The Centenary of the Birth of Ivan Kožarić: From a Sculpture in the City Centre to a Rich Museum Display

You can mark the centenary of the birth of world-renowned artist Ivan Kožarić by visiting the Kožarić Studio in Zagreb, but also by doing something unique.

This year marks the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Ivan Kožarić (1921 – 2020), an artist appreciated both in Croatia and in the world who passed away last year. It is an additional motive to visit the Kožarić Studio owned by the City of Zagreb, whose permanent safekeeping and storage are the responsibility of the Museum of Contemporary Art. As an integral part of the Collection in Motion, the display of the Kožarić Studio is altered from time to time due to updates done to several segments of his collection. The collection consists of more than 6000 exhibits; sculptures, reliefs, assemblages, installations, graphics, drawings, sketches, practical items and similar.

However, it is also possible to encounter the artist’s artwork in the very heart of the city. In Bogovićeva Street, only fifty metres away from the Ban Josip Jelačić Square, there is an interesting bronze sculpture entitled the Grounded Sun by Ivan Kožarić which was put up in 1994. Ten years later artist Davor Preis made the ambient art installation Nine Views, which together with the thoroughly renovated Grounded Sun makes the ambient art installation the Grounded Solar System. Preis’s planets are spheres made of stainless steel whose diameters were calculated based on the diameter of the sculpture by Kožarić. Also, the sculptures were installed proportionally in relation to the Sun as the starting point in such a way to reflect the real distance between a particular planet and the Sun as the central star. You will find the sculpture of Mercury in Margaretska Street at 88 meters from the Sun, Venus is located at Ban Josip Jelačić Square, the Earth is 211 meters away in Varšavska Street and so on. The most distant installation is Pluto, whose status of a planet was downgraded to that of a dwarf planet by the International Astronomical Union. It is located at a distance of 8800 metres from the Sun in the Grounded Solar System.

Ivan Kožarić, a member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, was an artist appreciated in Croatia and in the world whose artwork is a part of many world museums and private collections and who won many awards. Citizens of Zagreb are honouring their fellow citizen this year with a special homage to his work, which is an integral part of the life of the city.

Published: 07.06.2021