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. The Croatian artist Julije Knifer practiced in the relam of the forever modern. The paintings, works on paper, and a video in this show, his first in the United States, revealed an artist stuck not in time--or all times.
For the first time in America, we have the opportunity to see the stark abstract paintings and drawings of the Croatian artist Julije Knifer — , which are on display at Mitchell-Innes and Nash through today. Knifer, who was one of the founding members of the influential Zagreb group Gorgona, has often been linked to conceptual painters such as Roman Opalka — and On Kawara b.
The Croatian artist, who died in and co-founded the avant-garde Gorgona Group, spent forty years painting nothing but black-and-white rectilinear abstractions.
Thick black lines meander across the canvases, sometimes nearly obliterating their white backgrounds with forceful fat strips. The mini-retrospective includes a vitrine filled with documentation of sixties-era performances, in Zagreb, which whets the appetite for a separate show on the subject. From Knifer started to produce large-scale Meanders on exterior and interior walls.
The Arbeitsprozess , as it was named, was documented with photographs and video. In , Knifer started a cycle of drawings with graphite on paper in which, drawing his meander motif with various pressures of graphite, he commenced the process of removing light from the drawing surface. These works, executed with careful and deliberate moves, reflected sharp awareness of the process.
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Julije Knifer was born in in Osijek. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in During the Venice Biennial his work was represented at the Croatian Pavillion. Knifer died in in Paris.
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