Ivana Puljić

Impalpable Air

Watching Ivana's paintings we are surprized by the amount of originality created about the familiar elements...everything on them is familiar and intimate and yet quite different, unique and special, starting from the techniques and poetics to the painter's handwriting.
The whole micro world it is, where figures float and balanse between dream and awakeness, reality and fairytale, exsistentialism and metaphysics. This world opens to us, created in wax on wood technique allowing her to simultaneously paint ,model and construct, getting out unique threedimensional paintings.
Those paintings are inhabited by tiny beings hiding and protecting themselves by umbrellas. They are exposed to various temptations, balancing at the wire, jumping over the middspace, getting away from each other. They have difficulty in finding the way, needing metaphoric crossover to get to the other side, they get away from each other but yet find each other, and then, crouching under the umbrella defend themselves against the world.
Problems of estrangement, rush, feelings that rule us consciousy and subconsciously, tread Ivana's imaginary landscapes and if giving in, we can easily plunge ourselves in them and acknowledge them as ours.
The title Impalpable air associates the unspoken and undefined, what remains in the air and prevents us to realize contacts and dialogues.
Nevertheless the sights are not disturbing....the figures remind us of the cartoon and video game heroes. Little Prince appears at some of them reminding us that the simplest human virtues enable exit from most of the bad situations, and the rainfall of multicoloured threads which connect and separate, give paintings some sort of cheerful, positive vibration.
Ivana's paintings have attractiveness, disclosing indisputable metier, have full topics well expressed, and yet, they pose questions and steer to reflecting. Ivana questions in them her own doubts and feelings, but in this intimate element we find universal philosophic questions. All this gives Ivana's painting characteristics of pure art which is ever more difficult to be reached and is getting lost. But it never looses its value and actuality.

Nira Burmas Domančić

Music box

In the synthesis of games and meditation Ivana Puljić devises her art opus by re-enactment of everyday life and imagination, and gives metaphysical overtones to artistic transformation and banal clips. She integrates poetic note in relatively exact character of painter tissue, with figurative details as holders of motifs and contrasts to geometric surface structure. In the objectification of intimate and infinite space of image, stratified and thickened by many facets, structured by parallel i.e. opposing lines is presence of atmosphere of lyrical connotation, eventually thematically segmented to the state of drama.
Space, itself, is a content of the painting as interlaced and straight flow of lines are perceived as state of labyrinth temptations, and are read with its steady raster of order and rhythm as a sign, almost a symbol of ideal measure of space, with the unveiling of an exciting vitality of the frame where an unforeseen metaphorical architecture integrates internal and external prospects. Surely, construction of painting with its autonomy of painting field is echo of sort of abstraction, but it is open to dialogue with figurative weft; it is Ivana’s art sooth with characteristics of conciliation of different. Charming, discreet story components are of a kind of imaginary landscapes, happenings by the protective masonry, whose actors are permanent "residents" of Ivana's scenery or bystanders. Daydreams and seduction at the mysterious addresses, with muted rhythm of life form make links of entanglement with choruses and with puzzled character. Dimensions of figures are small, but their meaning is important, they are humanity against apparent "monumentalism" and are not blunted by alienation but, instead, carry a trace of cheerfulness. Waterfalls of line with the shading of colours intensity in nurturing light shades of relaxed figures, walkers and dancers, provide new sparks of joy and determinants of movement close to the whole painting surfaces. It is way to the unique energy of the image, although oasis of figurative preserves gentleness of speciality. Participants of occasions exist near or below the "cloud", hole in the sky with planes designed by emphasised density of lines. They float with their umbrellas between the real and the unreal, but, also, remain on the ground. But it gives a feeling of at least light boom because strict immobility of scene would disturb Ivana's artistic concept.
But, also the gravitational attraction.
For example, two poles (not too distant) of her art confirm that.
Forms created by removing layers of wax, slender "scratches" on the membrane, and debrises of supplementary material on the surface, create "islands" of indented silhouettes and tactility, with premonition of artistic pulsations in the contours form. Ivana Puljić has chosen encaustic for her technique of expression. Although, not by strict rules as followed by ancient artists, in Egypt and Rome. However, the wax in its values of soft palette is the basis for her, too; its changeable "aggregation", potential transparencies are abilities that Ivana, thanks to her specific art education, utilises excellently. Not only as a quip but more logical and necessary component in the completeness of the idea of peace of art. The second pole weaved with lines of space corridor suggests by painting liras, heavenly vibrancy, or, al least, flickers from our immediate environment. Or in ourselves. The movement on the visual and contest level does not destroy attained state of meditation, because Ivana, with contemplative thread is looking for, and finds, the truth accompanied with beauty, by which is, in the act of painting, sense adjoined. And it can be in the music. In the works of subtle atmosphere. Overwhelmed with melody and in literal quotations of musical notation (mainly applied by patchwork straps) and in some forms of fluidity that runs as music pleasing to ear. Softness, mere sensuality, of building material of the image expresses tonalities, rhythms and riffs, equalize the orchestration of music with visual composition, where even sounds of silence have their place. We're back in the space weaved by line network and clips, whose vision origins lie outside the of physical definition of image, series of lines and correlation rich with semantic of layer, real iconographic events, corporality hidden in purity of line, state fully comprehensible only by poetizing raised by emotional breadth of views. And of course with Ivana's talent, sensibility and artistic self-awareness.
Stanko Špoljarić

