Ivo Kerdić, A Kiss, 1912

Ivo Kerdić
A Kiss, 1912

Medallist and sculptor Ivo Kerdić attended the Royal National Craft School in Zagreb in 1898. He worked in Paris at the Maison Moderne art foundry, and worked and studied in Vienna since 1902. In 1906 he finished the College of Arts and Crafts, and in 1911 the Special Engraving and Medal-Making School of the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.
At the invitation of sculptor and Professor Robert Frangeš-Mihanović, he returned to Zagreb in 1913 as the head of the foundry of what was to become the Academy of Fine Arts, where he worked until 1947 as an excellent teacher of generations of young sculptors.
Although he created most of his most respectable pieces in medal-making and applied art, an indispensable part of Kerdić’s oeuvre includes public and sacral monuments, as well as figurative and portrait sculptures.
Whilst in Vienna, he socialised with young Croatian artists, primarily sculptor Ivan Meštrović, whose influence played a crucial role in Kerdić continuing his education and perfecting his creative expression.

Kerdić was most influenced by Vienna’s Art Nouveau, in whose vein he sculpted his first significant work – A Kiss from 1912. The softly modelled female body is merged with the muscular male body, with the two ultimately growing into a pyramidal composition based on measure, clarity and harmony. A Kiss features the swirling line typical of Art Nouveau and pronounced soft surface modelling. The pedestal bears the following inscription in stylised letters: In love / in a grove, only few / wouldn’t succumb.

Text: Tatijana Gareljić, museum advisor 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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