Zlatko Bourek
Parade, 1989
oil, acrylic on canvas mounted on cardboard
190 x 200 cm

Zlatko Bourek (1929 – 2018) is the Homo ludens of Croatian figurative painting and sculpture. He successfully created caricatures, illustrations, drawings, set and costume designs, and directed animated films, plays and feature films. In his painting that he began creating in 1963, he uses the stream of consciousness method to create unconventional works of fantastic realism and surrealism imbued with grotesque, irony, humour, folklore elements, and often also eroticism. The painting Parade (1989) is one such colouristic phantasmagorical vision with a multitude of figures, objects and their hybrids, woven into a painterly kaleidoscope of sublimated instincts. Bourek’s artistic knowledge relies on his familiarity with traditional sculpture, Japanese puppet theatre, German Expressionism and New Objectivity. He obtained a degree in sculpture, painting and metal art from the Academy of Applied Arts in 1955 (K. A. Radovani). Since 1954, he has continuously worked in animated film and is one of the founders of the Zagreb School of Animated Film and a representative of its painting style. From 1960 onwards, he created animated films based on his own screenplays (The Blacksmith’s Apprentice, 1961, Far Away I Saw Mist and Mud, 1964, Dancing Songs, 1966, The Cat, 1971). He has been a permanent member of the theatre Hans Wurst Nachfaren in Berlin since 1988, where he staged four of Chekhov’s one-act plays, Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew and the farce Rigoletto. In 1977, he directed the puppet farce Orlando maleroso in Dubrovnik. Hamlet, performed by ITD Theatre became a huge success and is performed at the largest international theatre festivals. He has received many awards for his work and has been a full member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts since 2010.

Text: Željko Marciuš, museum consultant 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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