The Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb

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Exhibition: Ivan Kožarić In Wonderful Diversity, Unity!

Mestna galerija Ljubljana, 23. 2. – 10. 4. 2016

The survey exhibition of the preeminent contemporary Croatian artist and sculptor Ivan Kožarić will be held at the City Art Gallery of Ljubljana from February 23 until April 10 2016. This presentation of Kožarić’s works is the most comprehensive in Slovenia to date, and has been staged in cooperation with the Museum of Contemporary Art (MSU) in Zagreb. Conceived in well-rounded topical cross-sections of the artist’s exceptionally copious oeuvre, it includes over 200 sculptures, objects, assemblages, readymades, paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, and textiles. The majority of the works have been loaned by Studio Kožarić, which comprises over 6,000 items and was purchased by the municipality of Zagreb in 2007 and placed in the stewardship of the MSU. The remaining works are on loan from the MSU Collection, Gliptoteka HAZU, Moderna galerija Zagreb, the Filip Trade Collection (Lauba), as well as from the private collections of Ivan and Filip Kožarić, Ivica Župan, and other collectors.

One of Kožarić’s first solo shows was held in Ljubljana in January 1957 in the erstwhile Jakopič Pavilion. At the time, the Slovene public found the simplicity of his artistic hand, expressed in reductionism and the abstracted sculptural forms to which he has remained faithful to this day – unpalatable, even unacceptable. The comments in the visitors’ book described Kožarić’s sculptures as poor reflections of modern art and unworthy of an academically trained artist, since “The form of a face is not the form of a piece of firewood!”. Kožarić’s work was hard to understand; from the outset he has been working outside established stylistic premises, revising his artistic actions freely and without restrictions, summing them up also in his statements such as “Art is always something else!”, “Art is forever elusive!”, “Let’s break (out of) the frames!”, “Art is a rare bird!”, etc. Apropos the exhibition that had been staged at the Salon ULUH in Zagreb before the Ljubljana show, art critic Radoslav Putar wrote in Narodni list in 1956 that “Kožarić’s materializations of his reactions to inner and external impulses are very sincere, which is extremely, extremely rare.” He assigned them “an exceptional place on the horizon of Croatian sculpture.” And Kožarić proved fully worthy of that exceptional place time and again, often also in Ljubljana, with numerous solo and group exhibitions and by participating in the most prestigious international events and biennials, most recently first with the great exhibition “Across The Line” at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MSU) in Zagreb (2011), and then with the greatest retrospective “Freedom Is A Rare Bird” at the Haus der Kunst in Munich in 2013.

You are cordially invited to attend the opening of the exhibition on Tuesday, 23 February at 8 p.m. at Mestna galerija Ljubljana.
Curated by: Radmila Iva Janković, Mateja Podlesnik
The opening addresses will be delivered by Snježana Pintarić, the Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb, and Blaž Peršin, the Director of the Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana.
The exhibition will be opened by Her Excellency Vesna Terzić, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to Slovenia.


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