534 WEST 26TH ST
FEBRUARY 6 – MARCH 15, 2014
Mitchel-Innes & Nash in New York City is announcing their exhibition of works by Julije Knifer, the first such solo exhibition of his works in the United States.
[first 3 photos from Mitchell-Innes & Nash]
As I have noticed also in translations of novels by writers from the former Yugoslavia, the press release and the announcement on the Mitchell-Innes & Nash website struggle to place Knifer:
. . . paintings and works on paper by former Yugoslavian artist Julije Knifer.
. . . Julije Knifer is recognized as one of the most prominent Yugoslavian painters of the 20th century.
. . . Julije Knifer was born in Osijek, former Yugoslavia in 1924 and died in Paris in 2004.
. . . paintings and works on paper by Croatian artist Julije Knifer.
and as if Croatian weren’t enough, a slip of the pen makes him more so:
. . . Julije Knifer is recognized as one of the most Croatian painters of the 20th century.
[note: as of this morning, Sunday the 2nd of February, the mistakes have been corrected on the gallery site, making Knifer, and rightly so, “one of the most prominent Croatian painters” and locating his birth place as Osijek, Croatia.]
Mitchell-Innes & Nash has a brief and interesting description of Knifer’s work, comparing him to On Kawara (with her ongoing paintings of dates) and with the serialism of Igor Stravinsky. Knifer worked, they write, repetitively and reductively, interested in “escalation of uniformity and monotony.”
The meander was Knifer’s basic form, in all its variations.
And this morning new work by email from Nina Pops. She continues to think through and about and after Knifer (“Knifer is my great passion”), as in this “cutout”:
The announcement takes me back to Zarko Radakovic’s book Knifer, and to the page on which he imagines a meander (3 meanders?) in the student center in Zagreb as the gathering in Tübingen of Swiss writer Jürg Beler, Zarko himself (in the center), and me.
And then I think of a more recent conflation of abstraction and person—Nina Pops’ (Yugoslav/Serb/German) drawings for/of Zarko and me:
And finally memory takes me back to Paris, where Zarko and I visited Knifer (one of his meanders behind us, his dog thinking that perhaps the apercu was less brilliant than Zarko and I took it to be):
. . . . . Zarko emailed this morning to note that Knifer’s dog was named Bina.
. . . . . and a final thought: Zarko’s book about and in response to his dear friend Julije Knifer contains a remarkable collection of photos of Knifer at work in his studio, an intimate look at the painter and his work.