Cetín has a personal style in his use of line, creating a world of forms
symbolizing the freeing of the spirit and universe. The author of the mixed media,
etchings and drawings is inspired by the Metamorphosis of Eve and Space
sequencies. From these themes, though ambiguous, Anton Cetín proposes a
Alain Viray, Brussels, Belgium, 1974
Another theme, and one certainly more important because less incestuous, is
that of change, transformation and metamorphosis. Even the titles reveal this
Heraclitean tendency. Cetín's drawing Metamorphosis of Eve handles a
complex theme with technical ease and it represents one of the best works in
J.A. Forbes, Toronto, Canada, 1974
An artist who never decided to make a single religious motif, and whose many
works could find a place in the Lord's temple, points principally to the
question of the humanization of the world by art and to the question of the
humanization of art by life.
Dr. Vinko Grubišić, Canada, 1977
Cetín's work is a celebration - of the universe and infinity, of love and
myth, of inspiration and memory, of Nature. For Cetín, Art civilizes and
humanizes. An artist deals in spiritual truth. He creates because he has no
Dr. Gordon McLennan, Toronto, Canada, 1978
In viewing the work of Anton Cetín I was struck with the overall quality
demonstrated in his paintings, graphics and drawings. His imagery (usually
represented in the form of graphic symbol for Eve), is paradoxically personal
and strange, yet familiar and comfortable. Looking at Cetín's work is a
visual trip to discovery. The more one looks at Cetín's work, the more one
wants too look; and hopefully, the more one learns and changes.
Glen E. Cumming, Hamilton, Canada, 1978
The Art of Anton Cetín has a clearly defined sense of direction. It
involves a continuing probe to clarify man's sense of his own spirituality. It
attempts to deal with the broadest vision of man - the quest for confirmation
of his own identity and its relationship to infinity and eternity.
Gerry Moses, Toronto, Canada, 1978
Eve, as it turns out, has been the muse who made it possible for Cetín to
become a North-American painter, without giving up any of the essential
symbolic imagery he has drawn from his European roots
James Purdie, Toronto, Canada, 1978
Anton Cetín is an artist continually in exploration of a single theme, a
theme from which he has wrought rich and compelling variations. His symbol for
Eve represents for him the totality of humanism. She is renewal, sharing and
all that is positive in the human spirit. For more than a decade, she has been
the theme of delicate stipple drawings, brilliantly executed portraits and
large, mural-sized canvases; she dwells equally in monochrome and riotous
colour. She summarises many years of experiment and achievement for the artist.
The variety and richness of the artist's most recent works suggests that
Cetín has still more creative turns to coax from his symbolic muse.
Paul Duval, Toronto, Canada, 1979
Without a doubt, one can talk about Cetín's own world of imagery, an
offspring of what Kant called "combinative imagery", in which pseudo-egyptian
profiles and enigmas, of middle-eastern flavour, abound full of charm. Eve -
embodying in the most abstract sense everything that is a woman and feminine -
is the leitmotif of the musicality captured by Cetín's polychromous works.
To her he dedicates his world which may perhaps be born of her. Because woman,
and particularly loved one, is perhaps the richest source of imagination.
F. Gil Tovar, Bogotá, Colombia, 1981
The enthusiasm for Cetín's "Eve" series is based on admiration of his
superb printmaking technique as well as his sophisticated imagery. Indeed,
Cetín is an udisputed master of multi-plate color etching whose technical
expertise matches the originality of his subjects.
O.P.C.G., New York, U.S.A., 1981
"Contemplating his paintings one feels like travelling along the Visual
Diversities". Anton Cetín's parallels, single-tracks and circles have
suggestive and meditative effects and expressing their own rhythms they obtain
important musical consequences. The human faces were reduced to the masks so
that the persons became "Signs and symbols". The aquatints, oil paintings,
pastels as well as his beautiful lithographs are inviting us to the
contemplation. In this apparent escape one can find himself.
J.H.E., Mannheim, Germany, 1981
Cetín has, throughout the course of his career, held to a determined and
individual path. Relationship between responses to experience and
determinations of direction, was explicitly expressed by his decision to make
his artistic activity all but exclusively dependent on forming images of one
particular figure, the Eve. The potential of the image, both in pictorial and
symbolic terms, is inexhaustible. The integrity his creative activity lies
wholly in his pursuit of that potential.
