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Museum of Contemporary Art: A Tribute to Painter Julije Knifer

The centenary of the birth of Croatian painter Julije Knifer is celebrated with an exhibition and a conference about his life and work.

An exhibition of artwork by Croatian painter Julije Knifer will take place from 9 to 12 May at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The incentive for the exhibition is the centenary of the painter’s birth. On the final days of the event, 9 and 10 May, a thematic conference will take place which will allow experts from Croatia and abroad to talk about the life and work of the artist. In his final decades, Julije Knifer lived and worked abroad so experts in painting who knew him well are expected to attend and speak about socialising and collaborating with the artist.

Julije Knifer, who is one of the most prominent Croatian painters of 20th century, was born in 1924 in Osijek, a city in the Croatian region of Slavonia. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and completed his postgraduate studies in Zagreb. In 1959 he became a founder a member of the Gorgona Group, an art collective which supported unconventional forms of artistic expression and strived to develop new artistic sensibility. 

After surpassing the early influence of cubism and purism, as of 1960, Knifer was recognised for painting meander shapes as a continuous form, and for the relationship between black and white, creating in such a way a unique oeuvre of paintings and drawings. By increasing meander dimensions, he also created some installations. 

From mid 1970s he mostly lived and exhibited artwork in Germany and Frane. He died in Paris in 2004 and his homeland Croatia honours him with this retrospective exhibition in Zagreb.