Venientes - 'those who are coming' - is the name of the exhibition of graduates of the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of Zagreb, which in the anniversary convocation of the tenth anniversary we present in the Šira Gallery, as part of this year's 35th Youth Salon. It is an exhibition designed by the late professor and dean Slavomir Drinković and where graduate students from all six departments of the academy regularly exhibited. In the ten years, the exhibition has been a guest in several exhibition spaces (Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall, Marisall Gallery, Šira Gallery, HDLU as part of the Youth Salon). Every year, over thirty authors participated in the exhibition, which to date has a total of over three hundred exhibitors. But who exactly are venientes? Where do ‘they’ come from and where do they go?
This year's graduates, as well as others before them, are individuals who have decided to start their creative path at an institution that aims to provide knowledge, skills, and experience essential for shaping the overall authorial self-awareness. The collective pronoun "they" obscures their irreducible personalities, so it is more appropriate to speak of "her" or "him." But what is his or her creative personality? It is, above all, a deposit of an original gift that must be fertilized and directed by the responsibility of one's talent. According to Mladen Pejaković, "talent is the ability to be born in a certain language and to turn it into our being, into our speech." Compared to a visual language that offers a formative framework, talent is an individual speech by which an individual testifies to the level of acquired artistic literacy. Just as there are different languages in social reality, so visual language has its dialects and idioms, its mother tongue, and its multilingual source. They precede the individual, who confirms his personality by imaginatively using historical and expressive forms, sometimes managing to upgrade them with new words, that is, inventively transforming the existing syntax into a new order of forms. Therefore, there are many “isms,” venientes use as a platform for personal research. The happy bond of the creatively reshaped and the originally realized is expressed as an organic creation. It testifies to information, to the ability to invent, to the imagination, and creative intelligence; in some cases it testifies to the author's authenticity which manifests itself as high reach, hinting at a fruitful and successful work. Among them are those who have already stepped on the art scene, gaining the undivided affection of the profession.
We will not name the exhibitors by name, nor will we present individual works in more detail, their mutual connections and differences, their morphological and semantic characteristics. We will be content to point out their essential, common feature. Despite their individual commitment, or precisely because of it, it is possible to discern a mark that is their collective, common feature. It is about the predominance of inclination or will for the refined profiling of one's expression, technical and formal refinement of selected idioms, limited interest in isolated templates that are simultaneously interpreted by hearing for a variety of design invariants and expressive nuances. In the 'coming' we do not encounter a hesitant search, but a belief in the authenticity of what is found. Their diverse works can be subsumed under the denominator of gender heterogeneity. It is a clear and unambiguous commitment to one's own election decision, a decision that does not point to a choice within the polarity of 'minorities' and 'majorities', but to a plurality of equal, personal electoral consents.
Venientes came to stay, and it is up to us to welcome them with the affection of our attention.