Josip Seissel

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Josip Seissel (Jo Klek, Jo; 1904-1987) was an architect, urban planner, and avant-garde artist.

He belonged to the circle of Zenit magazine which published his collages, photomontages, architectural drafts, drawings, watercolours, temperas, sketches for theatre costumes and a curtain, advertisements, ex-libris etc. He was responsible for the graphic design and layout of several books in Zenit Editions (Marijan Mikac's Effect on Defect and The Monkey Phenomenon), and represented Zenit at international exhibitions in the 1920s (Belgrade, Bucharest, Bielefeld, Moscow). His abstract and multidisciplinary work was used by Micić to identify PAFAMA (Papier-Farben-Malerei, the Serbian version of which was ARBOS – (h)ARtija-BOja-Slika [paper-colour-picture]) as an authentic phenomenon of zenitist art. His work is characterised by narrativity, humour and irony of dadaist provenance. Relying on the constructivist principles of the valuation of materials and exploration of space, Klek became involved in non-representational art, quite exceptional in Croatian and Yugoslav art of the early 1920s.

He earned his degree in architecture at the Technical Faculty in Zagreb in 1929. He was employed at the Department for the Regulation of Zagreb, and later appointed director of the School of Applied Arts. After 1945 he worked at the Ministry of Construction, and from 1965 as a professor at the Faculty of Architecture in Zagreb. In 1962 Seissel became a full member of the Croatian Academy of Science and Arts. With his co-workers Seissel designed the urban plans of certain parts of Zagreb (University and Pioneer Town), studies for the regions of Makarska, Baško Polje, Šibenik, Mljet and Niksic (Montenegro), and independently, plans for the cemetery Miroševac, Maksimir Park, a memorial area in Zagreb, Plitvice Lakes and many others.

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