Ivan Generalić

The cover of a '70s art-book about the Croatian painter Ivan Generalić

An art-book caught my eye during a recent visit to Broadleaf Books in Abergavenny. On its cover, a striking specimen of poultry; while within were various scenes of country life painted in a somewhat naive style, with hints here & there of the surreal. I enjoyed the pictures but couldn’t read the text, which is in Serbo-Croatian, this being a volume devoted to the work of the artist Ivan Generalić published in Zagreb in 1973. I bought it anyway: it’s good to have something representing another language on my shelves.

A short bio at artnet says of Generalić that he “is remembered for his highly stylized, vibrant, and almost hallucinatory landscapes of rural farm life which he combined with incisive political commentary” and that he “made his works through a unique process of applying oil paint on the reverse of a pane of glass, creating a shimmering, screen-like quality”. Several of his paintings are reproduced at a website devoted to his work.