Josip Klarica
Maksimir, 1998
positive copy /inkjet print, 295 x 612 mm

Josip Klarica (1946 – 2020) is a classic of Croatian photography and a studious connoisseur of photographic technologies and photochemical processes. His photographic images of still lifes, portraits and landscapes stand at the intersection of old photographic procedures, surrealist methods, innovations of fantastic realism and magical naturalism. The absence of concrete time, an indefinite topos and internal logic of the scene woven from meticulous details make his images markedly contemporary (I. Prosoli). This is evidenced by Klarica’s Still Life (1979) on the first album cover of the band Haustor from 1981. The use of camera obscura and the replica of Martens panoramic camera (Paris, 1845) provides Klarica’s photographs with a fine, historical painterly-tonal patina and timelessness.
He holds a degree in cinematography from the Charles University in Prague (FAMU), 1977. M. Forman and J. Menzel were his professors of filmmaking, and M. Kundera his professor of literature. The works of F. Kafka, on the brink of reality and fantasy, are often found in his narrative weaving. During his studies, he became close friends with the famous Czech photographer J. Sudek. In his still lifes, there is a continuous harmony of the brutal and the vulgar, as well as the poetry of being of the benumbed creatures and things (R. Putar). The panorama of Maksimir in winter reflects the fractal beauty of nature in which every wild growth is woven into the next one all the way to the universal order of things. He has exhibited in many museums and galleries at home and abroad, which house many of his works. His last exhibition Dream Visions, with I. Posavec, was held in the “Josip Račić” Gallery in 2019. The National Museum of Modern Art is staging his memorial exhibition in 2021 (B. Franceschi; Ž. Koščević).

Text: Željko Marciuš, museum consultant of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Photo: From the photo archive of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb

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