(Petrinja, 1921 – Zagreb, 2020)

Ivan Kožarić was a sculptor and academician. He was a member of the Gorgona group.

He graduated in Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 1947. In 1959/1960 Kozarić spent several months in Paris. This period was significant for his creative potential. In the early 1960s, Kožaric was a member of the proto-conceptual Gorgona group (1959 – 1966/1968).

Kožarić is a sculptor of strong individuality, prone to frequent and abrupt changes of artistic expression in the realm of unconventional and conceptual forms.

From the late 1950s, he began exploring the immaterial (Segment of a River, 1959) and the negative form (Inside Eyes, 1959/1960). He created the land art project Impossible Project – Cutting the Sljeme Mountain (1960). His series Shapes of Space is also from this period. Over the years, he often experimented with different dimensions of his sculptures, the ways of presentation and reworked his older artworks.

In the Gorgona group, Kožarić fits into its activities with his unorthodox and systematic approach to media and artistic creation. Kožarić brought his primary sculptural discipline to the edge, making him a sculptor, anti-sculptor and non-sculptor at the same time.

During the early 1960s, Ivan Kožarić’s thoughts were focused on the notion of a hollow or the intermediate space, on the possibilities for materialising or showing all inside spaces and views, which manifest in various forms. In the early 1960s, his interest in casting cavities was particularly intriguing. His subversiveness was evident in the plan to „discreetly execute casts inside several important cars and all significant cavities in the city“ – as stated in his Reply to the Collective Work (1963). During that period, he created work from the series Shapes of Space, 1961 – 1969. As Kožarić states: „I’ve freely formed the air, in fact. And so it has come to these forms. For man must help himself a little to be free. He is not always free. Freedom is a rare bird.“ In one of the works from the series, he made a cast of the inside of a refridgerator – aappropriating the void space inside the shape as a sculpture of closed volume, done in fibreglass.