Boris Demur
Requiem in Croatia, 1991
acrylic on canvas
400 x 400 cm

Boris Demur (1951-2014) was a Neo-Avant-Garde painter and Post-Conceptual artist. He was a co-founding member of the Group of Six Artists (Zagreb, 1975-1981). He graduated in painting in 1975 (Prof. Raul Goldoni) and in graphic arts in 1977 (Albert Kinert), and from 1975 to 1977 he participated in painter and sculptor Ljubo Ivančić’s master workshop. Having equated art with life, Demur developed a personal image of an existentialist artist. During the 1970s, he started painting in the vein of Expressionist Abstraction, and later expressive Art Informel by combining (non)painterly materials and by using collage, decollage, assemblage and frottage techniques.

In the mid-1970s, Demur’s painting was primary, analytical, elementary and procedural in nature, with painting being nothing but a work of art, nothing but a fact. In 1983, he reintroduced motif and bodily gesture into his painting with the archetype of a spiral, which continued to be his main theme until the end of his life and career.

Demur’s Requiem in Croatia (1991), a painting of a white spiral on a black background, is a reflection of chaos theory, according to which all unpredictable processes have their own pattern and regularity. The cross is an expression of identification of Demur’s personal religiosity with unavoidable correlations with Croatia’s Homeland War reality. Later, he introduced the double spiral of yin-yang as a symbol of the integrity of life.

During the 40+ years of his career as an artist, he exhibited at numerous solo exhibitions in both Croatia and abroad, and in 1996 he was Croatia’s representative at the São Paulo Art Biennial. In the same year, he received the Order of the Croatian Morning Star with the image of Marko Marulić, Croatia’s national order bestowed for achievements in culture. In 2004, the National Museum of Modern Art presented a retrospective of his work (Retrospective I, curated by Zdenko Rus).

Text: Željko Marciuš, 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

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