Anto Jerković Ignoto I, 1996

Anto Jerković
Ignoto I, 1996
acrylic on canvas
100 x 300 x 8 cm

Anto Jerković (1958 – 2005) was one of the most innovative Croatian post-conceptual artists and minimalist painters, as well as a performer, who was searching for and interpreting the spiritual in art. Early on, his style and integrity were determined by a figurative-abstract neo-art-informelist expression, after the manner of the new German expressionists, often featuring mythical and symbolic references. In the late 1980s and during the 1990s, after studying in Paris and Rome (1989), the artist’s spiritual formality is defined by the theory of illuminative citation, reflected in his (neo)minimalist painting. Specifically, in IKB (International Klein Blue) coloured paintings, he writes ontological, spiritual and religious concepts or sayings in Latin, using mostly gold Roman capitals. It is the kind of blue that ushers a person, in conjunction with verbalisation, towards one’s own spirituality, a mental contemplativeness of sorts. They are prayers like the Pater noster, or the Ignoto Deo series. The latter series includes the painting Ignoto I, 1996, (Unknown I), which contains the biblical interpretation of the Gospel According to Luke: His sweat fell to the ground like drops of blood, written in white that shines above the absorption of blue. It is the ontology of the divine. In the period from 1994 to 2005, he created concepts and installations in public spaces that are associatively correlated with Yves Klein’s poetics and Peter Sloterdijk’s philosophy (Words, Neons and Balloons, 1999) realised on the façade of the former Gallery of Contemporary Art. The blue neon universal concepts taken from Sloterdijk’s Critique of Cynical Reason. Jerković graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb (Raul Goldoni, 1983). He also worked as an associate in Ljubo Ivančić’s and Nikola Reiser’s Master Workshop (1983 – 1986) and as an artwork restorer. He has shown his works in important solo and group exhibitions at home and abroad.
Text: Željko Marciuš, museum consultant of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb, 2023

Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb, 2023

Skip to content