Zlatko Kopljar – TENEBROSO

Museum of Fine Art, Varaždin, Croatia

Curated by Branko Franceschi

After a successful retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb, and according to the curatorial concept of art historian Branko Franceschi a befitting selection of Zlatko Kopljar’s works will be presented in accordance with the architectural style and smaller size of Varaždin’s museum’s exhibition halls. The name of the exhibition is a reference to the dramatic painting style of the same name introduced by the greatMichelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, which marked the beginning of the Baroque period. Varaždin known as Croatia’s baroque city and the baroque Sermage Palace converted into museum of fine art are an ideal setting to introduce tenebrism as a significant quality of Kopljar’s oeuvre. The exhibition presents works marked by the strong contrast of light and darkness, fierce action, and intensity of his worldview and art. It includes all the media Kopljar has employed during the three decades of his career, from an expanded understanding of painting, performance, objects and installations to photography and video.

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ART / WAR / TRANSITION (1990 – 1991 – 2000 – 2010 – 2020 – 2021)

29.7.–10.10.2020. MMSU / RIJEKA / CROATIA

Događanje je dio Rijeka 2020 programa →

Usred dramatičnih okolnosti pandemije „coronavirusa“ i neizbježnih promjena u realizaciji programa Europske prijestolnice kulture – Rijeke 2020., riječki Muzej moderne i suvremene umjetnosti odlučio je realizirati radikalan izložbeni projekt prezentacije ključnih momenata, segmenata, poetika, „medijalizacije“ i inovativnih umjetničkih praksa koje su se „prelamale“ i „križale“ na novijoj i suvremenoj riječkoj Art – sceni u posljednjih tridesetak godina.

Otvorenje izložbe i izmjene u postavu odvijaju se u fazama: 29. srpnja – 29. kolovoza – 29. rujna – 10. listopada.

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Who Summoned the Silence

1.6.–15.7.2020., MMSU / RIJEKA / CROATIA

The exhibition ‘Who Summoned the Silence’, whose opening is scheduled for June 1, offers a selection of works by local artists created over a period of a hundred years. Works created in media of painting, print, sculpture, photography, and video are connected by the same common thread – the notion of silence.

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History, architecture, performance: On Zlatko Kopljar’s body of work

Ory Dessau / 2019

In 2002 Zlatko Kopljar blocked the main entrance to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb. He did so with a twelve-ton block of reinforced concrete, corresponding in size to the measurements of the building’s doorway. Titled K4(1998–2002), the action was part of the group exhibition Here Tomorrow, in which curator Roxana Marcoci offered an examination of the contemporary Croatian art scene seven years after the end of the war in former Yugoslavia. However, since it kept the museum closed and inaccessible, the protective concrete shield of Kopljar’s K4implied that even in 2002 the war was not over yet. By sealing its entrance Kopljar referred to the museum as if situated in a stage prior to demolition. He marked the museum’s building as a future ruin among already existing ruins. Likewise, Kopljar’s sealed entrance also suggested that the premises were being purged, purified of the near past sediments and ghosts of the war.  

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The power and vulnerability of the firefly

Sanja Cvetnić / 2019

The fate of each artist is situated somewhere between the oft-cited words of Martha Graham, “No artist is ahead of his time. He is the time. It is just that others are behind the time”, and, perhaps even more well-known, and certainly more enduring, is the Old Testament wisdom – “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun”(Eccl. 1:9): this reflects the fates of artists who have been cursed and of those who have been divinized. Zlatko Kopljar (1962) is one of those artists who most profoundly experiences both fateful points, as well as the tension between both statements concerning artistic and human existence. In a quick survey of his oeuvre, if we filter by the key words of “time” and “artist”, many of his works apply. We encounter these elements in an art installation (1993) named after an inscription engraved on a metallic plate, Panta rhei (Τα Πάντα ῥεῖ), in which the beginning of one ofthe most famous Greek philosophical sentences is reinforced by the high voltage with which the work is charged and in an abstract video, K9 (2003), to which the artist’s own DNA forms the key. We see the topics “time” and “artist” in the tableaux vivantsportraying a company of “dead” painters in a series of photographic portraits of colleagues, maverick artists all, in K11(2007). And we find these elements in the striking stills from the performance K16(2012), in which Kopljar, dressed in his silver, phosphorescent suit, digs himself a deep grave that slowly swallows him up, along with the light that reflects off  his silver suit, glowing to the end, like a big firefly in the darkness.

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