Ivan Generalic biography

Ivan Generalic

Ivan Generalic

painter

21st Dec 1914 (Hlebine, Croatia)

27th Nov 1992 (Koprivnica, Croatia)

Born in Hlebine, a small village in Croatian region Podravina, on 21st Dec 1914.

In his childhood, while his friends played hide-and-seek, he used a small branchlet to make drawings in the sand. From that time until he died he never separated from a pencil or a brush.
In elementary scholl he liked painting lessons the most and his greatest joy was a sketch-book. The least he liked maths. As a child, to earn money for his painting material, he went to bowling and set up skittles for the players.

Mostly he drew with pencil on paper bags in his uncle’s store. Those drawings were seen there by professor Krsto Hegedusic, in that time (1930) a student of art academy, who exclaimed: “This is superb! Who did it?!” The historic meeting between Hegedusic and young Ivan Generalic happened soon after that, as well as Ivan’s first public exhibition in Zagreb Art pavillion in 1931. This first contact with citizens and positive critiques led to a new era of not only Croatian art, but world one as well, as history showed us.

In 1934 he married with Anka Kolarek and got son Josip in 1936. He spent 1938 in military service and becomes the member of ULUH (society of Croatian artists) in 1945. In 1953 he exhibited in Paris, where he lived and painted for two months. He visited many museums and galleries, admiring Mona Lisa in Louvre the most, as he said. Of all beautiful critiques he received for his work, the one from French novelist and critic he liked the most. Marcel Arlan wrote: “He was born by the land.  He posesses it’s sweetness, wisdom and charm. And he needs no other guides.” In 1959 he painted “The deer wedding” – his most valuable work, according to evaluation of people who were following Croatian naive art for a long time.

When asked why is he painting, Ivan Generalic replies: “I don’t know, as I wouldn’t know to answer why I live.” He just didn’t know how to live without painting.

In 1975, after his wife Anka died, he moved to Sigetec, a village next to Hlebine where he married for a second time and lived there till the end. Some consider this moment as a turnpoint in his career as things were never the same in naive art movement as before.
Ivan Generalic has a large number of followers, beside his coleagues which form The first generation – Franjo Mraz and Mirko Virius. The members of the second generation are Franjo Filipovic, Dragan Gazi, Josip Generalic, Mijo Kovacic, Martin Mehkek and Ivan Vecenaj. There are even more members of The third and The fourth generation of naive art paintiers. Ivan Generalic thus spoke: “I am a general of my army!” He gave advice to many of those youg painters who used it in their favour and faster progress.

Ivan Generalic is the greatest Croatian naive art painter and one of the greatest world painters of this century.

Ivan Generalic died in Koprivnica on 27th November 1992 and was buried in village Sigetec near Hlebine.

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by Goran Generalic

* Untold stories – Hobbies

Football
When he was young, he actualy played for the football club “Lipa” from Hlebine.
Ivan just loved it – he rarely missed a good game on TV but never missed a real match in his village Sigetec. He often donated various equipment to the local football team.
No matter who came to visit him, if there was a football match, he excused himself and went to watch it!

Pigeons
His passion for birds never ceased – later on he had dozens of pigeons he cared for.

Fishing
Even in his old age he didn’t stop going to river Drava. He was always welcomed by other fishermen who nowadays have great stories about time spent with Ivan Generalic. Even if he didn’t succeed in catching a fish, he was always given one, so he never came home empty-handed.

* Untold stories – Helping other artists

What’s true
Ivan rarely rejected a young painter who asked for his personal opinion. Many of them brought their works so Ivan can see them and give them advice – about perspective, concept, colours, balance…
Many of them were taking critics, working hard until the results were better or even good. Others felt insulted and never came back.

What’s not true
Many painters put the name of Ivan Generalic in their biographies as their teacher, while he taught only a few members of The second generation of naive artists (Franjo Filipovic being the first one).

