press release

Braco Dimitrijević – A Retrospective presents all the most important phases of the work of this pioneer of conceptual art, who has built an outstanding international career from the end of the 1960s to date. The work of Braco Dimitrijević and his 1976 invention of the term Post History were an important influence on two major tendencies in the contemporary art discourse, from critical practices in public space to interventions in museum collections. The constant preoccupations of his work—the relativity of history in general and of the history of art in particular, as well as the phenomenon of chance—are represented in this exhibition with both his early works and new works created especially for this occasion.

During 50 years of his career Dimitrijević’s artistic philosophy has taken different conceptual and formal manifestations. He gained an international recognition in the early 1970s with his photographic portraits of unknown persons, which, enlarged to giant proportions, he mounted in public space across European and American cities on facades and billboards, places which are normally intended for advertising and political messages. For his monuments to casual passers-by, Dimitrijević was first to introduce to the language of conceptual art—in addition to photography and textual expression—such classical materials as marble and bronze. In 1979, in a park in Berlin he raised a 10-meter high obelisk celebrating a date chosen at random.

In 1975, he made use of the first work from a museum’s collection to create a new work, and since 1976 he has been using the works of old and modern masters from museum collections—from Rubens to Picasso, from Monet to Malevich—for his installations called Triptychos Post Historicus. This procedure represents a transgression which has been unprecedented in the history of art: masterpieces with all their aesthetic, historical, cultural and market value become an integral part of a newly created work of art.

In 1976, he published his theoretical work Tractatus Post Historicus, which heralded the arrival of Postmodernism.

During the course of over four decades, Braco Dimitrijević has created some 500 installations of his Triptychos Post Historicus in numerous museums, from the Guggenheim Museum in New York to the Louvre.

Braco Dimitrijević was born in 1948 in Sarajevo. He had his first solo exhibition at the age of 10 exhibiting 50 oil paintings. In 1969, he enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb and graduated from the Department of Painting. From 1971 to 1973 he attended post graduate course at the University of Arts London at the Saint Martin’s School of Art as a British Council scholar. In 1976, he went to Berlin for a one-year DAAD residential program. In 1978, he received the Jean Dominique Ingres Prize awarded by the Académie de Muséologie évocatoire and the Major Award of the Arts Council of Great Britain. In 1992 he was made Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (Order of the Knight of Art and Literature) in Paris in 1992. He is also the recipient of the ABBO d’Oro 2005 Award of Rome and of the Order of Danica Hrvatska with the portrait of Marko Marulić medal in 2008.

He exhibited on five continents. The works of Braco Dimitrijević are part of 80 museum and public collections, including the Tate Gallery in London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Nationalgalerie in Berlin.

Exhibition coordinator: Snježana Pintarić
Exhibition layout: Braco Dimitrijević
Catalogue design: Juri Armanda, Karl Geisler
The exhibition and the catalogue have been realized with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, City Office for Education, Cultural Affairs and Sport, Zagreb, Atlantic d.d. and Euroherc osiguranje d.d.