In the Interspace

Encountering Ivana Puljić paintings hardly leaves anyone indifferent.
Long time ago she formed her artistic poetry and follows that path today experimenting, transforming and playing with painter’s material. The scenery and pallets change, urban themes give way to those somewhat surreal, eternal, colours are calming down, emotions, however, remain the same.
The mise-en-scene in which Ivana sets her characters is minimized; city views and historic buildings are lost. Now, her characters are living in a timeless interspace where they float, meet, hurry up, but also love each other. The emphasis is not, any more, on some urban scenes; some more intimate stories are told and painted. The heart, and not the eye, leads the hand. In a kind of yearning tone lovers are touching, communicating through music or simply feeling each other.
The softness and transparency of wax assists Ivana in describing that yearning.
Despite the fact that on her latest paintings the narrator is predominantly black colour, what, perhaps, reflects our reality; ultimately her rain is in colours of a rainbow and her paintings radiate colourful, cheerful and playful world.
An ancient technique, which she discovered and accepted during her study in Rome, she adjusts to her own artistic expression. She masterfully deepens the wax and pours the soul into her characters, by inlay in wax she hangs the underwear, paints the umbrellas. Her attention is devoted to some seemingly marginal, but to her important things, visual elements are rationalized, but not at the expense of freedom of spirit. By incorporating multi-colour images she paints rain, as well as the chaos in our heads. She introspects herself and each one of us. By her directness, simplicity and playfulness she penetrates deepest and the most sincere.
That's why I am not surprised that I wanted to live in her painting from the very first time I saw them.

Elizabeta Rogović

Interaction in space

Starting a journey always carries with it uncertainty and risks. Deciding to walk the rope is especially dangerous. The possibility of falling on one side, or the other, is present with every step. The balance of forces is crucial. Building a painting by combining a geometric abstraction and illustrative figuration always is a task that is not easy to overcome if one needs to preserve the necessary balance, equilibrium.
Combine relief materials (rope, wax) and painters’ definition of a surface is also uncertain challenge. Paintings, relieves, objects (however defined – each definition is correct) of Ivana Puljić these seemingly incompatible contrasts align with lyrical ease.
Rain created by geometric lines of rope is not bleak and menacing to the characters with an umbrella in hand. They are, anyway, protected by a kind of, almost invisible, wax capsule. Or rather his/her own cloud where there is one, lone actor, or a couple whose clouds merged into one. Sometimes, that cloud is a soft border where the rain disappears and does not reach figures and sometimes, the characters with an umbrella in their hands are above the rain. And an umbrella no longer serves to protect, but becomes an instrument for levitation, like Mary Poppins.
We found out the destination of that floating. It is the same planet Little Prince reached. There is no more rough geometry, everything is soft and organic, and instead of an umbrella, there is a saxophone in the hand. The journey is over and we are, only expected to play our own tune of life. To get there we still need to cross the valleys of our internal roughness and sharp edges, to tear berths on our legs and to get over the loneliness of the empty, abandoned chairs where nobody sits. Ivana named her exhibition "Spatial Interaction". That is the broad definition, i.e the task of all of us, walking through our internal spaces, skipping over the cracks, and connecting again what we often think is within us incompatible - dilemma "either-or" which becomes the motto "and - and".
Often, it is the aforementioned walking on a rope. Falls are inevitable. But the courage and the decision to move are the only and the most important tasks that we should demand from ourselves.

Ivan Mesek



I'm listening and watching the rain
rain unites us
rain saves our intimacy
rain - the source of God
foundation of rot
rain takes us back to the beginning

While large irregular bits of sky
are falling
on our streets and squares
in a common emptiness
echoing common thunders

Rain brings us together
we will overwrite everything
and we will say -
eh, now we will really
through the cracks of heavens
holy colours and holy light
rain brings back
my distant daughter
my distracted hope
my love for brothers

A war above our heads
that will not touch
anything earthly
from which we will run out
seduced by the blind alley
but only that is worth
is the first breath of freedom

