Zlatko Prica,
Zrinjevac in Winter, 1950
oil on canvas, 81 x 100 cm

Zlatko Prica (1916 – 2003) is a paragon of Croatian intimate, lyrical and reductive figuration and Abstract art. The latter is almost always correlated with the objective. Prior to the Academy, he received the backing of K. Hegedušić. O. Mujadžić is a great role model and supporter at the Academy in Zagreb, where he graduated in 1940 (Lj. Babić). He painted motifs and vedute of Zagreb in line with the Zagreb School, and he held his first solo exhibition in 1941 in the Art Pavilion. In the same year, he was taken to a concentration camp in Koprivnica where he documents camp scenes with drawings. In 1943, after joining the partisans, together with E. Murtić, he illustrated the print-literary portfolio of I. G. Kovačić’s poem The Pit (1944) with a distinctly expressionist style. In the early 1950s, he travelled to Paris, India and Brazil which broadened his horizons. Indian culture (frescoes from Ajanta) influenced his graphism and the two-dimensional flatness of his compositions which he achieved with striking colours. His stylistic-creative phases are divided in cycles. From the Samobor to the Tar cycle, and the Umbrellas of Opatija cycle, he creates reduced, objective, landscape and figural motifs. This leads him to an abstract synthesis of the structural material rendered with non-mimetic colour scheme. The painting Zrinjevac in Winter (1950) is a view of Zagreb from the window, in line with the so-called other Realisms by which the artist records an impressionist-realistic scene, an idyllic veduta of Zagreb in winter, with a slanted perspective. Since 1957, he has been a member of the Mart Group, and in the late 1960s he was one of the founders of the Forum Gallery. He is the recipient of the Vladimir Nazor Lifetime Achievement Award (1981), and since 1988 a regular member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. In 2002, the Zlatko and Zdenka Prica Gallery was opened in Samobor.

Text: Željko Marciuš, Museum advisor of the National Museum of Modern Art©National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Photo: Goran Vranić©©National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb

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