Branka Bencic - between works, MSU galerija Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb

Exhibition by Dino Zrnec at the Museum of Contemporary Art emerges as a product of continuous research by the young author. It is an exhibition formed in the context of research and comprehension of an extended field of painting, which merges theory and practice, text and context.
In the last few years, Dino Zrnec has established a specific artistic practice which
sees passion for painting as a referential cornerstone. He has shown interest in models, context and institutions framing it as a result of the systematic consideration of the issue concerning the painting and the painting media. Dino Zrnec uses the painting and the exhibition space as an emancipated field of research and a part of a systematic research process, whereas the artist's independent exhibitions map the developmental paths of the author's research of conceptual, formal and aesthetic procedures and the specific artistic language.
Dino Zrnec's works brush against the field of painting, not directly pointing at it, which means they are not imminently referential. They absorb various traditions, ranging from Fundamental Painting, Minimal Art, Colour Field Painting, Monochrome Painting to conceptual practice in painting. Zrnec has recently developed several original procedures which give structure to his painting production, claims Christoph Bruckner. The artist understands his medium as open and somewhat "impure", and always manages to work efficiently with elements which are generally seen as mistakes, over and over again.

Recent research by Dino Zrnec, which includes the exhibition project Projektraum (Project space) by the Kunsthaus in Graz (2014) and the exhibits at the finalist exhibition for the Radoslav Putar Award (2015), represents a step forward from seeing the painting as a realised object toward seeing it as the process of creating the work, and seeing the exhibition as a situation, and the gallery as a place where it is exposed, with the museum as a resource. Thereby, the artist fuses several crucial institutional and spatial frameworks – the exhibition, museum and studio, as well as places where art emerges and where it is subsequently exposed.

In reflecting minimalist provenance and conceptual movements, Dino Zrnec's work, on the one hand, treats painting as a medium, object and institutional practice and, on the other hand, exhibition and the very process of displaying is seen within the expanded field of painting and spatial relations which the works of art establish. It occurs within the framework of performativity which is directed equally at the procedures of creating a painting and it also occurs through the articulation of the exhibition space, including an almost performative character of moving through space. Work on the installation in the gallery is considered an extended practice of art work in a studio, as part of a contemplation process regarding those places where art emerges and where it is exhibited, as well as a dislocation of the process and bringing closer the visible and the invisible.

The central place around which the meaning of the exhibition "Between Works" is formed is exactly the space between the individual works which are located at the depot of the Museum of Contemporary Art. By choosing the "spaces between" some works which he found there, Zrnec directed his attention to the spaces which are hidden from sight and usually not available to visitors.
With a series of formal elements he drew contours of the (negative) space which frames certain works from the museum collections stored in the museum depot, which resulted in forming a series of geometric, abstract fragments of space. The referential area of these works of art is formed around the context of modernist paradigm, formal research in art or tradition of post-minimalist sculpture.
Articulation of exhibition space, its temporariness and interest for topics concerning constructions and interpretations take a formative place in the project Between Works, and the construction of place is present in abstract constructions which make up the central element of the exhibition. Exhibitional dispositions used are instruments for dissolution and disclosure of the composed constellations: space, architecture, exhibition, works. Such autoreflexiveness finds the referential field in the functioning space of an artwork and the way it is "exhibited", where the emphasis is put on the physical and discursive space, the institution and objects by presenting a dimension in which the statement warns of the situation, context or its own structure. The Gallery as a Gesture has been turned into a place of articulation and a form of invention, and the very space of the gallery has been affirmed as a place of artistic interest, claims Brian O’Doherty in the book Inside the White Cube, especially in chapter The Gallery as a Gesture. It is interesting to note that this year marked the 40th anniversary of the influential text Inside the White Cube by Briana O’Doherty: The Ideology of the Gallery Space, which even today still inspires artists and curators.

In the space between, which is a sequel to the work series in which the author "contemplates the painting", a new painting production emerges, being a series of almost monochrome paintings of various formats, Guts and gutters, which forms the complementary part of the exhibition. The artist puts them in a dialogue with a series of abstract constructions in order to create accents and interrelations between works, processes and technologies. The emphasis is put on a series of experiments concerning technical processes (colours, turpentine, material, background) which, by highlighting the materiality and gesture of the colour and stain with controlled processes and situations of losing control, question the ways in which paintings are made, and they represent the foundation of Dino Zrnec's artwork. "Painting processes which are generally hidden and the mistakes which occur during these processes have become the essential elements of painting research." – concludes Zrnec. Using minimal resources, he presents the deconstruction of the painting language and the focus on the creation process of an art work; whereas the processes of merging and separating and stripping to essential parts point to the artistic procedure as its central content.

Branka Bencic