the air is already warming up
and wet suits evaporate
in the central tram

Arsen Dedić

Back to Nature

Coloristic richness and airiness of light are constants of the scenery, attractive to artists for artistic transformation independently of the selection of their poetics. Ivana Puljić recognizes the essence of the beauty of a particular landscape, as well as in the view of its attractive points and created by the atmosphere of dear sceneries. It is on adopted clips of the nature suitable for her fine balance between descriptiveness and reduction. Ivana encourages compositional solutions of prevailing verticality lightweight ascent of space, suggesting the concrete touch of imaginary.
Ivana starts from the picturesqueness of her own environment, luminosity of south, but she, also, reflects the fields and hills of other geographical areas. By organizing scenes, views and squaring, Ivana gives to reality dimension of somewhat imaginary, potentiated by playfulness in interpreting details. Extremely important for the experience of her paintings is the structure of the surface, i.e. applied technique.
Ivana Puljić paints with the wax, ancient encaustic, although modified in some aspects of the application. In any case, the structure of the surface, its sensuality caused by colour and imprinted light, gives vibrancy and constant materiality to the landscape. The material itself even in scrunched relief retains, in the character of the surface, initial feeling of fluidity and the heat accumulated in the energy and luminosity of Ivana's palette. The joy and play, with well-kept talent, led to the realization in the subtle material which in its content layer always carries a spark of a wonder.
Ordinary crowded with fairy tale. The landscapes are not the only motifs that Ivana enriched with imagination. City views (often with quoted monuments) are also staged in the dialogue with dreams, in relation of representative buildings and threads close to the purity of views. Ivana’s boats sail between the coast of imagination and the banks of open sea, without the risks of strong wind since Ivana protected them with the veil of painter’s credibility. Present in variations of the theme, of related and different paintings, a kind of diptych that carries their uniqueness in shift of accent. Visible in an interesting arrangement of artistic components. Ivana very luckily and reasonably balances the clusters of coloured wax, the density of lines (whether summing parallel lines or by their free flow) and segments of unpainted canvas (very artistically active in the fabric of the whole). Paintings under such combinations are weft for artistic formation in which the motif unpretentiousness is a link to the primeval beauty of the Mediterranean and its historicity. The paintings breathe and exude an atmosphere of serenity, gently tremble in every corner. On this track, Ivana Puljić in her poetry includes the values of tradition transformed by modern visual language and a sincere freshness of expression in the atmosphere of serenity. Confirmed by colour when she paints, landscapes, cityscapes, blue sea or sympathetic situation in which there are participants of her story. Creates honestly and artistically impressive.

Stanko Špoljarić

Fragments of stopped time

Creative plays, imaginative solutions and intriguing scenes are all characteristics of Ivana Puljić’s painting approach. Landscapes, vedute, figurative compositions and the determining motifs of different opuses have been brought about with a required amount of descriptiveness and stylisation of characters and of that which is external. Space organisation reflects the verticality of construction, adding the elements of the content, a correlation between the real and imaginary space. The formed clusters of the factual are contrasted against the whiteness of the surface, an active and neutral sheet, where the story tellers are attractive coloured forms. The stories are funny and they fascinate the observer with their simplicity, and therefore with the plentiful of different and exciting landscapes and city landmarks, marked by the brilliance of their beauty, as realised through the atmosphere of a given scene, the brightness, which is close to Ivana’s own temperament.

Mediterranean playfulness has also been woven into her works of art, by using light and the colours of the palette which can be seen in details and the whole scene, the specific atmosphere of the south whose temperature is constantly being raised by the author. Ivana transmits experience into a happening, imagination into a constant of appearance, with a paradox in the impression – stopped time and a constant change of events.

Ivana Puljić can feel the moment wonderfully; she remembers the states of the time gone by, at the same time striving for a picture of both calmness and mild pulsation. She used to observe and she does observe life around her, abolishes anxiousness, and on the pedestal of the main lines of colour she elevates the joy of everyday living. Her Dalmatia, with the blue sea and sky accepts other chromatic accents, larger or smaller painting epicentres which to a certain lateralisation of the image give, besides the repertoire and the dialogue of the shape, a touch of humour. With love, Ivana reveals and transforms situations and themes of the picturesque south, developing them in the frames of her own poesy, and in accordance with that the style of lyrical translucency, with humour in the thematic layer, and with spirituality when approaching the very concept of the presented beauty. In creating paintings Ivana has opted for the use an unusual method and materials, which define the character of the work itself. The suppleness of wax in “aggregate states” of fluidity and solidity is essential for a painting’s epidermis, its texture, gloss and the huskiness of fragments.

Ivana has decided to use a different surface material while studying in Italy, where she followed artists and appearances she found attractive, thus reaching for an experiment on a technological level of credibility and authenticity in realisations of classical aesthetics, very much marked by contemporary sensitivity to which the door of innovation has been ajar.Furthermore, in the combinatorics of means, with painting and drawing parties, with winding, parallel, rhythmically balanced fibre threads, constructive units of certain paintings, with a collage of newspaper cuttings and, above all, depositions of wax, the material of tactile sensuality. Relief painting suggests narrow space in objectively clear architectonics of the scene.

Ivana Puljić is prone to variations of a certain scene, to dialogue related by pairs of similar coordinated systems and actors occupied (play is not excluded) with the same questions, but different ones too, however, all of them coloured in emotional enthusiasm. This can be seen when she walks in the park, climbs hills, gives over to the distance of the open sea, when she talks to people. Moreover, in order to express the pulse of life and nature she uses the lightness and the immediacy of croquis (at least in segments) and a full painting finish, thus showing that the lines and surfaces of wax are a sign of movement in a painting’s vitality. The lines are like a wick to the wax, sparks of energy among possibilities of the material of light and colour.

