Albert Kinert: A Critical Retrospective
On June 7 the Modern Gallery will open a critical retrospective of the oeuvre of Albert Kinert, distinguished Croatian printmaker and painter. His last monographic exhibition was held in the Modern Gallery in 1985, and in the holdings of the gallery there are some major works by this artist from the various phases, including sculptures and not only paintings, drawings and prints. In collaboration with the artist’s family, which takes care of the Kinert legacy, Iva Körbler, who has created the exhibition, has collected a retrospective of some of the best of the artist’s works. Included in the selection are some pieces in private collections as well as in the holdings of other Croatian museum-gallery institutions. This retrospective will show for the first a good number of representative works by the artist from private collections that have neither been shown in public before nor were reproduced in the 2002 monograph.
We think that enough time has passed for Kinert’s oeuvre to be seen in a new critical manner, and for his place in contemporary Croatian art from the early 1950s until the present to be recontextualised and revalued. The graphic art of Albert Kinert is deeply inscribed in the memory of Croatian modern and contemporary printmaking, unlike the segments of painting, ink washes and small-scale sculpture. He is most firmly held in the memory of this cultural setting for the works from the end of the seventies and the first half of the 1980s. Accordingly, from a recent perspective, we are interested in Kinert’s contribution to the Croatian line of Art Informel, that is the problem of matter in painting, the Existentialist version of burnt earth and surviving remains, as well as the abstract-organic dimensions of what is called the artist’s protoplasmic morphology, which during the 1960s existed in parallel in Kinert’s oeuvre with hints of a relief facture in his space of Biological Variations and Nameless Forms.
Albert Kinert is close to Informel of the Ivo Gattin and Eugen Feller kind, as well as to the organic vision of the material of the painting, together with Ordan Petlevski, Boris Dogan and Biserka Baretic, that is, the non-geometric trend in Croatian art of the 1950s and 1960s, which clearly stood apart from the concepts and worldviews of Exat 51 and the New Tendencies. In his paintings, inks and prints Kinert cultivated an abstract vision that was gradually transformed into a particular version of organic micro-figuration, and the structure of the Informel surface retreated before the torrents of his metamorphic, fantastic, bizarre and practically exotic hand. In the figurative period, these elements were made concrete in a surrealist, hallucinatory world between dreaming and waking. From 1957 Kinert’s paintings, drawings and prints became ever more abstract and organic, where vision was blended with painterly material, and the ground took on the characteristic Kinertian granulated facture and a particular kind of polychromy. At the beginning of the sixties a biomorphic elements appeared in his painting, but the painter still continued to cultivate his characteristics micro-figuration. By the end of the seventh decade, the artist was occupied with a world of biological and protoplasmic morphology, and in the 1970s erotic motifs appeared in his micro-figuration, and figurative metaphors of love and intimacy. The unique morphology of the artist, for which there are neither predecessors nor successors, has remained a special place in Croatian contemporary art. Iva Körbler
Exhibition created and visually designed by: Iva Körbler
Visual identity and graphic design: Ana Zubić
Photographs: Goran Vranić
For the publisher: Biserka Rauter Plančić