Exhibition

 

Tihomir Lončar-Palaca Milesi

Lončar is an artist quite concerned with motif. He tries hard and succeeds in putting an adequate visual tension in a cadre and structure of his paintings. I have mentioned the motif on the first place, because, in spite of his identifiability and a direct motif transposition in an individual painting, it is quite evident that he starts painting with an experience, and it can be easily discerned that each of his painted forms are modeled on the forms found in nature or culture. Moreover, his best works of art can be perceived as a synthesis of organic and crystallized accumulations, that is, as a symbiosis of plein-air and museum incentives, or, in other words, as a kind of painting aware of its potential and range.

The young artist followed the footsteps of great traditionalists feeling indebted to a well-composed and harmoniously balanced space. In some of his strictly two-dimensional solutions, he was playing with an illusion of penetrating into other plans and backgrounds, especially with a fiction of temporal penetrating in another rather different reality. In his ‘early works’ Lončar evoked an antique world, and the settings of a metaphysical predominance. In the beginning he used only a few elementary colors, most often dark shades and gloomy nocturnal atmosphere, but they were of exceptionally refined registers and of damped amplitudes, with an occasional penetration of lighter strokes, in form of flashes, illuminations or ‘lumeggiaturas’.

Lončar’s scene constructing and his persistent counterpoising of biomorphic and architectural lines of forces have been worth the trouble. In fact, he has created a coherent system of intimate landscapes or dynamic vedutas. His gardens and yards, crossroads and house lots, roofs and facades, treetops and hedges have all grown in a strict coordinate network of clear abscissas and ordinates. However, the painter has succeeded in suppressing the dryness of geometrical and static gathering of given components - each fragment of the painted surface is being charged with an internal energy, each spot is emitting its own light, each stroke is radiating a vital motion.

Tihomir Lončar is mostly concerned with atmosphere and saturation of the whole not only in his more definitely figurative works, but also in his associative or allusive paintings. The effects of wind and rain, sultriness and coldness are evident in his landscapes and vedutas, while the emission of temporal and temperature conditions can be clearly perceived in free compositions or in semi-abstract paintings.

His painted trees would not be so bent and the cypress tops would not be pointed only to one side if there were no wind. His horizons would not reverberate such cleanliness and the elements in the space would not be so clear and ethereal if there were no rain.

Lončar is not only an illustrator of an ambience, but he is also an interpret of appearances. He shows an unabated connection with terrestrial climate, with gravitation and with the logic of plant growth even in his paintings that are lacking a specific motif impetus (although it does not mean that his landscapes are not invoked and created by imagination). It is only that the artist has integrated his organic impetus in his own handwriting while painting some works of unrestrained inspiration. We can identify both nature and culture in his careful selection of dominant gamut and in his temperamental gestures, as well as in interweaving of rationally organized and emotionally loaded parts of the composition.

The names of some of his characteristic works evidently show how important it is to Lončar to show a creative reaction to the time of day or to the seasons, how chromatic dominants and composition resultants correspond to the differences in light and atmospheric impetus. A few veduta associations (‘Advertisement’, ‘Suburb’, ‘An Afternoon in Town’, ‘Flash of the Sun’) can be used as a corrective for giving way to your instincts too easily, while the landscapes care for a homogeneous structure in a more appropriate way (‘Winter in the Garden’, ‘Autumn Colors’, ‘Moonlight’, ‘Autumn Sun’, ‘At Twilight’). However, it is indisputable that the painter has an innate need and power to master visual impulses, but, at the same time, he has acquired a freedom and capacity to summarize his experiences, and to reduce emblematically what he has visually perceived to a symbol or its coloristic effects.

TONKO MAROEVIĆ
 
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