Stanko Špoljarić

Imaginary world

Imagery city views, monumental ambiance, are, often, inspiration to Ivana Puljić.
Experience of dear places Ivana translates into a kind of artistic game, combinations of a painting and a drawing in the dialogue of diversities, combined into unity of style. On the one hand, she inclines to, almost, documentary precision in artistic transformation of architecture - a trademark of particular city, and on the other hand she concedes to free stroke imminent to the children's amazement.
Ivana has preserved sketch directness visible in movement of linear and curved lines and indications of concerned in the translucency of the painting field. As a motive in a part of her opus Ivana has chosen familiar scenes, symbols of particular sights. But she, also, reveals her imaginary world of interesting stories in imaginative interlacing of dreams and presages, with content open to different possibilities of reading. Defending beauty, pure and unadulterated, is the guiding light of Ivana's painting.
Sensation of fluency has been created, flicker of form, enhanced, also, by applied technique. Ivana has chosen a wax as a media, a material for moulding a surface. She still uses a drawing, various applications (wittily woven into the scene) that, due to softness and brilliance of wax, create a surface of rich structure. However, there is still a sense of layered space with a significant role of white in the development of art events, with illustration reasonable expressed with thematic layer of the art work. A little bit surreal but also daily and poetical up to state of elevation of the ground. Verticality of composition is external sign of the shift with the lyrical connotation, with slender and nice details, houses, umbrellas, fishes, balloons, walkers in the atmosphere of serenity arising from the selected palette and colour sonority saturated with light. For instance, Ivana in dominant blueness brilliantly accentuates colours of raised intensity. The density of parallel lines corresponds with noble blemish of coloured wax, with colouristic pulses spreading in staging of unusual framing. From the visual, results the atmosphere of paintings, including notes of humour. Unobtrusive linearity is congruent with the subtlety of Ivana's opus overgrown on talent, youthful enthusiasm and intriguing repertoire of forms and is truly inweaved in her creative pathway. Indisputable freshness of approach, certainly defined by south is for Ivana space of special inspiration.

Stanko Špoljarić

On the occasion of wax

These are not words from an expert
but from an admirer.
Where to place Ivana’s intimity? Metaphysically,
magical realism or real surrealism?
Skilled and gentle is her minute hand.
Her clips are swallows sited on staff.
She paints in praise of secondary matters.
“Cio che mi ha detto il tram” / Carlo Carra /.
Her streetcar drive us through the Ilica street,
Her paintings are late candle light,
melting on the kitchen table.
We are sleeping in blue bed of Ivana’s childhood.
We linger our lives behind her Mediterranean
We are packing ourselves for leaving.
Our yearning is wax on wood.
Mysterious stranger who’s red umbrella
protects his backbone of existence.
I’m like a waxwork on Ivana’s page.

Arsen Dedić

Cross-over of taletelling reliefs

Labelling works that escape common “categorisation” seems to be not only risky but also a witless endeavour already since the lucid – for some perhaps also cynical – Tom Wolf’s “diagnosis” on literary or interpretative rigour of contemporary art, which becoming actually a “painted word” has often been a purpose to itself.
Nevertheless, it is hard to resist not naming a series of combined wax techniques on wood, that is, peculiar assemblages and taletelling bas-reliefs of Ivana Puljić, typical offspring of the idiosyncratic “cross-over” fine art. Or, particularly, a part of a tidal wave that combines various techniques which find their origin in the peculiar eclecticism and the post-modern freedom to choose forms and content(s).
Basically, we are witnessing here a real process of patchworking/colagging, yet not in a sense of traditional and common assembling of pieces of paper or debris “deposited” from everyday surrounding, but as a way to make/form a composition, “picture of the whole” and painting’s surface; and all that with deep premeditation and faultless selection of material.
Namely, different kinds of wax – natural, artificial and those mixed with pigments – have twofold function. They are, of course, major part of relief “configuration” of painting’s surface, its basic building element, surface on which one scratches as if it would be graphics, but as well they are translucent protective “emulsion” through which the underlying layer is visible. Moreover, wax happens to be not only a connective tissue which, in the painting’s whole, connects inserted objects and various materials – from nails, old diskette “floppy disc”, MP3 player or i-pod’s earphones, wires, cords... – but becomes a contemporary amber’s kin, in which the yellow enamel fossilised remains of departed life are eternally caught. Obviously, Ivana Puljić is authoress that insists on “facing” (juxtapositioning) formally disparate elements yet instead of leaving chaotic impression, each of her collage-reliefs is irresistibly seducing and meticulously wrought. Be it even when a painting – as a public advocacy of the idea of post-modern adoption – forms a drawing à la David Hockney, pop-artistic motives or informell’s “dramatic effects” used to form relief surface.The notion of new “fusions” of seemingly disparate elements and styles – which perhaps provokes the idea that all of the old “forms” and “classical disciplines”, and moreover the art of painting itself, are dead – is fully in tune with the main topic of Ivana’s work. As the title of this cycle suggests, the authoress is interested in parallelism of inner and outer worlds; the literal one – say, with apartment interiors and public transportations in which “time stands still” while the outer world “passes by” quickly as lightning – and, the symbolic one that speaks of questioning the connections between the inner self and outer world trapped by the translucent envelope of wax.

