Author of the exhibition
Vesna Bulić Baketić
Biserka Rauter Plančić
Author of the photographs
Tin Burić, Lucian Kovačević
Televizija Kanal 5
An Artist at Meštrović’s: Enca Kovačević
July 18 – September 30, 2017
The Meštrović Gallery, Split
Painter Enca Kovačević was born on October 15, 1953, in Split, into a family that had island roots. Her father was from Stari Grad, Hvar; her mother from Sutivan, Brač. After elementary school she enrolled in the School of Applied Arts in Split. She went on with her study of painting in her native city, at the College of Education, where she was taught by Ante Kaštelančić, from whose class she graduated in 1976. She was received into the Association of Croatian Artists, Split branch, in 1980.
Today she is leader of free activities in Maestral, a children’s home, where she also founded and ran an art colony that brought together local and foreign artists.
Her early works reveal the Mediterranean origins, and the influence of the teacher from whose class she set off. Later endeavours to discover her own visual speech brought her to a very individualised palette and a specific form of lyrical figuration, with elements of abstraction.
So it is precisely the Split painter Enca Kovačević who, with her gentle and yet again powerful visual expression, recalling some other times that measured talent by the innate capacity to express emotions, reality, dreams and imagination with the help of subtle and delicate artistic techniques, has won the opportunity to make a guest appearance at Meštrović’s. Just like him, who went on with his classical figurative artistic expression irrespective of various avant-garde styles and directions that appeared and took hold during the 20th century, so Enca Kovačević has remained loyal to her romantic figurality.
The counterpoint of Enca and Meštrović is particularly interesting, for it brings out the key characteristics of two, on the surface, totally different artists, opposing them so much that at the end they in fact come close together. Meštrović is primarily a sculptor and Enca a painter. Even when he did try his hand at painting, Meštrović’s palette was dark, his figures were robust; Enca cultivates pastel. Meštrović addressed woman as son, husband, lover and father, but Enca approaches woman as woman to woman. Meštrović models from the model, Enca paints from memory. Meštrović was a powerful, obstinate participant in the cultural and political events of his time, while Enca is retiring in both her social role and her art.
(Vesna Bulić Baketić, from the exhibition catalogue)