History and Memory

On Art and Aesthetics

Martina Grlić

History and memory – these are the primary themes in the artwork of Martina Grlić – a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts, Zagreb, Croatia, who, in large, photorealistic paintings, documents and monumentalises the domestic, political and economic currents of the former Yugoslavia.

As of now, her portfolio is mainly divided into three parts – “Factory” Series, “Product Series” and “Atomic Landscapes”. We find women labouring away in food and garment factories, consumer items like chewing gums and brandy bottles and comic books and toys, a definite preoccupation with nuclear power. Even frolicsome moments from everyday life. Though everything is contained within a limited and specific temporal and geographical framework, there is a grand, epic quality to the scenes. On her creative process, Martina says, “I use a lot of photographs. Some I make myself – like in the Product series. But mostly I use whatever I can find in old books, albums…

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