David Burnett, Toronto, Canada, 1986
The mystical and vitalistic triad consisting of the woman, the bird, and the
flower undeniably has its traditional roots in the spirituality of womanhood,
featuring the cult of the life-giving feminine, the spirit symbolized by the
bird, and by the flower which is love and nature itself.
Tomislav Ladan, Zagreb, Croatia, 1989
Another major asset of this exciting artist is his steady development. He
creates HIS language of visual expression, he provides the viewer with ever new
and surprising variations of his thematic obsession. The latest set of prints
use the following techniques in various combinations: etching, aquatint,
collagraph, relief embossing and woodcut. The new element in these works is a
fresh and hitherto rarely seen lyricism, a flow of lines which sings and
In this new series the artist works geometric forms into the overall picture as
snippets of modern architectural drawings or buildings. The human being, i.e.
Eve, and the frequently appearing birds show the lyric flow. It is a marvelous
In several prints of this series maple leafs are incorporated, obviously a nod
to the Canadian national symbol ("Window to Another Dimension"). These maple
keys as Cetín calls them are different for each print. The artist uses a
different "key" in the manner of mixed media.
Franz Geierhaas, Journal of the Print World,
Meredith, NH, USA, 1991
What kind of an image of the woman or the feminine does Anton Cetín
portray? Clearly, it is a woman archetype, an image of Eve, born out of purity
and a clarity of perception of a unique being. She is formed from within an
inner harmony and supernatural lightness, free from all earthly encumbrance.
Anton Cetín sees Eve as a spiritual entity, one which moves without
limitation, and which can be recognized only by those who are prepared to let
the wisdom of creation carry on in their own inner selves, a creation in which
the human as such is only a small detail.
Rudolf Wesner, Germany, 1995
Even though Cetín's emigrant fate may have severed him from the old country
from time to time, in no case has he been erased from the index of Croatian
artists and from the history of contemporary Croatian art. He remains its
inseparable companion. Cetín's concentrated poetic symbols are going to
represent a link in the chapter on purism in Croatian figuration which has been
lacking in the European continuity of (recent) Croatian art.
Josip Depolo, Zagreb, Croatia, 1996
The lines which comprise the figure of Eve are a testament to the artist's
meditation on the spirit. They are effortless and true, dancing on the canvas
or paper with lyrical energy; the evidence of a muse at work through the
artist's assured hand. Eve's cheek glows with the colourful concentric circles
which represent the radiation of life - the life she breathes into Cetín's
world of line and brilliant invigorating colour.
Stuart Reid, Toronto, Canada, 1996
Abounding in variations fixated on motifs of personal emotions between lyricism
and symbolism, between poetic inventiveness and crystallization of elevated
ideals, Cetín realizes a suggestive enchantment ofhis artistic conceptions
Dr. Nedjeljko Mihanović, Zagreb, Croatia, 1998
The manner in which Cetín establishes the relationship between Eve and the
bird is quite fascinating. By building suprareal relationships of space he
attains a total, unrestricted and multivaried interpenetration of the woman and
the bird. Through a symbiosis, Eve and the bird flow into one whole, into a
unity of man and nature, of the material and the spiritual, the real and the
supernatural, mutually complementing each other in the realization of a perfect
Vilim Matić, Osijek, Croatia, 2000
About Symbols: A Cetín painting can be reduced to four symbols. Three of them obvious -
woman, bird, flower, whereas the fourth symbolic place is literally a place,
i.e., the unlimited picture space in which the woman, the bird, and the flower
levitate. Cetín's space remains unlimited, just like the
Universe, or it is defined only by Cetín's linearity, which has
become a concept liberating the symbol in this process accompanying it until it
turns into a pictogram.
Anton Cetín's peculiar expression is defined, as we have stated, by
summing up the symbols, cosmic summaries conveying lapidary serenity.
Therefore, within the planetary corpus of contemporary art we recognize them as
Cetín's symbolic syntax. The essence of his opus may be defined by an
anthological work listed by the Croatian Encyclopedia of Visual Arts: Flower
from my Beloved. Eve's spiritual symbols are, in Cetín's
interpretation, both flower and bird, not infrequently joined in one as a
flower-bird. These are the points of recognition of perfection, of spiritual
links between the land and the sky. The flower is, formally, a reflection of
perfection, geometrically speaking it is in terms of progressive symmetry that
point in space which sublimates and projects perfection. Therefore a flower
could be interpreted as a diminutive Garden of Paradise, or Hortus Conclusus.
