Curated by Danka Šošić and Žarko Vijatović
Imaginative elusion of creative closure characterizes the highly diverse work of Ivan Kožarić (born in 1921 in Petrinja, Croatia).
Sculptures of the human figure created in Zagreb in the early 1950s define his earliest work. Inspired by the modernist stylistic framework, but subtly subverting any formalist determinants, they point to Kožarić’s pursuit of a range of different expressive approaches and his search for artistic freedom, which from 1959 to 1966 coincided with his participation in the Gorgona group (with Julije Knifer, Mangelos, Josip Vaništa, and others). Despite being mostly known as a sculptor, Kožarić had since his artistic beginnings and until the recent years worked in a variety of media, creating a powerful body of work that spans from permanent and temporary sculptures, installations, and urban interventions, to assemblages, proclamations, photographs, and paintings. With constant variation and transformation of his practice, Kožarić thus created an opus in which curiosity, spontaneous encounters, and change, give form to often unexpected configurations and compelling works permeated with ambiguity and an exploratory zest.
Significant recent exhibitions of the work of Ivan Kožarić were held at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris (2002), the Art Pavilion in Zagreb (2005–2006), and at the Haus der Kunst in Munich (2013). He has participated in notable international group shows, such as the Venice Biennale (1976), the São Paulo Biennale (1979), and documenta 11 in Kassel (2002). Since 2007, the studio of Ivan Kožarić, with more than 6.000 works, is on permanent display at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb.