A Celebrated Croatian Artist Gets First U.S. Solo Show
Julije Knifer, among Croatia’s most prominent artists, who represented his country in the 2001 Venice Biennale, spent a lifetime paring painting down to its essence. He claimed to pursue the “escalation of uniformity and monotony” in his paintings, drawings, and outdoor murals, focusing on one endlessly variable geometric form, which he called “the meander.” A maze-like shape of horizontal and vertical switchbacks, almost always rendered in black and white, this motif was the vehicle through which he explored time and rhythm, and revealed the inevitable differences in any act of repetition. He found the framework for his approach in the music of Igor Stravinsky and the work of Kazimir Malevich and his avant-garde contemporaries, with whom he founded the Gorgona Group. Knifer considered each of his compositions as part of a continuum, one which laid the ground for Western conceptual art.
Croatian, 1924-2004, Osijek, Croatia