The Exhibition 'Taiji Harada and Fellow Painters from Croatia' in Japan

The following Croatian artists had works exhibited in the show: Ivan Generalić, Emerik Feješ, Matija Skurjeni, Ivan Rabuzin, Ivan Večenaj, Mijo Kovačić, Ivan Lacković and Josip Generalić.

In other words, the finest of our masters were shown, represented by their best and most characteristic works, tellingly presenting the incontestable artistic quality of Croatia’s incomparable Naive.

As the title of the exhibition indicates, the largest number of exhibits – 40 pictures in all – is being shown by Taizi Harada, the distinguished Japanese painter and designer. In subjects, style and poetics he is close to our naive art, because he uses certain transpositions of reality, in conjunction with numerous procedures to reduce, simplify and stylize; he is often narrative in approach; and depicts motifs from the traditional and patriarchal life of his homescape.

The exhibition is accompanied by an ample catalogue of 120 pages with reproductions of all the works; the textual section, in which there is discussion of the appearance and development of the Naive in Croatia, along with biographical details and short descriptions and interpretations of all the 26 paintings by the Croatian painters, was written by Vladimir Crnković, director of the Croatian Museum of Naive Art.

After Suwa, the exhibition will go on tour around Japan until the end of May 2006, visiting Tokyo and Osaka and finishing in Fukuoka. The exhibition includes not only paintings from the holdings of the Croatian Museum of Naive Art, but also those owned by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb, the Matija Skurjeni Museum in Zaprešić, Podravka of Koprivnica, the private collection of Rabuzin, and the heirs of Ivan and Josip Generalić and of Skurjeni and Lacković.

The exhibition provides ample evidence that the language of paintings is universal, and this project shows once again that boundaries and distances between different people, nations and cultures are far from insurmountable and that the human spirit, sincerity and beauty can link and reveal the common features in what appears to be incompatible.
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