essay about authorbibliographyartist's influences
03. April 1922 - 05. July 1998
Ex Yugoslavia

The art of Marijan Jevšovar is punctuated by his association with Gorgona (1959 -1966). Gorgona was a group of outstanding individuals who reflected the influences of Eastern philosophy, existentialism and absurdity, characteristic for the European spiritual climate of times. According to art critic Nena Dimitrijevic, "emptiness and monotony as an aesthetic category," marked Gorgona's state of mind. Group members were connected through "the process of spiritual and intellectual freedom, the exercise of which is self-explanatory". That motto was present in every aspect of their actions.

Jevšovar's art practice was defined from its very beginnings by choosing a different, unconventional painting procedure, the quest for a true and not a beautiful painting, as well as the desire to communicate the sheer energy captured in the process of transferring paint onto the canvas. After graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts in 1946, and two years of specialization with prof Marino Tartaglia, Jevšovar spent two years in Paris (1954 -1956) where he saw and was strongly influenced by the paintings of Jan Dubuffet. In his search for his personal style Jevšovar visited galleries and museums in Paris concluding that, in comparison with the Croatian context of strict official rules and guidelines, the Parisian art scene represented a "return to freedom".

Between 1960 – 1962 his understanding of painting as "the negation of form and contamination of surface" was realized in the painting Grey Surface. During those two years, Jevšovar continuously painted over the same image, creating a painting that was simultaneously a negation of traditionally understood image, and the affirmation of the creative processes whose ultimate goal was anti-painting. Such a quest for the zero-degree painting i.e. spiritual merger of nihilism and Zen, was typical for so-called Gorgona's spirit and their philosophy dominated by the principles of existence, and not of action; process, and not results. According to this philosophy, Jevšovar, as stated by Nena Dimitrijevic, had "consciously, deliberately degraded the surface" and clearly, in his own words, had "contaminated surface”. 

During the sixties, besides the analysis of grey and white surfaces, Jevšovar made drawings such as Perfect Form and Circle From All Sides, which expressed the same tendency toward the absurd. In the early seventies, a visible development occurred in his work. Instead of long-term "exhaustion of the surface," caused by the constant painting of grey tones on canvas resulting in enformel-like surfaces, Jevšovar commenced denying image by applying simple, free brush strokes on canvas. His palette was also shifting away from neutral grey tones and became much broader, almost vivid. Yet Jevšovar remained consistent in degrading image to anti-image, using colour only as a new level of "contamination" and not for the creation of beautiful compositions. The source of Jevšovar's procedure was the knowledge that matter, in this case, canvas and paint, reflects the mental processes and energy of the creator. Universal communication of such energy is the ultimate goal of art.

Marijan Jevšovar was born in Zagreb in 1922. Besides his painting, he was an accomplished graphic designer, specialized in books and posters. He died in 1998 in Zagreb.

J. Bubaš

essay about author


1959. Jevšovar — izložba slikarskih radova, Small Gallery, Opatija
1961. Jevšovar, Studio G, Zagreb
1972. Marijan Jevšovar – filmski plakati, Museum of Arts and Crafts, Zagreb
1976. Retrospektiva, Nova Gallery, Zagreb
1980. Marijan Jevšovar. Slikanje, Gallery of Contemporary Art, Zagreb
1985. prozor okretišta tramvaja | window of the bus-tram turnaround Črnomerec, Zagreb
1989. Gorgona "...Jevsovar, Knifer,...", Art Plus Universite, FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon
1989. Marijan Jevšovar, Toč Gallery, Selce
1990. Marijan Jevšovar, Drvenik
1990. Marijan Jevšovar, Sebastian Gallery, Varaždin
1992. Susret na svjetlu, Dante Gallery, Umag
1993. Marijan Jevšovar – Crteži, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb
1995. Dijalog s četverokutom, Beck Gallery, Zagreb
1995. Crteži Marijana Jevšovara, Keleia Gallery, Celje
1995. Marijan Jevšovar, Gripe Fortress, Split
1998. Marijan Jevšovar, Forum Gallery, Zagreb
2007. Marijan Jevšovar 1922. – 1988., 11 Gallery, Zagreb
2008. Marijan Jevšovar, Kranjčar Gallery, Zagreb
2013. Petnaest godina poslije, Forum Gallery, Zagreb
2017. Marijan Jevšovar, Crteži, 3.14 Gallery, Zagreb


