Less is more
Exhibition organization: the Typhlological Museum
Exhibition author: Davor Šiftar
Sculptor: Damir Mataušić
Contemporary art is an extremely large area in which today exist, alternate, return and create a lot of new movements, from abstraction through conceptual art to a new realism, but the art of medalry runs continuously through the history to the present day. In Croatia's recent history there are beautiful examples of this continuity – works of Frangeš, Valdec, Kerdić, Radauš, Janeš, Brkić and Mataušić. Of these artists Želimir Janeš and Zdravko Brkić have already exposed in the Tactile Gallery of our museum.
It is well known in the world of literature that sometimes it is more difficult to write a short story than a whole novel. Haiku poetry may evoke more associations in its three of four lines that a long poem and details may very successfully interpret the whole. Less is more – is a maxim confirmed by here exhibited medals and small plastics by Damir Mataušić.
The medal has always had a double role: to mark very specific events and persons, and at the same time to be an art object that should satisfy aesthetic criteria. There is no place on its small rounded surface for a great gesture and a detailed narration. The space and presentation are condensed, the author is focused on the most essential and his work has to communicate with a viewer, so this condensed iconic message should be clear and recognizable. Having mastered his métier with virtuosity and with an amazing discipline of hand Mataušić creates his medals with significant characters, institutions, events or, sometimes everyday objects such as Bread, Cheese and Olives or Cake.
When he is engaged in religious themes (stations of the Way of the Cross, Third Day, Love, Faith, Creation, Buried...) his reliefs and sculptures, made of simple forms and discreet volumes, reveal contemplation, peace and dignity. The lines are superbly studied and elegant in their simplicity, and narration subdued to the symbolism, clear and conceivable and therefore able to induce a number of associations, regardless of whether the works are experienced by eye or by touch of fingers. Works of eloquent silence.
Serious and well-balanced in religious themes, while designing small sculptures of pronounced tactility he becomes a homo ludens that has fun, completely abandoned to the joy of creating. He enchants with his imagery, witty and surprising solutions (Baccanalae, Like an Aeroplane, Pegasus), creatively trifling with stereotypes, in original and unexpected ways he interprets already familiar themes or commonplaces (The Spring Time, The Full Moon Time, Windy...).
It can be assumed that here exposed medals, and in particular small plastics of Damir Mataušić will be especially interesting even to our blind visitors. Relief surfaces of different textures, unexpected combinations of various materials, unusual interpretations of familiar motifs invite to be touched, since ultimately they have been created by touch.