* Untold stories – Teaching painting at the school

Sometimes a period when Ivan Generalic was a teacher in elementary school in Hlebine is interpreted as that he was teaching how to paint in “Hlebinian naive art school”.
The latter is a term which describes a movement in art, not the actual school. He was a teacher for a short time simply because back then, a long time ago, there were no enough qualified teachers to work in school, so an already famous artist was more than welcome to teach children.

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Principal exhibitions

1931
III izlozba Zemlje, Umjetnicki paviljon, Zagreb
1932
IV izlozba Zemlje, Umjetnicki paviljon, Zagreb
1934
V izlozba Zemlje, Umjetnicki paviljon, Zagreb
Noviti hudoznici – Druzestvo Zemlja, Galerija Preslav, Sofija
1935
VI izlozba Zemlje, Umjetnicki paviljon, Beograd
VII izlozba Zemlje, Umjetnicki paviljon, Zagreb (zabranjena)
1936
Generalić, Mraz, Virius, Salon Ulrich, Zagreb
1937
Skupina sondobych chorvatskych maliru, Praha
Beograd
1938
Salon Ulrich, Zagreb
Novi Sad
1939
XVI izlozba hrvatskih umjetnika, Umjetnicki paviljon, Zagreb
1947
Izlozba jugoslavenskih slikara naivaca, Moskva, Leningrad
1948
Jugoslavenski slikari naivci, Krakov, Warszawa, Bratislava, Praha
1952
Izlozba seljaka umjetnika, Galerija primitivne umjetnosti, Zagreb
1953
Seljaci slikari, Galerija primitivne umjetnosti, Zagreb
1953
Generalic, Salon Yougoslave, Paris
1954
III izlozba slikarstva i kiparstva, Umjetnicka galerija, Dubrovnik 1955
Ivan Generalic, Gradska galerija, Beograd
Generalic, Seljacka umjetnicka galerija, Zagreb
III bienale International, Museu de Arte Moderna, Sao Paolo
Hlebinska skola, Zagreb
60 slika jugoslavenske moderne umjetnosti, Marseille, Bordeaux, Nancy, Metz, Stuttgart, Zürich
1957
Savezna izlozba naivnih umetnika Jugoslavije, Umjetnicki paviljon, Beograd
Suvremena jugoslavenska umjetnost, Gradska galerija Dubrovnik, Coventry, Manchester, Lancaster
1958
Savezna izlozba naivnih umjetnika Jugoslavije, Zagreb
50 Ans d’Art Moderne, Exposition Universalle, Bruxelles
La peinture naive du Douanier Rousseau a nos jours, Knokke Le Zoute
Art et travail, Palais des expositions, Charleroi
Izlozba crteza I. Generalica, Galerija primitivne umjetnosti, Zagreb
Vystawa Lidrovych Primitivu Jugoslavije, Staro metske namesti, Praha, Brno, Moravska Ostravay
1959
Palais des beaux arts, Bruxelles
1960
“Generalić, Virius, Skurjeni”, Galleria la Nuova Pesa, Roma. “Pintores populares Jugoslavos”, Galeria Sistina, Sao Paolo. Koprivnica. Samobor. Dubrovnik. Split. Rijeka. Antibes. “Generalić”, Galerija primitivne umjetnosti, Zagreb. “Gene¬ralić”, Moderna galerija, Rijeka.
1961
“Das Naive Bild der Welt”, Staatlische Kunsthalle, Baden¬Baden; Historisches Museum, Frankfurt/M; Kunstverein, Mu¬seum am Ostwall, Dortmund; Wiesbaden. “Lainmaler”, Gewerbemuseum, Basel. “60 godina slikarstva i kiparstva u Hrvatskoj”, Umjetnički paviljon, Zagreb. “I trienale likovnih umetnosti”, Beogradski sajam, Beograd. “Contemporary Yu¬goslav Primitive Painters” Arthur Jeffers Gallery, London. “Pintores populares Jugoslavos”, Galeria Barcinski, Rio de Janeiro. Gradska galerija, Karlovac.
