ZLATKO PRICA (1916 – 2003) Equally skilled in several different mediums, oil, watercolours, gouache, mosaic, stained glass, fresco and graphics. He is a real master of colours always achieving a particular increased radiance of colours. Prica was born in Hungary, in the town of Pecs and died in Rijeka.
In 1922 with his parents he moved to Croatia, to Samobor and very quickly to Zagreb where he enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts. He graduated in 1940 in class of Omer Mujadžic and Ljubo Babic.
His first one-man exhibition was held in 1941 in the Art Pavilion in Zagreb just before the war started in Yugoslavia. On that occasion he put on display his early works influenced to a certain degree by postimpressionism. From the very beginning of his artistic life his art was dominated mainly by bright colours. That same year he was arrested by Ustasha members and imprisoned in the camp “Danica” near Koprivnica. After his release he settled down for a short period of time in the surroundings of Samobor and in 1943 he took his painting tools and joined the Partisans where with his colleague Edo Murtic made graphic illustrations for the soul stirring poem Jama («The Pit») written by Ivan Goran Kovacic.
In the post war period, the themes of his paintings are mostly realistic. His stay in Paris in 1948 represents an important step in his life where he narrates himself in his work in a way of forming into a serious artist. In the following years he acquired precious experiences on his travels to India and Brazil. Starting in the mid Fifties of the last century Prica resorts to principles of painting based on the horizontal and the vertical axis, forms are not voluminous any more but relying on the synthesis of colour and drawings which are more animated and complex. Some of his works represent abstract painting, so called associative abstraction, although he will always resort to figurative painting.
At the end of the Seventies and in the Eighties of the previous century Prica’s paintings reflect a certain influences of trans-vanguard tendencies. Zlatko Prica exhibited at numerous one-man exhibitions organised in the country and abroad, including Zagreb, Split, Zadar, Belgrade, Ljubljana, Pecs, Venetia, Milan, Florence, Vienna, London, Paris, Berlin, Sao Paolo and New Delhi. He received numerous prices and awards, award for his graphics on the Biennale exhibition Bianco e nero in Lugano (1958), the City of Zagreb Award (1960), 8th Zagreb Saloon Award for Painting (1973.), Fiorino d’oro Award in Florence (1976), “Vladimir Nazor” prize for life-work (1981) AVNOJ award (1987). Gray Sail, 1986, from Prica’s famous «The Tar Cycle», displays a strong communication with the nature; emphasis is on the anthropomorphic ideas.
Title: Croatian Mordern Painting
Date of Issue: 1 December 2009
Denominations: 1,8 kn
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