1947. Izložba studenta Umjetničke akademije, Modern Gallery, Zagreb
1950. Izložba ULUH-a, Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik;Art Pavilion, Zagreb
1956. Salon 56, Gallery of Fine Arts, Rijeka
1956. Izložba ULUH-a, Art Pavilion Mali Kalemegdan, Belgrade
1956. Izložba hrvatske grafike, Grafički kolektiv Galelry, Belgrade
1959. Suvremena jugoslavenska grafika, House of JNA Exhibition Salon, Banja Luka
1960. Ivo Gattin – Marijan Jevšovar – Mića Popović – Rudolf Sabljić, Galerie Deutscher Bücherbund, München
1960. Jugoslawische Künstler der Gegenwart: Malerei und Plastik, Kunstverein, Tübingen
1960. Neue Malerei aus Jugoslawien, Galeria Deutscher Bücherbund, München
1961. I. trijenale likovnih umetnosti, Belgrade Fair, Belgrade
1961. Salon 61, Modern Gallery, Rijeka
1961. Slikarstvo skulptura 61, Gallery of Contemporary Art, Zagreb
1961. Kolektivna izložba, Studio G, Zagreb
1962. Quattro pittori Jugoslavi (I. Gattin, M. Jevšovar, R. Sablić, Đ. Seder), Galleria Cadario, Milan
1962. Kolektivna izložba, Studio G, Zagreb
1963. Panorama decenija hrvatskog slikarstva 1952. – 1962., Students' Centre Gallery, Zagreb
1963. Salon 63, Gallery of Fine Arts, Rijeka;Galleria Communale, Firenca
1967. EXPO 67, World's Fair, Montreal
1968. 3. Zagrebački salon, Art Pavilion, Zagreb
1971. 6. Zagrebački salon, Art Pavilion, Zagreb
1971. Situacija 70/71, Modern Gallery, Zagreb
1972. 100 plakata iz Jugoslavije, Gallery of Contemporary Art, Zagreb
1972. 7. plavi salon, Modern Gallery of the National Museum, Zadar
1973. 8. Zagrebački salon, Art Pavilion; Modern Gallery, Zagreb
1974. Likovne teme danas, Art Pavilion, Zagreb
1974. Hrvatska likovna umjetnost 1945. – 1955.: tendenciozni realizam, Art Pavilion, Zagreb
1975. 9. Zagrebački salon, Art Pavilion; Modern Gallery, Zagreb
1977. Informel 1956–1962., Nova Gallery, Zagreb
1977. Aktualnosti u hrvatskoj likovnoj umetnosti, "Cvijeta Zuzorić" Art Pavilion, Belgrade
1977. Gorgona, Gallery of Contemporary Art, Zagreb; Students' Cultural Centre Gallery, Belgrade; Städtisches Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach
1977. Aktualnosti u hrvatskoj likovnoj umjetnosti, Karas Gallery, Zagreb; "Cvijeta Zuzorić" Art Pavilion, Belgrade
1977. 12. Zagrebački salon, Art Pavilion; Modern Gallery; Centre for Culture and Information, Zagreb
1977. Moderne Kunst in Kroatien, Rathaus, Mainz
1978. 13. Zagrebački salon, Art Pavilion, Zagreb
1979. Mrtva priroda u novijem hrvatskom slikarstvu, Gallery of Fine Arts, Osijek
1980. Jugoslovensko slikarstvo šeste decenije, Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade
1980. Nove pojave u hrvatskom slikarstvu, Nova Gallery, Zagreb
1981. Apstraktne tendencije u Hrvatskoj 1951. – 1961., Modern Gallery, Zagreb
1981. Lik-figura u novijem hrvatskom slikarstvu, Gallery of Fine Arts, Osijek
1981. XVI Bienal de São Paulo, Pavilhao Armando Arruda Pereira, Parque Ibirapuera, São Paulo
1982. Inovacije u hrvatskoj umjetnosti sedamdesetih godina, Gallery of Contemporary Art, Zagreb
