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Julije Knifer at Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, Croatia

On the occasion of the birth anniversary of the nineties and the tenth anniversary of the death of Julije Knifer (Osijek, 1924 - Paris, 2004). Museum of Modern Art will hold a retrospective of one of the greatest Croatian painters of the 20th century, which will cover more than half a century of his artistic activity.

Julije Knifer has become known in the art world for his exploration of the geometric meander motif. The meander grew out of a search for the form of "anti-image" at the beginning of the 1960s.  Art historians have tried to explain this unique body of work by considering the different trends and styles in the context of post-war art, but Knifer's expression resists any classification.  Knifer first meanders' began during his time as a member of thegroup Gorgona (1959-1966), in whose context first appeared the radical criticism of modernist painting and the shift into a different conception of art procedures.  Such methods would enter the global art scene gradually only to become a reality a decade later  within the framework of conceptual art.

While the exhibition includes much of the Museum's profound collection of Knifer's works, many others have been loaned by private and public collections including foreign institutions such as MoMA in New York, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the bait in Geneva. Some of these works have never before been exhibited in Croatia. The exhibition will also included Knifer's early works that preceded his meanders, such as his murals in public spaces. Numerous sketches, writings and video documentation about the origin of massive meander in a quarry near Tubingen his authentic records will also be on view. While his journals can follow his work as well as views on life and art, it is amazing to uncover how strictly controlled, yet fluctuating Knifer's imaginative creative processes were --  always moving between two extremes - black and white, with the mode of action.

Curated by Radmila Iva Janković

Contributors: Ana Knifer and prof. Dr. Zvonko Matkovic

Set up: Philip Kožarić


 Installation View

Installation View