Zlatko Gall

Hidden liric impulses of the city

In a relatively short period of time the paintress Ivana Puljić articulates her existential and artistic position, concentrates her personal experience of the world not being interested in a firmly fixed view, but always in the new alchemy of carefully selected materials.
With the graduation on Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome (2000) this young paintress adds to her previous abstract questionings on silk, jute and cotton, a new cycle of portraits with a predominant narrative expression and alive lyric-expressive charge. In the lap of the liberal incentives of the postmodernism in Rome, with often engaged social contents and predomination of new technological media with very different bringing-about interventions, through a more freely pictorial treatment I. Puljić quickly opens herself to the visual impressions of the light magic of the big city and its countless faces. The encounter with the consequences of a depersonalization and dehumanization of the urban centers by no coincidence provokes in her a thoroughly individual artistic feeling that will guide her towards abandoning mimesis and entering in the fantastic world of symbols and metaphors. It is interesting that when selecting the material, as being obviously an obsessive dimension in her creative opus, Ivana has reached after a wax, researching its quality, plasticity and origin, but primarily color, to which she has added different pigments and hence, from a more bright and transparent across pastel tones, she has attained to a more dark gammas of blue, red, green and finally dark gray and black layers.
The urban jam which can thrill in the beginning with its colorfulness and rhythms of the contemporariness has quickly satiated the painter, which prone to silences and tranquil atmospheres turns back from an expressionistic fervency to the small, but for her important things. The world, which once seemed a secret suddenly becomes reality, the most simple givens of life and spaces around us accumulate new psychological contents soaked in poetic touches and hidden music.
Subtly and gently the authoress simply calls upon in purified forms certain poetic minimalism, be it street’ lights, lightened windows, ropes with flags or hanged clothes, calm city motives, but as well counterpoints of crashed delights and expressive colorist charges.The investigation of the space and the occupation with formative riddles, the different wax layers on the wooden plates and the new insertions of metal scraps with prodigious visual effects are in the same time an investigation of the spaces of consciousness, of broken memories, dreams and mediations.
If behind the appearance of the paintings by Ivana Puljić one can find traces of the consequences of human loneliness and anguish in the turbulences of the contemporary world, the lyric expression and inversion towards the rich sensual scale has doubtlessly discovered the freed inner impulse of one refined and elegant play.

Tonći Šitin

Investigating intimacy and space

The newest cycle of paintings by the promissing authoress Ivana Puljić from Split, which presents herself for the first time to the Šibenik audience, although being a new share of her liric expression it does make a continuation to a previously began specific investigations and reflections, now already within an extinct gammas of dark or black tonality with blazing coloristic accents.
If we remind ourselves with her graduation at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome (2000), the artist has added to the earlier questionings on silk, jute and cotton, a new cycle of portraits with a predominant narrative expression and alive lyric-expressive charge. In the lap of the liberal incentives of the postmodernism in Rome, with often engaged social contents and predomination of new technological media with very different bringing-about interventions, through a more freely pictorial treatment I. Puljić quickly opens herself to the visual impressions of the light magic of the big city and its countless faces. In a madly poetic imagination, curious searching, but as well purifying of the composition and aspiration for a technical perfection, an almost nomadic spirit finds anew, as it were, a safe asylum.
Interestingly enough, when selecting the material, as being obviously an obsessive dimension in her creative opus, Ivana has reached after a wax, researching its quality, plasticity and origin, but primarily color, to which she has added different pigments and hence, from a more bright and transparent across pastel tones, she has attained to a more dark gammas of blue, red, green and finally dark gray and black layers.
She palpably demonstrates that a persistent and systematic work on the technical-craft’s perfecting can bear fruit to perfection of the lyric experience and refer to the multilayerness of the whole sight.
The urban jam which in the beginning can thrill with its colorfulness and rhythms of the contemporariness has quickly satiated the painter, which prone to silences and tranquil atmospheres turns back from an expressionistic fervency to the small, but for her important things.
The spatial fascination by the vistas and city-squares, by the seethe of life in the eternal Rome, gradually enriches through the investigation of the so called inner life, of ultimately simple quotidian facts, there where a dream, memory, loneliness with abundance of metaphoric connotations dwell.
Subtly and gently the authoress simply calls upon in purified forms certain poetic minimalism, be it street’ lights, lightened windows, ropes with flags, calm city motives, but as well counterpoints of crashed delights and expressive colorist charges.
The investigation of the space and the occupation with métier problems, the different wax layers on the wooden plates, the new insertions of metal scraps with prodigious visual effects (e.g. Tango), are not for Ivana only a heritage of the surroundings but a personal searching, in her vision with a warmth of feelings she wants to appease worlds, with an upheaval of imagination she wants to touch human spiritual landscapes.
If behind the appearance of the paintings by Ivana Puljić one can find traces of the consequences of human loneliness and anguish in the turbulences of the contemporary world, the lyric expression and inversion towards the rich sensual scale has doubtlessly discovered the freed inner impulse of one refined and elegant play.
The persistent work on creating a recognizable signet, which on a conceptual level we experience very emotionally and with strong tones of lyricism, intends an in-depth observation of the world, subtly registering each alteration of it.

