Exactly four years ago, Viktor Popović made an outcome in the third dimension in Gallery 'Plančić' in Stari Grad (!) on the exhibition with Ivana Franke, by exposing lead curtains on window frames. Combing curtains and graphite pictures in an unimposing way, he opened himself a way to a more liberating artistic outcome. Today, it is very interesting to observe principles on which his work (and works on the same trail) was spectacled and marked earlier – like an object, intervention in space, installations, or similar, but these days it got contexts and definition thru term 'new Croatian sculpture'1.
Liberated from severe boundaries and determinations of sculpture and tradition, Viktor Popović, already with last year awarded work on Triennial of Croatian Sculpture, shows a remarkably interesting way of thinking on contemporary sculpture. Performing themes from the post-pop artistic dictionary, he produces a clean sculpture, strongly based on form. Clothes made from lead sheet metal were put into an intentionally designed shell, simulating everyday consumer stick situations. In such a way designed and exposed objects become full of meanings, provocations, and social and artistic connotations, jet everything stays in the background of a clear statement – which is a sculpture. In recent work, the artist steps even further. He chooses simplified usable objects, like a chair and table, to reduce complicated interpretations and expended sociological contests. Remarkably vivid, Viktor imposes materials, and supposes fullness with emptiness (base of traditional sculpture), by clouting and then unclothing wooden objects with dark rubber. What is left, is its bared object with belonging rubber skin. Everything is very simple: by sculpture thought dialog “empty-full”, “volume-space”, existence – nonexistence”, stableness and hardness of wood and liableness of rubber… All old and familiar questions were posed in a fresh and contemporary way.
Considering new Viktors works, I remembered one of Stein Bach’s statements in which he says that art does not start with passing throe the door of a museum.2 Through. A long time ago we are (or at least we need to be) used at the entrance of usable objects in artistic demean. Jet, still is a remarkable creating moment in which, exposing tennis shoes on a wooden shell or combating a chair with a rubber cloak, means creating a quality Pease of art.
Zvonko Maković, introduction in the catalog for the exhibition "New Croatian Sculpture", HDLU, Osijek, 2004.
Art at the Turn of the Millennium, Benedikt Taschen Verlag GMBH, Koln, 1999. Page 478.
Solo exhibition catalog preface
Gallery Moria, Stari Grad / Island of Hvar, Croatia September 4 – 18, 2004