“The charismatic conveyer of professional knowledge and skills for many decades, Professor Ivan Obrovac, painter and graphic artist with a pronounced investigative vein, has one basic constant in his work. It is the freedom of experimenting. With this freedom he constantly challenges primarily his own boundaries and possibilities, but also the boundaries and possibilities of the medium, subject matter, old, new and composite techniques, changing the very essence of his own painting like a chameleon. For decades willingly removed from the practice of Conceptual Art and New Tendencies, Ivan Obrovac is an artist in a permanent personal, very intimate monologue of an individual/in opposition with the time of impersonal collectivism/ and of an intellectual/in opposition with the forced averageness of our time, faithful to an almost traditional idea of a painting and painting methods. He shares his soliloquy with his Musicians and Painters, the terrific loners in a non-existent space, favoring the absence of sound as the superb music, the absence of gesture as the gist of the inner existence, making them impersonal, without any emblems, almost to the very nothingness, but also giving them the power of someone who illuminates and corrects the total state of mind. And to build a painting upon negations is to start always anew, which is the pledge of the creative freedom for the artist. This freedom of the epistemological interpretation of imaginary spaces, of the free research of an unnamed architecture, of following the time through the transformation of light, without the presence of a man-witness, is something that Ivan Obrovac has been investigating intensely through his paintings and graphics in the last ten years of the new millenium.” (Gorka Ostojić Cvajner)
“If we allow ourselves to view the phenomenon of artist through a romantic prism, we could state that Obrovac is a born painter; he has plunged into his work so deeply that he has become different – even his physiognomy reveals a man intensely absorbed by the work to which he has subordinated his whole way of life. Art is therefore his ethical and practical commitment.
I am telling this because the nature of such a commitment is woven into the final results of Obrovac’s work as well. His paintings, drawings, even his experiments with plastic techniques are expressions of an intense intellectual research, and throughout his works, the urges of an artistic instinct are contrasted with the investigative vein, which is confirmed by Obrovac’s need to be as broadly educated as possible, to be well informed not only about all the expressive directions in the field of visual arts, but also about those natural and humanistic sciences which have always presented the unity of an artistic process (together with art). Upon the encounter with the paintings of Ivan Obrovac, what we register first are the universal, recognizable methods, and then the painter’s individual procedure with the pronounced analytical approach. Many further characteristics of his works spring from that source: formal and technical refinement of his works is the reflection of his emotional and psychomotor mastery over the expressive elements, while the purely technical disciplines enable the artist to complete the methodic process which continues from one work to another, but most of all implies a definite, repeated and rounded independence.
Therefore, Obrovac does not introduce the meaning of the objects from the outside world in his paintings, but the meanings which will explain the outside world with image. The so-called visual art techniques have with this author long lost their classical definitions and are understood by him merely as different technological assumptions about the possibility of shaping an idea which consequently gains a new approach. The author’s attitude towards painting, his whole life and creative orientation enable him to reach with his works those achievements in visual arts which are not restrained by any boundaries and to vary and enrich them with the strength of his individual contribution.” (Martin Bizjak)