Tonći Šitin

The simple title combined technique that stands by her paintings hides a whole range of methods and materials that require patience, precision and speed in order to result with desired effect.
On the wooden pad she places cloth or a net; she uses thread, clutch, paint, wax...The richness of materials and processes ultimately results in magical paintings of realism.Her paintings remind me of dreams; those dreams in which you recognize the clear outlines of objects, well-known things, situations and people that you see every day, but they are located in some unusual, somewhat nightmarish places and connected in ways possible only in dreams.
Ivana Puljic introduced herself to Karlovac audience with thirty-four paintings made in combined technique that could be, in short, described as wax on wood. These paintings were made during last few years, in the period from 2006 to 2010. Few older paintings, made in 2006 and 2007, show a strong link between the artist and the material she uses – almost the entire paintings are covered with wax. In time, this relationship slowly loosens and the artist emphasises particular segments, what results in increased intensity of her paintings and in wax gaining the strength and coming to the forefront. This is especially evident in the paintings made in 2009. It is hard to sort her art works by themes but motive that wriggles through the largest number of her paintings is certainly the motive of the city, of its urban part.
Often, she paints Split. Vivid in every way, it is a city that she misses when she is far away, but also a city that is a bit suffocating when she is in it for a too long.
In such situations, she returns to Rome, the place where her painting skills maturated; to the city that had formed her in her young, formative years when we are thirsty for knowledge and desire experience. She does not lack the inspiration there.This exhibition gives an insight into the intimate world of the artist, into paintings that at first glance appear blurred, but that invite you to pause and to gaze at them.
Only then you will recognize and discover all that they display, and, maybe, find a piece of your dream on some of them.

Silvija Huljina


Wax, as a painting medium, determinates all paintings exhibited by Ivana Puljić. It determinates them just as much as, for example, the metrics matrix determinates a sonnet. The painter has to take into consideration its technological and medium specificities, equally at times when wax gives her wings as well as at times when she, by her own good will, transforms its expressional limits into a welcome advantage. In the same way as the limits of a frame have become, with time, the key element of a painting.
In these paintings everything is wax and everything is made of wax. However, some of them are more “waxy” than others. Those are the ones in which the painter uses a tiny cloud of wax over the already existing coat of wax in order to separate signs, symbols and even a scene, that is, the most important details on those paintings. By constructing a metaphor of the story on the basis of inequality of the more and the less important, she also composes the denotative and visual matrix of the painting. This assembly of painted material gives conciseness to expression, but reduces the possibility for creative involvement of an observer.
In the other, here exhibited, paintings– those that were not painted in the above described manner, those in which the eye is not focused on only one stronghold - the spectators enjoy freedom of non-binding “open space” of the painting which is left to their imagination.
Therefore, Ivana Puljić offers interactive realisation in one group of paintings, while in the other group of paintings she offers hierarchical, gradual and concise realisation.
The line, guided by the hand, likes the technically precise, descriptively readable drawing that finds a well known shape interesting, but it does not object when the painter entrusts it with the role of an unsettling factor, when it becomes a servant of the rhythm.
A range of denotations at the disposal of the painter manipulate with the general, most imminent knowledge that each one of us possesses, but for which we do know how we acquired it or where it came from. Probably it has been a part of us forever. It is exactly that agreeable comfort of revelation that the painter relies on when she presents this type of painting to us.
Those among us who are systematically interested in visual arts know that our senses present the world of individual events in inextricably connected and mixed images.
However, if we were to leave those images only to our senses we would never succeed in untangling them nor in clearly understanding their structure. Luckily, our minds possess instruments to understand generality in its clearest form. It is this talent of ours that she counts on and manipulates with. She pulls us in her spiritual game that gives us comfortable access to the world of these paintings, which we experience as being simultaneously inside and out of/above it. A good example of such narrative game can be found in the works exhibited here which bind together the landmarks of two or more cities with very different visual identities. Let me revert to one of them - the painting «Dance of the Venetian Gondolas» which 'hosts’ visual identities of the three cities (Split, Venice, Zagreb). Rialto and Peristil participate in a mix of identities whose final result is a new, self-sufficient, visual reality. These works are, in most cases, very successful – ones that the painter can be particularly proud of.
One of the elements which is not the most important for this type of painting, but is obviously constantly present in its spiritual meander is the aesthetics of the comic. I shall say no more on this topic. This generalized observation results from the perception that the connection of these paintings with the comic is buried somewhere deep in our subconscious, so this perception is more of a feeling rather than a clear and elaborated argument.
The painter feels good and comfortable in the liberalistic milieu of the postmodernism. However, she has not sworn fidelity to it and therefore she frequently shifts away from it and tries out other liberties, other experiences.
The shift of these paintings from the postmodernist experience is perceived in the fact that these individual signs are not without reference, they are not “paintings without reality, and even less are they reality without a foundation”. Her hyper-reality bases its authenticity on objectification. That “simulacrum”, suitable only for her, leads us to perceive the painter as the one who believes that what she advocates in the social field is only a more or less attainable Utopia.
This multi-layered richness in front of you is dedicated to those who posses a deeper, more fundamental intimacy of information. The search of structure of these paintings reveals complexity which results in simplicity and readability and that is the final impression of these paintings.