1982. Primjeri primarnog i analitičkog slikarstva u Jugoslaviji 1974. – 1980., Gallery of Contemporary Art, Zagreb
1984. Papir kao površina i materijal likovnog izraza, Karas Gallery, Zagreb
1985. Pet umjetnika iz Zagreba (Marijan Jevšovar, Julije Knifer, Ivan Kožarić, Đuro Seder, Josip Vaništa), Gallery of Fine Arts, Osijek
1986. Jevšovar, Knifer, Kožarić, Seder, Vaništa, Students' Cultural Centre Gallery, Belgrade
1987. Slika prirode i nova priroda slike, Karas Gallery, Zagreb
1987. Jugoslovenska documenta 87, Skenderija Olympic Centre, Collegium Artisticum, Sarajevo
1989. Šesti beogradski trijenale jugoslovenske likovne umetnosti, Belgrade Fair, Belgrade
1989. Jugoslovenska documenta 87, Skenderija Olympic Centre, Sarajevo
1989. 70 godina filmskog plakata u Hrvatskoj, JAZU Cabinet of Graphics, Zagreb
1992. Naznake, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb
1992. Celjski mednarodni slikarski tedni, Celje
1993. The Horse who Sings — Radical Art from Croatia, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
1994. Racionalno i spontano – geometrijska apstrakcija i informel od 1950. do 1970. godine u Hrvatskoj, Modern Gallery, Rijeka
1995. Contemporary Art of the Non-aligned countries. Unity in  Diversity in International Art, Museum Nasional, Jakarta
1996. Contemporary Croatian Drawing, Workers' Cultural Palace, Beijing
1996. 125 vrhunskih djela hrvatske umjetnosti, Home of HDLU, Zagreb
1997. Gorgona, Gorgonesco, Gorgonico, Venice Biennale, Ex Macello, Dolo
2001. Informel, Prsten Gallery; Karas Gallery, Zagreb
2003. Monokromije, Art Pavilion, Zagreb2004. Čudovišno, Art Pavilion, Zagreb
2007. Gorgona iz Kolekcije Macura, Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade
2012. John Cage — The Freedom of Sound, Ludwig Múzeum — Kortárs Művészeti Múzeum, Budapest
2012. Apstrakcija – Modernizam i suvremenost, Klovićevi dvori Gallery, Zagreb
2015. Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960 – 1980, Museum of Modern Art, New York
2015. Gorgona, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb
2015. Radikális művészeti gyakorlatok a Marinko Sudac Gyűjteményben, A38 Kiállítóhely, Budapest
2016. Modernità Non Allineata. Arte e Archivi dell'Est Europa dalla Collezione Marinko Sudac, FM Centre for Contemporary Art, Milan
2017. El nem kötelezett művészet – Marinko Sudac gyűjteménye, Ludwig Múzeum — Kortárs Művészeti Múzeum, Budapest
2017. Gorgona, Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz
2018. In Memoriam – Josip Vaništa, Šira Gallery, Zagreb
2018. Hello World. Revision einer Sammlung, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin
2018. Upute za gledanje – Što bi tijelo htjelo?, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rijeka
2019. GORGONA 1959–1968. Független művészeti törekvések Zágrábban. Retrospektív kiállítás a Marinko Sudac gyűjteményből, Kassák Múzeum, Budapest
2019. Radoslav Putar i Miljenko Horvat. Retrospektiva, Varaždin City Museum, Varaždin
2019. GORGONA. Prace z kolekcji Marinko Sudaca, Profile Foundation, Warsaw