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Idealism of the Organized World in the Art of Juraj Dobrović

Vinko Srhoj ; Department of Art History, University of Zadar, Croatia

Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (1 MB) str. 227-242 preuzimanja: 792* citiraj
APA 6th Edition
Srhoj, V. (2013). Idealizam sređenoga svijeta u umjetnosti Jurja Dobrovića. Ars Adriatica, (3), 227-242. Preuzeto s
MLA 8th Edition
Srhoj, Vinko. "Idealizam sređenoga svijeta u umjetnosti Jurja Dobrovića." Ars Adriatica, vol. , br. 3, 2013, str. 227-242. Citirano 04.07.2020.
Chicago 17th Edition
Srhoj, Vinko. "Idealizam sređenoga svijeta u umjetnosti Jurja Dobrovića." Ars Adriatica , br. 3 (2013): 227-242.
Srhoj, V. (2013). 'Idealizam sređenoga svijeta u umjetnosti Jurja Dobrovića', Ars Adriatica, (3), str. 227-242. Preuzeto s: (Datum pristupa: 04.07.2020.)
Srhoj V. Idealizam sređenoga svijeta u umjetnosti Jurja Dobrovića. Ars Adriatica [Internet]. 2013 [pristupljeno 04.07.2020.];(3):227-242. Dostupno na:
V. Srhoj, "Idealizam sređenoga svijeta u umjetnosti Jurja Dobrovića", Ars Adriatica, vol., br. 3, str. 227-242, 2013. [Online]. Dostupno na: [Citirano: 04.07.2020.]

In Croatian art of the second half of the twentieth century, the name of Juraj Dobrović is most frequently linked to New Tendencies, a Zagreb movement which marked progressive, experimental, and science-based
trends which corresponded to similar tendencies of the most progressive global directions in the art of the time. Within this movement, Dobrović’s position stands out through its “ultimate ascetism” (J. Denegri), reflected in an orderly world of geometry and strict planning, unthreatened by incursions from the outside which could disturb the ideal and idealistic
structure of rationally established relationships.
In other words, Dobrović incessantly establishes relationships which are generated by a rational mind unoccupied with testimonies about the outside world and its innumerable varieties. Therefore, from the very
beginning, and through his forty-year career, Dobrović occupied the same position (even independently of New Tendencies) with regard to reality. He was not interested in reality as a visual appearance but only as a construct consisting of shapes which hold the world together. This represents an organized background filled with regular structures and relationships onto which one can graft the variegated abundance of
natural forms: a potentiality which creates tree and man, rock and water, as shapes which in their many variations would not survive without their constituent particles. These particles create a grid, a rhythm, an ordered monotony, but also a system shift which in turn generates a new order springing from the departure from the norm, and it is this which interests
Dobrović, as a beginning and end of his art of the “grand scheme of things.” This scheme, however, does not contain the divine particle, the primordial spark which sprang from a single source, but is non-divine
and non-human, in a way self-generating, both begun and completed within itself.
In Dobrović’s work we will not find too many differences between two-dimensional and threedimensional solutions, between line and volume.
Therefore, it is difficult to separate Dobrović’s oeuvre into painting and draughtsmanship on the one hand, and that which embodies spatial structures and relief on the other, because the final impression of both –
the two-dimensional and the three-dimensional – is the same when it comes to the solution of perceived relationships. These perceived relationships, which represent Dobrović’s peculiarity, originate from
aberration, mutation of forms and, finally, they create a shift or “system error” which generates a visual
puzzle (it is not surprising, therefore, that T. Maroević
identified him as “the Escher of the non-figural”).
This makes each of his works, even the most twodimensional

and linearly minimalist ones, in reality, a
play with spatial possibilities, a consideration of what
surprises will greet us if we introduce a change into a
system of strict geometry: truncate a cube, interlace
two shapes, cut an edge, open up a geometrical body,
cross-hatch the lines or make a geometric outline
revolve. For this reason, talking about Dobrović’s
paintings means that at the same time we are also
talking about his objects and reliefs, given that their
structur al principles are the same.
With regard to the international context,
Dobrović’s art can be viewed and “anchored” within
the movement of European relief-structure artists or
European constructed relief artists (A. Dekkers, H.
Böhm, H. Glattfelder). They were European artists
of the late 1960s and 1970s who worked outside the
mainstream trends dictated by America, and they
focused mostly on relief sculpture. Furthermore, what
is impressive about these artists is not their innovation,
technical skill or monumental art but their persistent,
imperturbable and strict loyalty to the simplicity and
purity of the execution of artworks which seem to have
been made as an exercise in ascetism. To J. Denegri,
they are spiritualists rather than technicians; they are
orientated towards manual and meditative matters
rather than those which are technological and optical,
and in this respect they represent Dobrović’s closest
parallels. Indeed, the reliefs Dobrović made in this
period resemble strongly the works of some of the

Ključne riječi
Juraj Dobrović; New Tendencies; European relief-structure artists; reliefs; drawings; sculptures

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