A Thorn, 1987
Ratko Petrić (1941-2010) graduated in sculpture from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 1966 under sculptor and Prof. Vanja Radauš and worked as an associate at his master workshop between 1966 and 1969. In 1998 he started teaching as an associate professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. He was a co-founding member of the Biafra Art Group, the initiator of the Alley of Sculptures on the Sava Embankment in Zagreb, and of the International Art Colony and Sculpture Park in Jakovlje. He also did graphics and caricature, and authored notable public monuments.
Petrić’s sculptures feature an interest in social issues and communicate socially engaged messages. He is most famous for his provocative sculptures of a critical discourse, which question social contradictions. His sculptures are not only beautiful objects, but also have, as Petrić himself claimed, the eyes of many popping out of their heads. To suit the shockingness of the scene he presents, his sculptural expression explores peculiarities and features the use of new materials and modelling techniques.
Regardless of whether his work is figurative or abstract, Petrić’s creative credo is critical social engagement. Even when he used classical sculpture materials and techniques, he modelled unexpected associative metaphorical objects of sharp contrasts, such as his A Thorn sculpture from 1987.
Text: Tatijana Gareljić, museum consultant of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Translated by: Ana Janković
Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb