(Zagreb, 1937 – 2022)

Đuro Seder was a painter, poet and academic. He was a member of the Gorgona group.

He graduated in painting in 1951 at the Academy of Fine Arts and completed his specialization in painting in 1953 with professor Marino Tartaglia.

The Zagreb-based Gorgona group (1959 – 1966/68) brought together several influential artists, art historians and critics – Josip Vaništa, Ivan Kožarić, Julije Knifer, Marijan Jevšovar, Đuro Seder, Miljenko Horvat, Radoslav Putar, Matko Meštrović, and Dimitrije Bašičević-Mangelos. The group’s activity was based on the philosophy of existentialism, nihilism, the absurd and Zen Buddhism. Gorgona was a proto-conceptual group whose activities included rethinking and moving the boundaries of art, making them one of the essential groups in European art of the 1960s.

During the “Gorgona” phase, his painting developed in the realm of Art informel and non-figurative painting, initially colouristically rich, and then on the trail of Far Eastern aesthetics gaps close to Gorgona’s thoughts, reduced to black monochrome. The emphasized absence of the object as the content of Seder’s paintings from that period imposes radical and unconventional procedures of their creation, which, despite the use of traditional painting material, make it close to the then circle of Croatian Art informel.

His paintings are entirely non-referential, tautological and performed exclusively to paint nothing but “paintings”. Although Seder’s painting at the time can be interpreted as a symbolic antithesis to official optimism, more direct criticism can be considered in his written documents, mail art, notes on the pages of business diaries and the like. These antidotes appropriated the bureaucratic formalism of official administrative behaviour. At the same time, instead of administering the usual non-meaningful rhetorical torrent, Seder offered an absence of content or a tautologically compressed message of ironic-poetic conciseness.

In 1971, Seder wrote the philosophical-poetic work The Impossibility of Painting based on Gorgona’s worldview. He presented his then-vision of painting as an empty plate of object and colour, which is his only reality, separated from the foreboding of the world.