Andro Filipić

Wax, the son of alchemy

The wax, fascinating material with large expressive potential.
Son of alchemy - but only figuratively speaking - wax in itself includes two complementary aspects: it can be a liquid, and it can be a solid. It occurs naturally and can be man-made.It is stretchable. It is a noble material that carries ancient stories.
Ivana Puljic discovers encaustic from books while studying art history in Split and at the Academy of the fine arts in Rome. Meanwhile, she experiments with techniques to give voice to her inner world before she decides to express herself through figurative painting, mixing pigments and melted wax.
Language of expression, which is her own, goes further than the painting itself; borders with sculpture; crossing varieties of graphics; and all of this is exactly true for the creation of full and empty surfaces, adding and removing. One dynamic and uterine vision in which the sensory aspect of touch is no less important than the visual appearance, a conceptual concern. Touching the surface of the painting, feeling the softness or hardness of the material leads us beyond the two-dimensionality of the painting as it is. Some speak of contamination when watching her work; work in which there is, certainly, formal solutions and content of the historical avant-garde: from fauvists to futurists, not forgetting matrix of Dadaists’ Pop Art. But, looking deeper, we see the message of Renaissance culture. The significance of placing the man in the centre of the universe. Poetics cantered on man is in fact the one of Ivana Puljic. The man is in his present, which is, also, ours, the artist’s and the viewer’s.The action takes place within the architectural - urban scenarios dominated by technology of progress, between objects and dynamics of everyday life. However, there is evident lack of the human figure, or better, its presence mainly in an indirect way.It starts with pairs: presence/absence, interior/exterior...
As for the psychological components, she finds strength through chromatics.Mediterranean colours, combined with a soft form - often only emphasized by the drawing, which exude with the immediate freshness - that has leaked from domestic interiors.In the 'interiors' series artist carves gutters in the painting, more or less deep, filling them with pigment and melted wax.
Where everyday objects - even those banal - such as telephone, clothes-pegs, a pair of slippers, TV or a washing machine, curtains, a carpet ... represent an oasis of security, which surrounds the individual, confronted with inevitable predictability.
Darker shades - shades of grey and black – follow, above all, a vision of strict perspective from the outside, lit by sporadic red spots (lights at night) and white ropes that outline the profiles of large buildings, railway stations, overhead transmission towers, cars, pedestrian crossings, rails...
In these works - many of whom have the title derived from time & hour- work process is different. At the bottom of the grey texture of the canvas we see the elements of thread-rope immobilized with metal staples. Here, casting wax, besides indicating the form, interprets the idea of movement. Two worlds, existing in parallel, in which Ivana Puljic enters on tiptoe.

Manuela de Leonardis

Playing with the wax

In the material world that surrounds us and that we are experiencing, creative interventions in space, whatever they may be, are immanent only to humans. The man has always tried to leave his mark on our, blue planet and at the same time to, in his kind’s unique way, capture the emotions: fears, desires, doubts, intentions, comfort and discomfort; i.e., exactly the deepest, inner feelings. Initially, he did it with what he has always had with himself: his body (gestures), voice (scream), mime (grimace). Over time, he developed and mastered himself as well as the environment in which he lived, and gradually discovered new methods and new tools.
Speech was born, first tools were made and in the moment when he imprinted his hand on the stone in the cave in which he lived begins his artistic expression, begins the history of art.In the world of recent artistic creations Ivana Puljic, from Split, who paints between her hometown and Rome, leaves her specific tracks in an interesting and, primarily, unusual way.
Why do I say "unusual way"?
Primarily because of her choice of media she uses to present us her intimate artistic vision. It was long ago when we got accustomed to the standard materials like pencils, pastels, and ink in colours, watercolours, oil and acrylic colours, but we stop of surprise in front of her paintings because Ivana expresses her poetics by - wax. Not crayons, but wax. This seamy and, apparently, deficient material in her hands becomes a kind of seductive and playful colour spectrum, just what she needs to convey her message. After perceiving the very core of this material, regardless of its natural or industrial origin, the artist, in her permanent experiment, inbreathes in it a whole new dimension making it suitable, subtle, eloquent, in a whole new way and for her needs usable, useful medium.
Ivana Puljić is hundred percent urban and it is hard for her to separate herself from the urban elements. They deeply pervade her, as well as her paintings. She sings a lyric ode to a megapolis, architecture, industrial civilization of ordinary, utilitarian objects such as telephones, refrigerators, washing machines, metro or harbour cranes. The man, an ubiquitous culprit, is disguised; he is rarely in the forefront. And when he, timidly, emerges from gloomy and generally dark waxy sfumato, around him, behind and above him surmounts threatening apocalyptic premonition. Escape from that incognisance and threatening surrounding Ivana often finds (as well as we in front of her paintings) just behind the doors and windows, subtly penetrating in the intimacy of the interior. In there she feels well, peaceful, surrounded by familiar colours, sounds and smells of well known, everyday objects. Such poetry of hers is always expressively emphasized only by one, but powerful detail, that, at the first moment occupies all our attention and then gradually exposes her tiny horizons of imagination and inevitably leads us into the realm of relaxation, tranquillity and understanding.

