(1916 – 2003)
People and Fruits, 1960
oil on canvas
145 x195 cm
Zlatko Prica painted People and Fruits, from the series Fruits of the Earth, in 1960. The series was created between 1959 and 1966. The primary motifs are white and green fruits, tree trunks, trees and an occasional stylised anthropomorphic association of a human figure. The painting is dominated by white, brown and blue colours, and the composition has no descriptive character. Still, by reductively abstracting the motif, Prica achieved an intense, visionary component of the image.
Zlatko Prica was born in 1916 in Pécs. He was a prominent representative of Croatian intimate, lyrical and reductive figuration and Abstract art. Prior to enrolling to the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, he received the backing of Krsto Hegedušić, while Omer Mujadžić was a great role model and supporter at the Academy, where he graduated in 1940 under the mentorship of Ljubo Babić. He held his first solo exhibition in 1941 at the Art Pavilion. In the same year, he was taken to a concentration camp near Koprivnica where he documented camp scenes with drawings. In 1943, after joining the partisans, together with E. Murtić, he illustrated the print-literary portfolio of I. G. Kovačić’s poem The Pit (1944). In the early 1950s, he travelled to Paris, India and Brazil which broadened his horizons. Indian culture (frescoes from Ajanta) influenced his graphism and the two-dimensional flatness of his compositions which he achieved with striking colours. His stylistic-creative phases are divided in cycles. He is the recipient of the Vladimir Nazor Lifetime Achievement Award (1981), and since 1988 a regular member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. In 2002, in honour of the artist and his wife, the Zlatko and Zdenka Prica Gallery was opened in Samobor.
Text: Lorena Šimić, trainee curator 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