Ivan Kožarić

1921 - 2020

Born in Petrinja (HR), died in Zagreb (HR).

Ivan Kožarić (1921-2020) was born in Petrinja, Croatia. Having graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 1947, he receives a grant in Paris, and subsequently moves there for several months.

In Paris Kožarić becomes closely acquainted with the contemporary European art of the time. Upon his return to Zagreb he joins the legendary avant-garde group Gorgona as its only sculptor. Kožarić is perhaps best known as a modernist sculptor with an idiosyncratic approach to form and narrative, but he also uses a wide variety of media, such as assemblages, proclamations, photographs, paintings and installations to create an oeuvre that does not fit into any readymade categories.

Kožarić’s fundamental contribution to Socialist Yugoslavia’s post-war avant-garde is fittingly memorialised through his presence at documenta XI in 2002, which introduces him to a wider global audience.

He sends almost his entire oeuvre, consisting of 897 sculptures, 61 paintings, 373 printed works, 10 photographs and 5297 drawings, thereby challenging not only the convention of the retrospective exhibition, but any notion of art as a static phenomenon that can be neatly organised.

According to Kožarić, art grows just like people grow. Art is alive and must evolve continually. He combines existentialist insight with the formal grammar of constructivism. Each new work questions fundamental principles of the modern sculptural tradition.

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