Julije Knifer

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Julije Knifer (23 April 1924, Osijek – 7 December 2004, Paris) was a Croatian abstract painter and a founding member of the 1960s art collective Gorgona. He is considered a representative of Neo-constructivism and Conceptual Paintings.

He spent his entire career testing the possibilities of a single geometric form: the meander. He employed it in various painting techniques such as print, oil, acrylic paint, collage and mural. An example of which is the colossal meander created by Knifer on a 20 x 30 m canvas in a quarry in Tübingen (1975).

Knifer studied painting at the Akademija likovnih umjetnosti u Zagrebu, Zagreb (1950–1956). In 1959, together with a group of other artists and academics, he set up the avant-garde group Gorgona, propagating an anti-art movement. He founded a gallery and anti-studio space of the same name. The group broke up in 1966.

He exhibited at many national and international shows including the New Tendencies exhibitions (1961, 1963, 1969 and 1973), Art Abstrait Constructif International at the Denise René Gallery (Paris, 1961–1962), Konstruktivisten at the Städtisches Museum Leverkusen (Leverkusen, 1962), Oltre l’informale (San Marino, 1963), the Venice Biennale (1976 and 2001), the São Paulo Art Biennale (1973 with Juraj Dobrović and Vjenceslav Richter, 1979 and 1981). He collaborated with the Dany Keller Gallery in Munich, the Hoffmann Gallery in Friedberg and the Frank Elbaz Gallery in Paris.

In 1994 he moved to Paris, where he lived until his death. His first posthumous exhibition was organized by Arnauld Pierre at the Frank Elbaz Gallery in Paris (2010). In 2002 he was the recipient of the Vladimir Nazor Life Achievement Award.



  • Žarko Radaković (ed.), Julije Knifer. Mäander 1960-1990, Stuttgart: Flugasche, 1990. (German)
  • Žarko Radaković, Knifer, Povest o Juliju Kniferu, Belgrade: Radio B92, 1994.
  • Arnauld Pierre, Julije Knifer – Méandres, Paris: Adam Biro, 2001, 128 pp. (French)
  • Zvonko Maković, Julije Knifer, Zagreb: Meandar & Studio Rašić, 2002, 272 pp. [1] (Croatian)

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