Varazdin, Croatia, 1948
Zagreb based artist Goran Trbuljak has been active since the late 1960s, in the context of conceptual art and the so-called New Art Practice. While searching from the very beginning for alternative means of production and representation of the artwork, Trbuljak has redefined the status of artistic context, asking radical questions about the autonomy of the system of museums and galleries and about the mechanism by which something is accepted as art. He tested the accidental as the key moment of creating work mechanism, organizing exhibitions in streets and hallways. For the artist a simple gesture could function as a critique of the artistic and social system. In his spontaneous action in 1969, Trbuljak, "from time to time displays his finger, without the management's knowledge" through a hole in the door of the Modern Gallery in Zagreb.
The New Art Practice in the 1970s were mostly going on outside exhibition spaces, in galleries that were part of the student cultural centers, but occasionally also in certain state galleries which presented in their programs the local and international avant-garde scene, like the Gallery of Contemporary Art in Zagreb. In 1971, in the gallery of the Student Cultural Centre in Zagreb, Trbuljak exposed only a poster on which it was written, “I do not want to show anything new and original”.
In the same spirit, he opted for the most democratic way of finding out whether or not he was an artist, organizing a Referendum in 1972 and asking passersby to decide. In the questionnaires he distributed in the “Western” shopping malls and art institutions a few years later the artist asked whether they would expose his works. In this series of works, entitled ‘Anonymous artist / Goran Trbuljak (1972-1974)’, he confirms his interest in the issues of authorship and anonymity, confronting the institutional critique, and pushing further his research into how the system of museums and galleries functions, accentuating the market, economic and political context. Still, there are typical traces of humor and self-irony in Trbuljak's work.
The Promises of the Past (exhibition catalogue), Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2010
Goran Trbuljak, Anonymous Conceptual Artist, 1972, offset su carta, cm.10x20
Goran Trbuljak, Malerwochen, 1972-1973, series of 6 b-w photographs, cm.30,3x50,6 each, ed.of 2
Goran Trbuljak, Sunday painting, 1974-2014, 4 photographs, cm.40x30 each, ed.of 3+1 A.p.
Goran Trbuljak, Stowen and integrated in the gallery , 2001, b/w photograph, cm.58x46,5, ed.3
Goran Trbuljak, The Journal of Art 38 and 28, 1991, frottage, diptych, cm.48x61
Goran Trbuljak, Painted from side, 1988, acrylic on board, cm.45x34
Goran Trbuljak, Hand-held painting, 1992, acrylic on canvas and wooden palette, cm.49x30,5
Goran Trbuljak, Sketch for sculpture, 2013, b/w photograph, cm.42x55,5, ed.3+3ap
Goran Trbuljak, Un artiste sans galerie est comme une patate sans la friteuse et un galeriste sans galerie est comme la friteuse sans huile (galerie Perotin) , 2015, graphite pencil and indian ink on paper, cm.50x65