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Abstract photographs of Đuro Griesbach (from the1960s do 1990s)

Branka Hlevnjak ; Samostalni istraživač

Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (29 MB) str. 117-129 preuzimanja: 133* citiraj
APA 6th Edition
Hlevnjak, B. (2001). Fotografska apstrakcija Đure Griesbacha (od 1960-ih do 1990-ih). Peristil, 44 (1), 117-129. Preuzeto s
MLA 8th Edition
Hlevnjak, Branka. "Fotografska apstrakcija Đure Griesbacha (od 1960-ih do 1990-ih)." Peristil, vol. 44, br. 1, 2001, str. 117-129. Citirano 19.04.2021.
Chicago 17th Edition
Hlevnjak, Branka. "Fotografska apstrakcija Đure Griesbacha (od 1960-ih do 1990-ih)." Peristil 44, br. 1 (2001): 117-129.
Hlevnjak, B. (2001). 'Fotografska apstrakcija Đure Griesbacha (od 1960-ih do 1990-ih)', Peristil, 44(1), str. 117-129. Preuzeto s: (Datum pristupa: 19.04.2021.)
Hlevnjak B. Fotografska apstrakcija Đure Griesbacha (od 1960-ih do 1990-ih). Peristil [Internet]. 2001 [pristupljeno 19.04.2021.];44(1):117-129. Dostupno na:
B. Hlevnjak, "Fotografska apstrakcija Đure Griesbacha (od 1960-ih do 1990-ih)", Peristil, vol.44, br. 1, str. 117-129, 2001. [Online]. Dostupno na: [Citirano: 19.04.2021.]

When the photographic assignment for the Export drvo campaign in the 1960s prompted Đuro Griesbach, whose career started in 1927, to rethink photographic design, he arrived at crisp forms, reduced content and a new aesthetics of photography. He accepted the two-dimensional and decorative quality of posters as the measure for photographic graphism. A designer and constructor, technical and design innovator in the 1950s, Griesbach continued to explore in the field of photography.
Soon abandoning color photography, in the 1970s Griesbach continued to explore black and white abstract photography as a new creative option, moving from typically Informel optics to laboratory interventions characteristic for his series »Mirages«.
Striving for the unreal in photography, Griesbach first shot from unexpected angles and in unusual light to metamorphose the shapes from nature. Later he turned to structure, to the material itself (wood and stone) to achieve a visual effect of structuralism. Finally, he discovered a phantasmagorical world in the phenomenon of symmetry: blending the left and the right side of the same section of the tree into a symmetrical unit, Griesbach attained fascinating effects, turning a vegetative chaos of nature into strangely regular, human animal and monstrous figures.
ln the 1980s Griesbach actively collaborated with the Ethnographic Museum in Zagreb, which led to a series of official repro-photographs that provided him with an opportunity for a personal »vision«. Griesbach saw photography as a medium of message, education and encouragement. In museum exhibits Griesbach found inspiration for genuine photographic works of art because he was well aware that each object could be photographically transposed into a new, different reality. Even banal subjects can become »eternal« if photographed properly.
The first exhibition of Griesbach and Ethnographic Museum in 1984, was »Spindles in Croatia«. In the list of 43 photographs given to Prof. Antun Bauer for his donation to the Vukovar Museum of August 1988 there are photographs of spindies from Lika, Krbava and Dalmatia, with other ethnographic subjects such as pipes from Croatia and Montenegro.
The collaboration with the Ethnographic museum and its curator renewed Griesbach's interest in the national heritage. In 1984 he photographed vernacular architecture of the region below Mount Biokovo, the same motif he used to photograph before the Second World War for the picture postcards produced by his father's company Griesbach and Knaus. Due to lack of exhibition venues, enthusiastic Griesbach exhibited his 125 photographs 30x40 cm laid out on tables covered in green cloth, wrote accompanying texts and later donated the entire series to the Ethnographic Museum in Zagreb. The exhibition in the Matrix Croatiae in Zagreb in 1986 confirmed Griesbach's personal involvement in the promotion of patriotism and national traditions. ln 1990 Griesbach took part in two exhibitions of the Ethnographic Museum, devoted to hand-made pottery and painted gourds which he found particularly fascinating so that he focused on the details of their ornamentation and enlarged them.
The collaboration with the museum continued with exhibitions in 1991 and 1992, where Griesbach showed meticulously executed photographs of Easter eggs from various parts of Croatia.
ln 1991 the Ethnographic Museum mounted two solo exhibitions of Đuro Griesbach: »Forgotten Negatives« and »A Walk through the Old Town« that once again draw attention to the intrinsic value of his output. In an interview given at the time, he was asked what is for him photography and where does he draw his strength from. The artist replied: »I am attracted and bewitched by photography. Love for our beautiful homeland, the cultural achievements of our people and our human values fill me with enthusiasm.«
After the exhibition »Đuro Griesbach's Easter« at the Ethnographic museum in 1995, his last exhibition, at the end of 1995, was opened in the Old City Hall in Zagreb with the title »A Walk Through the Zagreb Zoo«. Most exhibited photographs were made during 1995 for the 70th anniversary of the Zagreb Zoo. This was a symbolic full circle for Đuro Griesbach whose prolific creative career began in 1927 with photographs from the Zagreb Zoo in Maksimir.

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