Artworks in the Collection

Blue Café (1937)

Along with various scenes from cabarets, bars, cafés, as well as a few theaters, Blue Café (1937) is a masterpiece from the Novi Sad period, the most distinguished symbol of Tabaković’s series of paintings, pastels and drawings, with which he recorded the chronicle of modern urban life, the dynamic performances in the popular public meeting places of the bohemians, the middle class and the bourgeoisie. The painting displays a bold exploration of space within the composition, a tendency towards eccentric layouts of interiors, towards the well-thought-out colouristic solutions where a single colour-tone dominates, towards an instilling brilliant rhythm in the composition as well as an evocation of more formal creations in the best tradition of the “Paris School.” In this painting he paid special attention to the spatial rhythm of the composition and the architectural structure of the interior, while the colour and the painted relationship of the blue, harmonized rather than contrasted with the lighter tones of yellow and ochre, represent the key formative support of the painting. It is paintings like Blue Café that single out Tabaković as one of the most delicate and most carefully nurtured colourists in Serbian painting in the first half of the twentieth century – whose colours brought balance, mildness and connectedness, without any great pretensions and devastating passion.

Ivan Tabaković