Stanko Špoljarić

The landscape as a motive and poetic realism as a stylistic direction are basic characteristics of Ante Bakter’s paintings. Slavonian plain, native Ilok and other settlements in its proximity are the main interest of this painter, because it is about views of true possessiveness, almost an emotive connection. Fields, rivers and backwaters, vineyards on the hills of Srijem are attractive with their look, what Baker transforms with his artistic signature into the luscious painting. It is built with a necessary description but also with a free gesture with the accent on the pastel colours which give vitality to the space.

It is an approach to the expressionist tension with a textured stained surface and, as well, with all pulsating fragments. The overview of the composition and clarity of the rhythm are apparently opposed to the energy of colour and light. Concerning the variety, Bakter has given a new dimension to his beloved geographical view, which is elevated with the insistence on the atmosphere of the scene. Changes through variation on the theme and colour movements are conditioned by the characteristic of the space and changing seasons or by the part of the day with a huge feel for the moment. Bakter transfers his experience into the event and he enriches familiar coordinates in the space filled with the content. Every painting carries a trace of the new excitement. Through the considerable experience from the realisation of the earlier opus, this is a spontaneous dialog with a proposal. Water, vegetation, sky and objective different substances are identity and the artistic sense of touch in Bakter’s paintings. It is a way towards individual artistic surface for which Bakter aspires in his detailed description like in the panoramic view of traditional picturesque settlements with the dominant church buildings, such as, the church of St Ivan Kapistana in Ilok or the convent in Sarengrad. Bakter interprets historical buildings by entering in the structure and material of the façade which he harmonises with the landscape base with a frequent view towards Danube by emphasising the power of the river, whose energy is close to a symbolic level. By far, Bakter’s landscapes are expression of the artistic talent and skilfulness of his hand and also at the same time it brings the echo of the recognisable beauty and love. In particular way, they have been materialised at Jesus cross bearing, a big theme from Christian iconography, which Bakter approaches convincingly and responsibly. They remain within tradition but also with the measure of the personal expression in a demanding row of the figurative polyptich with an increase of the drama during Christ’s walks whilst bearing the cross. The central figure is Christ, who is set in an interesting relationship with soldiers, mother and women from Jerusalem until the culmination of the moving scene of the crucifixion in the atmosphere which is typical for the climate of the Holy Land. By using the palette and in the equal measure, by choosing the right colours (for example a blue) which are in some way a guide to the content, Ante Bakter has dealt on his own way with the question of the phenomenon in paintings from the technical point of view, as well as, with the character of their appearance. He observed the world around him with his naked eye (occasionally he was mentored what should not be ignored) and with his devotion and talent he had started to build up his own opus. Neither a relative late beginning, nor everyday attention with his life profession was in any way a hindrance to his artistic openness, which grew from the classical aesthetic, to which Bakter has given a personal stamp.