1962
“Vistavka proizvedenih hudožnikov primitivistov Jugoslavii”, Leningrad. “Prvi kvadrijenale naivnih umetnika Jugoslavije”, Galerija Nadežde Petrović, Čačak. “Naivna umjetnost Jugo¬slavije”, Radničko sveučilište Moše Pijade, Zagreb. Yugo¬slav Modern Primitives Paintings”, National Gallery of Scot¬tland. “Generalić”, Galerija primitivne umjetnosti, Zagreb. Salon moderne galerije, Beograd. Umjetnički paviljon, Sarajevo. “Ivan i Josip Generalić”, Zagrebački velesajam, Zagreb.
1963
Galerija studentskog centra, Zagreb. “Svijet naivnih”, Podravka, Koprivnica. “Naivni 63”, Gale¬rija primitivne umjetnosti, Zagreb. “Narodnjie hudožniki primitivistlji Jogoslavii”, Ermitaž, Leningrad; Muzej Puškin, Moskva. “Jugoszlav naiv muveszek kiallitasa”, Muesarnok, Budapest. “Nutida Jugoslavisk Konst”, Konstforening, Va¬steras. “Naive Kunst in Jugoslawien”, Akademie der bilden¬den Kunste, Wien. “Svet naivnih”, Umetnostni paviljon, Slo¬venj Gradec.
1964
Muzej na sovremena umetnost, Skopje. “Ivan Generalić und die Schule von Hlebine”, City Galerie, Zurich. “2. trijenale likovnih umjetnosti”, Beogradski sajam, Beograd. “Naive Kunst”, Wolfgang Gurlitt Museum, Linz. “Izložba ULUH-a”, Galerija umjetnina, Vukovar. “Naive Malerei in Jugoslawien”, Matildahohe, Darmstadt; Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund; Kunsthalle, Recklinghausen; Kunst¬haus, Hamburg. “Der Lusthof der Naiven”, Boymans Mu¬seum, Rotterdam, “Die Welt der Naiven Malerei”, Salzburger Rezidenzgalerie, Salzburg.
1965
“The Hlebine School”, Mercury Gallery, London. “ULUH”, Umjetnički paviljon, Zagreb. “Akvizicije”, Galerija primitivne umjetnosti, Zagreb. Muzej savremene umetnosti (Draga Panić: Slikarstvo od 1900. do 1945. Dragoslav Đorđević• Slikarstvo posle 1945.) Muzej savremene umjetnosti, Beograd, 1965. “Ivan und Josip Generalić”, Galerie Fridrich Dahlen, Miin¬chen. “Ivan Generalić-Vangel Naumovski”, Narodnoit mu¬zej, Ohrid.
1966
“Naivna umjetnost”, Između vrata od Ploča, Dubrovnik. “I trienale insitneho umenia”, Slovenska narodna galerija, Bra¬tislava. “Zagrebački salon”, Moderna galerija, Zagreb. “NOB u delima umetnika”, Galerija doma JNA, Beograd. “IV susret mladih naivnih umjetnika”, Gradski muzej, Bjelovar. “Profile VI, Jugoslawische Kunst heute”, Stadtische Kunstgalerie, Bochum. “Kunst der Naiven in Jugoslawien”, Stadtmuseum, Miinchen. “International Naive Art”, Gallery La Boetie, New York. “Naive Malerei aus Jugoslawien”, Volksbildungs¬heim, Frankfurt/M; Jahrhunderthalle, Hoechst.
1966
Stadtmuseum, Munchen. “Ivan und Josip Generalić”, Galerie Bernard, Solothurn. “Ivan und Josip Generalić”, Galerie Tecta, Dusseldorf.
1967
