we are pleased to invite you to the opening of the exhibition Robert Šimrak – The Idea of Chaos on Monday, 16 July 2018 at 9pm in the Juraj Plančić Gallery of Stari Grad Museum. The exhibition will run until 6 August 2018.
From the introduction to the exhibition catalogue (Vinko Srhoj):
The series of acrylic by Robert Šimrak titled “The Idea of Chaos” is dedicated to the First World War, the war of all wars that the contemporaries viewed as a disaster so large that the collective imagination could not imagine another such conflict. With the war that will end all wars in the naive hope of mankind, the First World War, through the iconography of the Croatian soldier’s casualties in the uniforms of the Austro-Hungarian army, also occupied Šimrak. His First World War is a dedication to an ordinary soldier, a Croatian civilian in the war uniform who reached the bitter glory of the 42. Home Guard Division called the “Devils’s Division”.
Because, as is cited by Željko Marcijuš, author of the introduction to the exhibition catalogue held in Gliptoteka in 2017, “it’s all our Lojzek, Štefek, Videk who fight without knowing for whom or for what …” In such a space without clear coordinates of the battlefront and visible enemy, Šimrak finds, somewhat paradoxically for the war itself, an individual often lonely, sometimes with a number of comrades, carrying a flag, sleeping, fleeing, mourning a dead friend on the no man’s land. Whether he is pulling out of mud or floating in the sea of blood, for Šimrak this warrior is nevertheless only the extracted symbol, almost a general place (despite the portrait’s credibility of the physiognomy) and so its appearance is part stylization, cleansed from the blood and mud, a figure that lives his special war moment, frozen in just his quadrant of a picture extracted from a great war chaos.
Robert Šimrak was born in 1967 in Zagreb where he attended elementary school and school of applied arts. He entered the Academy of Fine Arts in 1987. He graduated from the graphic department of Professor Ante Kuduz in 1992. After graduating, he works as an independent artist and becomes a member of the Croatian Feelance Artists Association and the Croatian Association of Artists. He has been exhibiting independently since 1989 in about forty solo exhibitions, and has been exhibiting in more than two hundred collective exhibitions. He is the winner of the Vjesnik Prize “Josip Račić” in 2009 for the best solo exhibition in Croatia held in the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Zagreb and the Božidar Jakac Gallery in Slovenia. In 2013 he won the special award of the Rector of the University of Zagreb for the graphic map “BOL/PAIN”, the joint interdisciplinary project by the Academy of Fine Arts and the Faculty of Medicine in Zagreb.
With this exhibition, Stari Grad Museum marks the centenary of the end of the First World War, after the exhibition Stari Grad during World War I and the Italian occupation in 2014 with which the Museum joined the National Programme of the Celebration of the Centenary of the First World War.
We look forward to your visit!