Ratko Petrić
(1941 – 2010)
The End, 1973
190 x 245 x 107cm

Ratko Petrić obtained a degree in sculpture from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 1966, in the class of Vanja Radauš and stayed on to work as an associate in his Master Workshop, which likely influenced the social engagement of his works. Therefore, his works represent a special form of narrative figuration, or as he himself describes it, “engaged figuration.” In the 1970s, he began creating highly socially critical works in polyester, conveying surreal and tragicomic situations (Orator, Stamp). He was one of the founding members of the Biafra Art Group, which sought to address the issue of contemporary humanism while engaging in polemics with abstract artistic tendencies. Petrić is particularly known for his engaged works from that period, characterized by an expressive and naturalistic style. In the late 1970s, he spent time in America and created a series of works inspired by his personal experience of American society. During the 1980s, he worked with bronze and produced drawings that frequently explored the theme of death as a result of his own experience with illness. In addition to sculpture, Petrić also created drawings, caricature, comic books, and worked as a graphic designer (posters, catalogs).
The museum sculpture The End from 1973, belongs to Petrić’s Biafra period. It consists of two large polyester elements, a humanoid distorted figure with wide-open mouth and a massive, naturalistically depicted spittle, as an allegorical end to everything because a better world cannot be achieved.

Text: Dajana Vlaisavljević, 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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