“Ivan Generalić”, Galerie fiir naive Kunst, Bruno Bischof¬berger, Ziirich. “Savremena hrvatska umetnost”, Muzej savremene umetnosti, Beograd. “Naivna umjetnost”, Zorin dom, Karlovac. Dom željezničara, Šoderica. Galerie fiir Naive Kunst Ziirich. “50 godina oktobarske revolucije”, Galerija doma JNA, Beograd. “Umjetnost Podravine”, Gradski muzej, Bjelovar. “Metster der naiven Kunst aus Jugoslawien”, Kunstmuseum, St. Gal¬len. “Profili”, Galerija primitivne umjetnosti, Zagreb. “Naiv¬na umjetnost”, Hotel Ambasador Opatija. “Studio 67”, Mo¬derna galerija, Rijeka. “Za kruh i slobodu. Angažirana umjetnost u zemljama Jugoslavije do 1941. godine”, Galerija likovnih umjetnosti, Osijek.
1968
“Ivan und Josip Generalić”, Galerie fiir moderne Kunst, Basel. “Peintres naifs”, Galerie d’art moderne, Basel. “Pittori naifs Jugoslavi”, Galleria Rotta, Genova “Profili 68” , Galerija primitivne umjetnosti, Zagreb. “Hlebine 68”, Galerija, Hle¬bine. “Natale con i Naifs”, Galleria del Cortile, Novara. “Naivni 68”, Umjetnička galerija, Dubrovnik. “Les grandes peintres naifs Yougoslaves”, Galerie Mona Lisa, Paris. “In¬ternational Naive Kunst”, Galerie fiir naive Kunst, Ziirich. “I naifs Jugoslavi”, Galleria Cortina, Milano. “Naive Kunst aus Jugoslawien” Kunst und Museumsverein, Wuppertal; Kunsthalle, Bremen; Pfalzgalerie, Kaiserslautern. “Arte naif de Yugoslavia”, Museo de arte moderno, Mexico City; Gua¬najuate; Morelia; Guadalajara; San Luis Potosi; Aguasealien¬tes; Torreon; Monterrey; Jalapa. “Naive Kunst uit Joego¬slavie”, Albert Dorne Gallery, Amsterdam; Museum voor Stad en Lende, Groningen. “International exhibition of Naif Painting”, Galleria L’Approdo, Torino. “Svet naivnih”, Ko¬stanjevica.
1969
“Izložba povodom 50 godišnjice SKJ”, ULUH, Zagreb. “Svet naivnih”, Galerija vila Bled, Bled. “2. trienale insitneho ume¬nia”, Slovenska narodna galeria, Bratislava. “Naive Kunst aus Jugoslawien”, Gutenberg Museum, Mainz. “Peinture naive Yougoslave”, Musee Municipal, Saint Paul de Vanee. “Grands peintres naives Yougoslaves”, Musee Henri Rous¬seau, Laval. “Izložba iz kolekcije galerije”, Galerija, Hlebine. “Jugoslawische Naive Kunst”, Galerie Pro Arte & Urban Galerie, Basel. “Yugoslav Naive Paintres”, Park Lane Show Room, London “Medunarodna likovna rastava”, Rastavni paviljon, Murska Sobota; Radenci. “Svet naivnih”, Osnovna šola, Trebnje. “I naifs Jugoslavi”, Galleria L’Oblo, Cagliari. “Grande exposition de peintres naifs de Yugoslavie”, Mon¬treux. “I naifs Jugoslavi”, Galleria Caldarese, Bologna. “Pit¬tori contadini Jugoslavi”, Galleria del Cortile, Novara. “Pit¬tori naifs”, Galleria Il Ridotto, Torino. “Yugoslav naive paintings and sculpture”, A. A. Rockefeller folk art collec¬tion, Williamsburg (Virginia); Hackley Art Gallery, Muske¬gon (Michigan). “Naive Kunst”, Hotel Intercontinental Frankfurt/M. “L’art Naif”, Hilton, Bruxelles. “Tentoonsteling Naieve Kunst”, Hilton, Rotterdam. “Naive Kunst aus Jugo¬slawien” Hotel Intercontinental, Hannover. “Naieve Kunst”, Gemente Huis, Geel. “Disegni di naifs Jugoslavi”, Galleria del Cortile, Novara. “Angažirana umetnost v Jugoslaviji 1919.-1969.”, Umetnostna galerija, Slovenj Gradec. “Nad¬realizam i socijalna umetnost 1929-1950”, Muzej savremene umetnosti, Beograd.
