Milan Zoričić / Milan Zoričić
The renowned contemporary artist, architect and painter Milan Zoričić has been active in the Croatian and international art scene for over forty years. During this period, various stages of his painting opus were presented to the Split audience, and his seventh independent solo exhibition in Salon Galić – “Formal Forms” – will present the artist’s latest cycle of works created over the past year.
The exhibition can be seen as a set of individual works of atypical geometric forms of various formats that gradually and subtly penetrate into the space, completely leaving their original painting surface, thus becoming independent three-dimensional objects that dominate the gallery space, coming out of the walls or entering them, climbing to the ceilings – intertwining with the existing architecture. The final artistic work of Milan Zoričić is reflected in the sum of all the exhibits observed as a unique whole – an exhibition in its entirety.
In the long process of artistic creation, Zoričić has gone through many phases, and in his painting, he was of the utmost importance to bring the figurative motif to the level of perfection. Perhaps that is the very reason, in his aspiration to the clean, clear, concise – perfect – why (how) he gradually freed his figurative and pictorial expression to the minimal essence of that which is important. (So we would not make a big mistake calling his “mature” stage minimalist – if any categorization was needed here.) Zoričić does not want to know where his work will lead him, leaving himself with an intuitive impulse within a sincere creative process deprived of thought or ego. He doesn’t hesitate to use “old” works when making new ones, cutting them and, if necessary, changing them to revive them in the context of a new work, mostly at the very edge of painting. His paintings / objects are made of stand-alone or mutually combined regular and strict, mostly monochrome geometric surfaces (rectangles, squares, triangles and circles) of expressive texture, and always new and unique forms that (just like in abstract painting) challenge the observer, reminding them of something close to them, not even knowing whether it is a macro or a micro reality.
It is important to note that Milan Zoričić began his rich artistic career working in the field of architecture, so the obvious manifestation of this influence on the artist’s work is not strange. The correlative relationship and the interplay between architecture and painting (areas of activity important to the artist and to the present times) are clearly seen in his artistic process. Specifically, even when he paints, the impression is that he actually – builds. His primary painting technique, masterful traditional fresco painting, is actually a painting intervention on the wall – architecture. In the creative process of creating images / objects, he uses wooden frameworks coated with platinum, previously painted with fresco astrappato. We link the associative “building” of the image with his choice of approaching the canvas, where Zoričić, by overlapping, duplication and scattering, transforms the image into a three-dimensional entity, almost entirely devoid of typical flatness of the classic painting.
Milan Zoričić was born on January 8, 1955 in Drniš. Since early childhood, or better to say, from his first year he lived in Knin where he attended elementary and high school. In 1973, he enrolled at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Zagreb. In 1975, he had his first solo exhibition in Zagreb, with the academic prof. dr. Andro Mohorovičić as the preface author. This period was full of meetings with many great names of Croatian painting, including Josip Vaništa, who led the visual arts section of the Faculty of Architecture program. Marin Tartaglia’s support meant much to Zoričić. Tartaglia often invited him to his atelier, and wrote the preface for Milan’s exhibition in Dubrovnik. He exhibited in Zagreb, Šibenik, Zadar, Knin and Karlovac. He graduated in 1981. From 1982 to 1990, he was a part and one of the founders of the Knin art circle. During this period, he worked intensively as a designer and interior designer in Dalmatia. He became a member of HDLU Split and ZUH (now HULU and HZSU) in 1988, and in 1990, he was engaged in making frescoes in several sacred objects in Italy. In 1997 and 1998, he collaborated with Sottsass in Milan (at the time, Sottsass Associati was one of the world’s leading design and architecture studios – whose founder, Ettore Sottsass was one of top five designers in the world). Milan Zoričić produced five visions of the future Malpensa airport in Milan for Sottsass studio in 1997, presenting himself with these works at the exhibition “Big new projects of transport facilities of Italy” at the Palazzo Triennale di Milano in 1998.
In 2001, one of the founders of the Metarazionalità group in Milan, the Italian painter Beppe Bonetti, Rudolph Rainer (Germany) and Milan Zoričić exhibited together in Italy, the United States of America and China. Since 2001, the “affresco strappato” technique has been the mode of making most of his paintings in his specially equipped ateliers in Knin and Bergamo. He lives and works in Knin.