Branko Lepen, Letatlin, 1984

Branko Lepen
Letatlin, 1984
welding, iron
130 x 70 x 30 cm

Inspired by constructivism and minimalism, Branko Lepen utilizes geometrically abstract forms to explore the relationships between space and mass, as well as two-dimensional and three-dimensional aspects. The conceptual sculpture Letatlin is made of iron and consists of two objects placed on thin rectangular bases, from which multiple thin flat rods rise. At the top of these rods, objects in the shape of a cylinder with cross-shaped flat strips are horizontally positioned, filling its empty space.
In 1983, Croatian sculptor Branko Lepen (1957, Čakovac) graduated from the Faculty of Civil Engineering in Zagreb. From 1989 to 2015, he worked at the Croatian National Theater in Zagreb, and since 2016, he has been working at the Kerempuh Theater. Lepen creates sculptures and reliefs using various materials such as iron, aluminum, and wood. In 1999, his sculpture Important Device won the award at the Triennial of Croatian Sculpture. He experimented with objects and installations that involve light and movement, drawing inspiration from his work on stage designs and incorporating postmodernist references from art history, such as neon light used by Dan Flavin. Later, he returned to associative and linear forms in a series called Loops (2015- 2017), nearing the conceptual approach. He has exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Zagreb, Rijeka, Čakovec, Rovinj, and Split, and participated in exhibitions of Croatian contemporary art in Brighton (1990), Santiago de Chile, and Buenos Aires (1997). His sculptures can be found in public spaces, such as the sculpture Big Spider from 1987 in the Sports Park Mladost in Zagreb. He has also created stage set, including the one for the performance of Jenufa at the Croatian National Theater in Zagreb in 2012.

Text: Lorena Šimić, trainee curator of the National Museum of Modern Art
Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb

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