Djordje Ivackovic

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“I accomplish every painting in continuity, in a single breath. I feel when a painting is finished and every time when I try to add or change something, it would lose its real meaning, its being"

photo: courtesy Gallery RIMA

Born in Horgoš (Yugoslavia) in 1930, Đorđe Ivačković graduated from the Faculty of Architecture in Belgrade in 1955, and was also an avant-garde jazz musician. In the early 1960s, he emigrated to Paris, where he remained, working there as a painter until his death in 2012.

Ivačković approached painting directly through abstraction, as it offered him a degree of artistic freedom that he had until then been able to express and achieve through music. In the 1950s, he was strongly influenced by contemporary French and American painters. As the artistic scene in Belgrade at the time was very much dominated by political and ideological constraints, he found a more fertile environment for his work in Paris. Critics describe his work as having drawn upon the fundamentals of lyrical abstraction, and as having contributed to the evolution of this stream.

Painting 31/9/65, 1965

oil on paper mounted on canvas
127,5 x 116,5 cm

In the late 1960s, he also took part in a series of multimedia events in connection with the French tour of American jazz musician Phil Woods. While Woods was performing with his band, Ivačković would paint his large-scale canvases before the audience. It was during this period that he created Painting 31/9/65.

Painting 5/8/65, 1965

oil on paper mounted on canvas
252 x 232 cm
on loan

The artwork was painted on the occasion of the forth Paris Biennial in 1965

Painting 11/6/83/I, 1983

oil on canvas
200 x 200 cm

“There are no coincidences. With me it is a kind of pre-programmed automatism. Each action is a resolution, a conscious decision which receives its material expression on the canvas. My problem is to endow each spiritual state, each idea, with the suitable expression. The entire procedure implies that in the palette of infinite possibilities I find the corresponding relations, in order to achieve full identification of the idea present within me at that moment with all its material expression and image.”