LONDON, 7 October 2004
DUŠAN DŽAMONJA IN LONDON
SCULPTURE IN THE PARK - FROM SCULPTURE TO ARCHITECTURE
An exhibition of monumental abstract sculptures by Dušan Džamonja - Regents Park´ s first major international sculpture exhibition – opened on 23rd June 2004. For five months, his striking abstract sculptures became part of the London landscape. The exhibition arrived in London following highly successful and critically acclaimed exhibitions of Džamonja´s work in Paris, Lisbon and Brussels and remained open to thousands of visitors of the English Garden, Regent´s Park, from June until October 2004.
The exhibition was organised by the Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Croatian Ministry of Culture, Gallery Kolovićevi dvori in Zagreb, Croatian Embassy in London, British and Croatian sponsors and hosted by the Royal Parks.
The opening of the exhibition coincided with the opening of the EU accession process for Croatia following the European Council´s decision to give Croatia a candidate status for the EU membership on 18th June and the celebrations of Croatia´s National Day on 25th June.
Dušan Džamonja was born in Macedonia in 1928. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in the 1940s and now lives and works in Brussels, Vrsar and Zagreb. Since the 1950s, he has won numerous awards for his work and has exhibited throughout Europe.
Described as an abstract expressionist, his aim is to deal with the real world without reference to its appearance. His primary materials are bronze, iron, corten steel and aluminium, with which he has created monumental abstract sculptures which have been exhibited in city squares and high profile urban settings throughout Europe - in Place de Vendôme in Paris, Praça de Commércio in Lisbon, outside the Palais de Justice in Brussels - and in Regent´s Park in London.
Another exhibition of Džamonja´s works opened at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) on 8th July 2004. In the main gallery of the Institute´s impressive building, designed by Grey Wornum in 1930, an exhibition of photographs and models of Džamonja´s public monuments and architectural projects was running in parallel with the one in Regent´s Park. Prepared by Mrs Dubravka Kisić, Director of the Croatian Museum of Architecture in Zagreb, the exhibition came to this specialised London gallery after a successful run in Bruxelles and was opened by Mr Joško Paro, Croatian Ambassador in the UK and Baroness Tessa Blackstone, Chair of the RIBA Trust.
Quotes about the artist:
... With more than half of a century of work behind him, Džamonja, is one of the most distinguished artists in Europe….He developed new ways of using traditional materials; he reconciled the intractability of metal to the fluidity and animation of nature; and, without resorting to narrative, he imbued his architectural monuments with the sensation of human presence.
... The accomplished mastery of his style is the result of prolonged experimentation with public sculpture and of his constant search for materials and technical solutions. It is a style that is striking in its organic monumentality and in its just sense of proportion, but which also speaks of a heightened sensitivity to the site itself....
French Art Critic