26 October 2017 to 14 January 2018
Opening: 25 October, 6 pm
Museum Haus Konstruktiv is pleased to be able to realize a comprehensive exhibition of works by Croatian artist Julije Knifer (1924–2004). Alongside paintings and works on paper, this show, developed in close cooperation with the artist’s daughter, also presents a selection of Knifer’s diaries.
Julije Knifer is considered one of the most important Croatian representatives of non-figurative art. He was a member of the neo-avant-garde artists’ group Gorgona, which was active in Zagreb from 1959 to 1966, distanced itself from the traditional aesthetic practices of socialist Yugoslavia, and sought an exchange with the international avant-garde. Its members combined an affinity for the spirit of modernism with their sense of the absurd, of emptiness and of monotony. From around 1960 onward, Julije Knifer intensively addressed the meander as a form. Well-known from ornamentation, this element, comprising vertical and horizontal lines, can potentially be continued indefinitely. He kept varying it in highly diverse ways until the end of his life, in paintings and in works on paper. In 1971, Knifer began transferring the meander motif to large-scale murals in the public space, both indoors and outdoors. One distinctive feature of his work is that of repetition, as an expression of constancy and continuity. From his drawings to his paintings, right through to his diaries, his works are characterized by an existentialist spirit that causes the boundaries between life and oeuvre to disappear.