Ivan Kožarić
(1921 – 2020)
Internal Eyes, 1959
casting, bronze
19.5 x 19 x 16 cm

This avant-garde Croatian sculptor graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 1949, and then attended Prof. Antun Augustinčić’s advanced sculpture course. Between 1959 and 1960, he continued his training in Paris. From 1959 to 1966, he was a member of the unconventional Gorgona Group, which brought together the most prominent figures of contemporary art in Croatia. Several of his sculptures are permanently installed in public spaces, the most prominent being the monument to A. G. Matoš and the Grounded Sun in Zagreb.
Since the very beginning of his art career, his sculptural expression has fluidly encompassed a wide array of styles, ranging from expressivity, condensed forms to conceptual projects. He experimented with different materials and techniques, and introduced the principles of redesign and recycling of various utility objects, as well as his own sculptures. He modelled a number of conceptually open and original emblematic pieces, often featuring a touch of creative humour.
Kožarić’s Internal Eyes is a characteristic Gorgonian work, executed as a negative hollow, an empty human face, as an anti-volume of the interior of the head of all members of the Gorgona Group, presented in an absurd, ironic and nihilistic manner. The gilded surfaces suggest the rehabilitation and sublimity of the mundane, setting something apart as sacred, while the new variable aspects of the everyday are left as a possibility in the white version of this work. The work Internal Eyes is characterised by two premises of this atypical sculptor, that is, the negation of sculptural mastery and the formal aesthetics.

Text: Tatijana Gareljić, 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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