Nives Kavurić Kurtović, The Tree of Life, 1975

Nives Kavurić Kurtović
(1938 – 2016)
The Tree of Life, 1975
painted wood
330 x 3 x 59 cm

In 1962, Nives Kavurić-Kurtović graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, in the class of Prof. Frano Baće, where in 1983 she became a professor herself. She was an associate in K. Hegedušić’s Master Workshop (1962 –1967) and in 1997 she became a regular member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. With figuration as the basic throughline in her prolific visual oeuvre, she created a series of cycles that combine surrealism and phantasmagoria. She is known for her agitated style and poetics of human solitude and anxiety. Her suggestive compositions, often with grotesque figures, are characterised by a delicate line and refined colourway. She was the recipient of the “Vladimir Nazor” Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.

Nives Kavurić-Kurtović’s works depict the surrealist and metaphysically fragmented scenes using a refined colourway. She is inspired by existential, emotional and spiritualistic concepts, her figuration is evanescent and there is a subtle harmony of the conscious and the unconscious. A painter and graphic artist by vocation who expressed a strong otherworldly sensibility and an oneiric world of dream visions, she re-fashioned existing objects into a surrealist reality in the series of Boards, which The Tree of Life is part of. The upright board with undulating edges is painted on both sides with a female nude and a poetic text inspired by the artist’s authentic intimate life: “THE TREE OF LIFE THAT IS SO WRETCHED I CAN’T EVEN LIVE IT FROM FEAR NIVES K-K 75…..WILL BE THE GUARDIAN OF YOUR HOME.”

Text: Tatijana Gareljić, Museum advisor of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb 2022
Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb 2022

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