chosen ten paintings are a part of artistic opus, which has been going on for
almost fifty years. It is a challenge that includes pleasure, but also questions
objectivity. Nevertheless, just one subjective judgement will be a stimulus
in creating a fan of different opinions, which again leads to acceptable results.
The beginnings, connected with the Hlebine School of Naive Art, and their master
Ivan Generalić, were a temptation and a model. Dragutin Orak masters the perfection
of performance by accepting the iconography of idealized landscape, and idyllic
genre-scenes from rural life. At the same time, he expresses his individual
contribution by extremely warm atmosphere. After years of working in the manner
of naive art, the painter, inclined to researching, engages into gradual deviations,
which transform his realistic visions into conceived images. That process is
followed by greater interest for events inside the painting, for their spiritual
dimension. It was a path, which, by some logic of gradual continuity, took the
painter into spheres of abstraction, into its lyric variants.These are fanciful
compositions with somewhat symbolic signs, and surrealistic "vocabulary", which
are joined by the need for artistic psychoanalysis. The next step of his breakthrough
into imagination takes him to geometrism, which he builds on the principles
of optical effects and op-art experience in the track of his friend Ivo Friščić,
who was an exceptional phenomenon in Croatian art. The desire for searching
took Dragutin Orak out of the autochthonous surroundings towards universal solutions
by the sequence of steps, in which he endeavoured to mark his own pluralism.
All achievements of Dragutin Orak meet at the focus of three great jubilees:
60 years of life, 45 years of painting, and 40 years of art teaching career.
He theoretically spread art culture in school and society as a teacher, and
as an artist he did it creatively in the silence of his atelier. His achievements
put him along with those, who have made Croatian culture indebted by their intellectual,
emotional and physical efforts."
Juraj Baldani, Foreword for The Collection of Reproductions