In Cetín's art it is a symbol of the soul, and it undoubtedly projects the
harmony which existed in the primordial Garden - of Eden. Along with stylized
flowers in this Cutout from Paradise, another name we may attach to
Cetín's work, we often find a bird mediating between Heaven and Earth,
summing up both the natural and the supernatural. The Flower - the Anima, and
the Bird - the Animus, literally levitate within a Universe of a frameless
Lilijana Domic, Zagreb, Croatia, 2002
The terrifying casualties of unsuspecting victims in an event that shocked the
world, September 11, 2001 when the twin towers of the WTC were attacked,
prompted Anton Cetín to the painting of a new cycle entitled Universe
Disturbed. In his full creative maturity, Anton Cetín has created an opus
of youthful vigour. The Universe Disturbed is rhythmically new, buoyant and
dashing, interesting, demanding, questioning, provocative. In these paintings,
everything is familiar and all Cetín's own, but it is now put in new
relationships. Cetín is here committed, involved in the human and artistic
struggle for beauty, for harmony, for spirituality, for fulfillment. He has
directed his creative and visual commitment against aggressiveness.
In the opus Universe Disturbed, Anton Cetín has confirmed one of his basic
traits. He is a committed painter. He has always been one. As early as in his
Art Informel beginnings, in his phantasmagoric prints, and later through the
heart- shaped forms of Eve and the symbols that are the basic forms of his
expression. Cetín's commitment is universal. He is an eternal fighter for
the achievement of the higher spiritual values, for a higher quality
fulfillment of life.
The painting of Anton Cetín is deeply immersed in its age. Numerous events,
personal and social, have determined the direction of his painterly engagement.
We might well call Anton Cetín a reflexive painter, for whom the form
itself is object of consideration. This is a painting of abiding power,
permanent freshness and simple communication.
Branka Hlevnjak, Zagreb, Croatia, 2004
From the very beginnings, Cetín accepted references from a broad spectrum,
questing through space and time for the kind of symbols that through a multitude
of combinations would end up in artistic projects of the most refined imagination.
Cetín's art in the selection of visual signs and global metaphors reveals
an artist who not only knows the pictorial events on which the painting reposes,
but at the same time the investigative nature that steadfastly searches for the inner
light of man's spiritual landscape.
Cetín has succeeded in constructing an identifiable visual system within which the moves
never take place drastically, rather gradually and subtly, in a sequence of research
into elements of structure and colour, never wanting in spiritual commitment.
And finally, Cetín is in accordance with his epoch, and his painterly procedure,
candid and produced at several levels, is allusive; he does not neglect communicativeness
and the need, precisely with his work, to construct identifiable resorts of spirituality.
Tonći Šitin, Split, Croatia, 2005
It is surprising how the classical text "Toward a New Laocoon" by Clement
Greenberg (1940) claiming that pure form shuns literary contents and should be
experienced by "feeling" rather than "reading", is applicable to the mature
phase of Cetín's art. An experience of a work by Cetín, however,
includes always a poetic content, which we "read", or "experience", in a lunar
interplay of weightless forms levitating in endless voids of planes and light.
Cetín has created his concept of eternal, unobtrusive life energy, and
endowed it with perfectly compatible forms.
Vladimir P. Goss, Zagreb, Croatia, 2006
From the first encounter with Cetín's poetics we come face to face with the realization that each one of his works, like an outgrowth of the "inner necessity" talked about already by Kandinsky, possesses a full independence of artistic form, a singularity of artistic language, and that it engenders something completely new, distinctive, imprinting on his painting a stamp of individuality.
After the cycle Universe Disturbed in which a sense of chaos, threatened existence, vulnerability and general insecurity once again crept into Cetín's imagination, in the cycle Revival, 2004, Cetín's world suddenly became filled with light. From the burning circle of the sun, which now dominated the canvas, there was an enormous flow of energy. From this field of energy positive impulses swelled and a feeling of immense desire and faith in the good emanated from delicate face of his ever-present Eve.
Cetín's works indeed possess that magical power which continuously and repeatedly calls on us to follow the harnessed states of his mind to those levels from which the painting originated, thus enabling us to read it to the fullest. In spite of the fact that the deciphering of the meaning of the painting is most often suggested by the title, we continue to ask ourselves: with what magical form does he succeed in expressing that which is transpiring in space what is accessible only to his consciousness?
Because it is propelled by an accumulation of sources of energy of his own being, because it is sincere to the utmost, as well as profound and suggestive, Anton Cetín's imagination is marked by an inimitable artistic individuality.
dr. sc. Ivanka Reberski, Zagreb, Croatia, 2006