The “Life in Colours” exhibition covers Vlahov’s forty years of work as an artist in Germany and his thirty years of exhibitions. Along with his studio work in Munich, he teaches evening classes for adults on classic drawing, aquarelles, acrylic and graphic techniques. Course participants take part in his summer painting colonies, organised every year on the Croatian coast.

An exhibition of the work of Šime Vlahov “Život u boji” (“Life in Colour”) opened at the Croatian Heritage Foundation April 10th. The gathered were welcomed by exhibition organiser and moderator Nives Antoljak, who gave a presentation of the artist and of the participants of the opening. Olga Šram gave a commentary of the sixty-five works on display, in aquarelle, acrylic and mixed techniques.
She applauded the artist’s unbridled colour, the sure hand of his technique, his sense of composition and proportion and his desire to present his diverse themes and creative phases to the homeland art scene as an established artist outside the academy-educated community. Antonija Mirna Baethmann, the representative of Matrix Croatica in Munich and initiator of the Vlahov exhibition in Zagreb, also addressed the gathered art enthusiasts.
The exhibition author thanked the public for the turnout, the Croatian Heritage Foundation as the organiser and Baethmann for her efforts in staging the exhibition and creating permanent links between Croatians in the homeland and those living in Bavaria and his German friends – participants in his Adriatic painting colonies.
“In order to truly see something as it is one often requires a certain perspective, a greater or lesser distance from the object under observation. This can also be applied to geographic distance. It is only when we are far from something or someone that we see how important and significant to us an attribute – unobserved at close range – can be.
Likewise when Croatia, when Dalmatia is observed from the northern experience of Germany, only then do we become aware of some of its key characteristics. Dalmatia is in fact a victory, a fireworks of colours that we usually do not notice or take for granted. The paintings of Šime Vlahov drive the point home, with exceptional skill and focus.
That is why for us in Croatia the experience of our people living outside the fold of the homeland is so important. They often see the things that are significant, in and around it, that slip beneath our radar. Thanks, therefore, to Šime Vlahov, for yet another aspect of our beautiful homeland. Perhaps, after this exhibition, we’ll all appreciate it a little more,” said CHF director Marin Knezović opening the event.
For painter Šime Vlahov, a native of Šibenik who has lived in Munich for the past forty years, the exhibition at the Croatian Heritage Foundation is his first in Zagreb.
The exhibition features the work of a man who staged his first exhibitions in his native Šibenik in the late 1960s. He undertook studies of painting and graphic art in 1973 in the German city of Munich, supplementing his theoretical and practical knowledge. In the 1980s he set up a private atelier there, where he organised various workshops, seminars and exhibitions. Along with his studio work, he teaches evening classes for adults on classic drawing, aquarelles, acrylic and graphic techniques. Course participants take part in his summer painting colonies, organised every year on the Croatian coast.
Šime Vahov has exhibited his work for the past thirty years. Since 1983 he has staged exhibitions in Germany, Austria and France. In his native city he has staged several exhibitions – in 2009 at the Šibenik theatre house, in 2006 at the Šibenik City Library and at the Zoričić Gallery. This is his first solo exhibition in Zagreb and featured works for sale. The works, exhibited on two floors of the CHF building, will be open for viewing through to June 10th.
An interview with the artist is featured in the May issue of Matica magazine.

Text by: Diana Šimurina-Šoufek; Photos by: Hrvoje Salopek