Đuro Seder
(1927 - 2022)
Composition, 1961
oil on canvas
110 x 135 cm

Đuro Seder is a multifaceted, universal painter. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 1951 (mentored by Antun Mezdjić, 1951; attended Marino Tartaglia’s special course, 1953). He worked as an illustrator and graphic designer, and in the mid-1950s he painted dynamised paintings in the spirit of Tachisme. Being the founding member of the Gorgona art group (1959-1966) that brought together artists of a shared spiritual kinship, he advocated a Neo-Avant-Garde spirit, freedom of art and thought, which heralded the New Art Practice that came later. Seder’s oeuvre displays a unique progression from the mute, dark impossibility of painting (Seder’s essay, 1971) in the form of non-iconic Art Informel (Composition, 1961) to black and dark green expressive figuration from the late 1970s that gradually announced the possibilities of painting (Seder’s essay, 1981) and New Image painting (1981), of which he is one of the pioneers. Seder’s Composition (1961) emanates a logical fact: the painting is a non-descriptive composition that refers to nothing outside its materiality. It is a seemingly completely monochrome, existentialist-Art-Informelist and layered dark visualisation from which occasional red dabs glow. It is devoid of any reference to reality, other than its being stripped bare, and the processes of painting. In the 1990s, Seder developed a distinctive Neo-Expressionism of total painting, as well as a series of ironic and self-ironic self-portraits featuring a healthy dose of humour and, on occasion, joy in the vein of the New Wild (since 2007), and new spiritual-sacral painting.

Text: Željko Marciuš, Museum advisor of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb 2022
Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb 2022

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