Artworks in the Collection

Ivan TABAKOVIĆ
Still-life (1940)


During Tabaković’s Novi Sad and pre-war Belgrade periods, still-life was integrated into the category of private space-interior and implied a much broader, less conventional, if not bizarre repertoire of subjects, stage settings and scenes. His extraordinarily prolific Novi Sad period yielded a controversial, ambivalent repertoire and atmosphere, which was crowned at the end of the forth decade by Tabaković’s philosophy of stoicism and social melting pot in the emblematic painting Still-life (1940). The meager, ascetic, careless, poor, winter meal was painted during a harsh Belgrade winter in 1940 in the house of his sister and brother-in-law (the Ristić family) in Senjak. Apart from the plastic, pictorial and colouristic qualities, a recognizable harmonization of cold and warm colour relationships and the discreet application of complementary colour tones, the greatest merit of this painting is in its maximum reduction, exploration of the possibilities of a two-dimensional surface, and a (typically Tabaković-like) polysemy. Through it, Tabaković conceptually defined his atypical, eccentric “intimism” and manifested it in a painting which links together an idea of Bachelardian poetics and a Proustian world with the discourse of social intimism. The painting is simultaneously intimate, a diary entry, a moral stance and a discreet political statement.

Ivan Tabaković