Opening Reception for Tomislav Gotovac: Public and Intimate exhibition.
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 22, 2014, 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Curator Gallery Talk: Thursday, May 22, 2014, 6:00pm
Alexander Gray Associates presents its inaugural exhibition of Tomislav Gotovac (b.1937, Sombor, Kingdom of Yugoslavia, now Serbia – d. 2010, Zagreb, Croatia), featuring works in a variety of media that span five decades; emblematic of his transgression between public and intimate spaces. Gotovac was a multi-disciplinary artist, considered the precursor of performance art in Croatia and former Yugoslavia; a pivotal figure in the development of the artistic avant-garde in Eastern Europe during the 1960s and 1970s.
Like his international contemporaries bridging performance and visual art forms, Gotovac approached his body as a readymade in the Duchampian tradition. In the early 1960s he began staging photographs of himself blurring the line between public and personal spheres which continued throughout his career. The work Zagreb I love you! (1981), performed in Zagreb’s city center, expressed Gotovac’s personal affection for his hometown, while publicly serving as an outcry for cultural recognition. Also on view are a series of early collages, including Tamara (1964), which further the artist’s interest in urban life and cinematic editing principles. In these small-scale works, Gotovac accumulated traces of his personal life using objects he culled from shops and restaurants he frequented, including tram and theater tickets; bills; sardine cans; and paper wrappers.
Through his work Gotovac publicly shared his thoughts and life stories. One of the most representative works is Striptease (1976), a series of 20 photographs taken by the artist of his then-pregnant wife Zora as she undressed for the camera. In Rovinj (1975), a series of photographs titled after the Adriatic seaside town where Gotovac spent the summers, the artist appears nude as he poses for his wife’s camera.