Pavle Kaunitz

Time Trinity

The time in which we live: contemporary, modern, sophisticated - we can not perceive without looking at the past and into the future. Everything is connected, including time which has an important influence on the art works.The miracle of creation of an art work is, at the most, linked to the time trinity or its triple layer meaning that every author has to learn from the past, to be and act in the present and hope, yearn for the future.
And each Trinity is mysterious and intriguing, especially the brightest one that encourages us and lead us through hard times!
Often, art works send us back in time, or allow us a glance to future: sometimes we believe that it will be better and sometimes we don’t. In any case and, beside only aesthetic experience, it stimulates us to contemplate!
Ivana mainly addresses today's observer, creating works in which contemporary motives prevail, motives that surround her, technological or architectural themes.
But, we will see old fashioned curtains on the windows everywhere; we will see romantic blue sky full of stars or the old tiles on the walls, Roman or Split’s, all the same. Although these are the details, they testify connection between time and space and our aspirations to Eternity. Education acquired in Italy - in the cradle of the art - and Dalmatian origins connected to the Mediterranean, destined Ivana to choose colors and color schemes by following the topic she represents in that moment wise.
Modern buildings sometimes look like masts and department stores look like arenas what, today, basically, they are - arenas of bizarreness and consumer society.
The trendy interiors are bitten by the details that prove the speed of everyday life what the artist paints in especially sensible way.
Subtle is, and really special, color specter of the wax which she uses for her paintings, using only one color for the background but shaded to perfection.
The main motive is shaped by the line that emphasizes the presence of the interior, with details of appropriate color specter, confirming her knowledge of various painting styles and canons, and pointing out the author's originality in choosing the themes, colors and emphasized details.

Ivana Kokić


A young painter, Ivana Puljic, with her professional choice, already demonstrates a distinguished capability for detailed research on visual arts; and essentially, her paintings in encaustic technique offer a full view of a modern urban life.
The encaustic technique, used by our painter, consists in painting by wax. The powdered pigment colour is mixed with hot melted wax, and while it is still in a liquid state, it is applied to a wooden base, which partially absorbs the coloured wax. When the wax cools down, the painting maintains the brilliance, vitality of tones and resistance to humidity.   
However, it is not resistant to heat. To apply wax and colour, she uses carving instruments. The encaustic technique, as a way of painting, was used by the ancient Egyptians in the V century BC. The same technique was also known in the period beginning from IV century BC to our days. Through Hellenic paintings, the encaustic technique has arrived to roman paintings, and examples can be seen among the works produced until the IV century. The Greeks initially used this technique to decorate ships and houses; and later, after V century BC, they used it for mural paintings. In western European art, particularly important are the portraits done on wooden tablets, found on various sarcophagi together with the mummies in El Fayum, Egypt, which belong to the period between I and IV century BC. Ivana Puljic uses this antique painting technique with awareness and intuition.  Probably the latter, together with her curious spirit and attention to details, plays a very important role. Her portraits are of strong expressiveness and sensibility, and are characterized by the choice of shapes and colours, through which she gives a perfect interpretation of the young.  The paintings of her pop icons transmit colours rich in tones and shadings. Our painter intertwines lines and surfaces in an inventive way, thus increasing pictorial richness of illustration; the colours in the background create abstract applications, with a clean cut of figures and reflexes on the paintings that increases tension. To apply coloured wax, with equal mastery, Ivana uses spatula and carving instruments; and using these different tools, she structures the pictorial surface. In order to interpret the urban and modern world, by reasoning on life in general, our painter uses one of the most antique painting techniques, changes it and makes it perfect. Regardless of her young age, she is capable of contemplating a modern society with a technique of old times; and precisely in this contradiction resides the cause of her observation and interpretation.

Maruša Avgustin

Batik - painting with a poetic expression

Painting, drawing, writing - these three elements are attributed to an expressive ancient technique Batik.  The oldest batik art forms have been found in ancient Egypt and Persia around the 5th century. Much earlier, in China and in Japan, batik has been used for decoration of cloths made of silk, linen and cotton. Batik is a technique of wax-resist dyeing of cloth and then soaking the cloth in paint. The procedure is similar to a graphic technique - in negative. In Europe, the technique was introduced in 17th century by the Dutch. At the first, no special significance is given to this new technique because the paintings looked very exotic, but on a global exhibition in Amsterdam the batik art forms achieved great success, and only after that, many artists seriously adopted this technique.In the Netherlands, great interest for batik generates and furthermore, highly esteemed schools of design were founded.Could we call batik a new artistic expression? I would say yes. Even in USA, a country open for new artistic directions, a great architect of Dutch origins, Pieter Mayer, opened his studio for batik decorations in the centre of New York.And so, young artist Ivana Puljić dedicated her artistic painter’s search to this technique, knowing that in the history of art, this expressive technique is not fully used. I am sure that this exhibition is the result of knowledge and tireless search with which the artist Ivana Puljić encounters. Blue, dark blue and purple are the colours prevailing in her paintings, they are the poetic letters and notes she plays on the canvas. I do not know if these interesting paintings have a decorative function, I believe that they do not have it. In fact, I think they are completely detached from its original meaning. The artist Ivana Puljić gave them a more complete meaning - not to be a part of something, but to shine with their own light. The motives of her paintings will never be decorative as they are full of mystery, of strong impressions, in short – they are scenes from life.

Prof. Italo Scelza Palumbo