with his colleague Nedeljko Gvozdenović. In 1939, he was appointed head of the department for decorative painting at the College of Applied Arts in Belgrade. He was a professor at the Academy of Applied Arts in Belgrade and a member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. His students from the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade are the initiators and members of the famous Zadar group, many of whom continued their work in Paris. Tabaković won a Grand Prix at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne in Paris in 1937. and a gold medal at the 1962 International Ceramics Exhibition in Prague.

Catalogue of the exhibition of collages of Ivan Tabaković in The Graphic Collective Gallery, November/December 1999.


Conference, collage (1968),                     Nothing, collage (1967),
Legacy of Ratislava Tabaković                 Legacy of Ratislava Tabaković


Occupier, collage (1975),                         Greed, collage (1967),
Collection of MoCA                                   Legacy of Ratislava Tabaković



Graphic Collective Gallery, Dragoslava Jovanovića 11, Belgrade, Weekdays 12 - 20h, Saturdays 12 - 17h, Sundays closed
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