1970
“I naifs Jugoslavi”, Galleria Ars, Venezia. “Painters of Eu¬rope to day”, University of Wyoming, Laramie; Canadian Glenbow Foundation, Calgary; Fayette Bank, Uniontown; Dullin Gallery, Knoxwille; G. T. Hunter Gallery, Chattano¬ga; Taylor Museum, Colorado Springs; Scardale, New York; University of Delavare, Newwark; Fontaineblau, Mayami Beach. “Naivni 70”, Umjetnički paviljon, Galerija primitivne umjetnosti, Zagreb. Ilijanum, Muzej naivne umjetnosti. “Ju¬goslavenski naivni umjetnici”, Galerija kulturni centar, Beo¬grad. “Gaži, Generalić, Kovačić”, Galerija, Hlebine. “Opere grafiche dei Naifs Jugoslavi”, Galleria del Cortile, Novara. “Ivan i Josip Generalić”, Atelier Ivana Generalića, Hlebine. “Ivan i Josip Generalić”, Galerija V. Nazor, Zagreb. Tvor¬nica papira, Zagreb.
1971
“Ivan Generalić”, Sveučilište grada, Koprivnica. “Ivan e Josip Generalić”, Galleria Arno, Firenze. Kino dvorana, Varaždin¬ske Toplice. “Ivan Generalić-retrospektiva”, Galerija, Hle¬bine. “Ivan i Josip Generalić”, Umjetnička galerija, Dubrov¬nik. “Ivan et Josip Generalić”, Galerie Motte, Geneve. “Travelling exhibition”, Museum of Sulthwest, Midland Texas; Umversity of Devare, Newwar. “Peintres naives You¬goslaves”, Galerie Mona Lisa, Paris. “Profili”, Galerija pri¬mitivne umjetnosti, Zagreb. “6. zagrebački salon”, Umjetnički paviljon, Zagreb. “Umjet¬nost na tlu Jugoslavije”, Skenderija, Sarajevo. Galeria Arno, Firenze. Galleria Torbandena, Trieste. Canwas Art Gallery, Wancouver. “Veliki majstori hrvatske naivne umjetnosti¬crteži i serigrafije”, Kreditna banka, Zagreb. “Dipinti e opere grafiche dei pittori naifs Jugoslavi”, Courmayeur. “Kritička retrospektiva Zemlje”, Umjetnički paviljon, Zagreb. “Naive Kunst aus Jugoslawien”, Landolinshef, Esslingen am Ne¬ckar “I naifs Jugoslavi”, Galleria 1-1, Padova. “Werke und Werkstatt naiver Kunst”, Kunsthalle, Reelinghausen. “L’art en Yougoslavie de la prehistoire a nos jours”, Grand palais, Paris.
1972
“Crteži i grafike”, Gradski muzej, Vukovar. Muzej požeške kotline, Požega Osijek. Đakovo. “Jugoslawische Naive Ma¬lerei”, Galerie fur naive Kunst Charlotte, Munchen. “Nad¬realizam i hrvatska likovna umjetnost”, Umjetnički paviljon, Zagreb. “Naive Kunst aus Jugoslawien” Galerie Porta, Wup¬pertal. “Hlebinska jesen”, likovni salon, Đakovo. “Naive Malerei aus Jugoslawien”, Zimmergalerie, Dusseldorf. “Na¬ivna umjetnost Jugoslavije”, Galerija, Hlebine. “Pittori naifs Jugoslavi e Francesi”, Galleria La Viscontea, Rho (Milano). “Pittori Jugoslavi e Francesi” g Salone delle Arti Domestiche, Torino. “Naive aus Jugoslawien”,
Sammlung Holzinger, Miinchen. Izložba Jugoslavenske naivne umjetnosti: Bukurešt – Musej “Ateneum Romanul”. “Ivan Generalić”, Ilijanum, Šid. “Ivan und Josip Generalić”, Zimmergalerie, Dusseldorf “Ivan und Josip Generalić”, Sammlung Novotny, Offenbach/M.
1973
Narodni majstori Jugoslavije Erevan – Tblisi – “Dom hudožnika” SSSR.

(List concluded as in the book The magic world of Ivan Generalic, 1975.)