About me

Artist Statement

My mission, my vision and my goal:
I make art because it enables me to express my real authentic self – my feelings, my imagination and thoughts as well as my visions about the society I would like to live in. My vision is to contribute to cultural diversity with my creative energy and inspire others to express their creative potential too. In this way everybody can participate in shaping a more tolerant, open and emphatic society of creative and responsible individuals. I see this goal as major purpose of art in general and of my art in particular.

Biography

Anita Kontrec (born 1954, Zagreb, Croatia) moved to Cologne, Germany in 1989 short before the war in her country. Being herself a nomadic artist, the topic of migrations, cultural identity and communication have become a recurrent theme in her work. In cooperation with Museum Ludwig, Cologne, she dedicated her second solo exhibition in Cologne (“Earth-War-Ashes” ,1992) to the problem of refugees and devastation of cutural heritage. Having both academic and artistic background Anita Kontrec often combines the language of science and literature with the language of visual arts. In her exhibitions and art projects she is working interdisciplinary using different media of visual arts (conceptual works with text, sculpture, painting, installation and performance)  to express her artistic vision. Her vision is to use art as means of communication which is beyond ideology, communication which treats cultural diversity as enrichment and not as source of conflict in the society. Read More

Timeline
  • born in Zagreb, Croatia in 1954
  • 1972-1979 – studied literature, sociology and cultural anthropology at the Faculty of Philosophy and attended sculpture classes at Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb
  • 1982 – 1989 – worked on her fire clay sculpture in the brick factory “Zagorka” near Zagreb
  • 1986 – first solo exhibition “Shapes of Memory” in DDT Gallery, Zagreb
  • 1989 – moved to Cologne and continued her art career in Germany working with some leading museums and art institutions such as Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Ludwig Forum fuer internationale Kunst, Aachen; Frauenmuseum, Bonn
  • From 2000 till today – working with numerous Croatian and European art institutions, museums and galleries (see : Exhibitions)
  • 2016 – Retrospective exhibition Kružni tok /Kreisverkehr/Roundabout in “Prsten” Gallery / Meštrović Pavilion, Zagreb
  • 2017 – returned to Zagreb
  • 2019 – first solo exhibition in USA /”Script and Architecture”, John David Mooney Foundation, Chicago

About my Work




Dr. Peter Lodermeyer, art historian about Picture Objects 

 “When Kontrec began using synthetic resin with pigments for her work in 2004, it seemed to be a real cut, almost a break in her work. Since that time, she has been focusing on color as a new theme in her work. However, this has not meant a shift from sculpture to painting, because she does not use color for merely painting flat surfaces. For her is color pure energy. In her picture-objects, the sculptural themes of space, volume, material and texture continue to play an important role.”      

Anđelko Hundić, Art historian, Zagreb

“The main feature of Anita’s early work is, in my opinion, her research into the poetics of visual (language), looking for forms of transmitting metaphysical and irrational messages as an intuitive experience rather than rational understanding. Thirty years after her first solo exhibition her works and ways of artistic expression are still inspiring due to their authentic artistic energy and freshness.”

Dr. G. Kolber, Museum Ludwig – about the exhibition “Earth -War- Ashes”, Cologne 1992

“On the ground floor of the Cologne City Hall Spanische Bau, right across from the historic City Hall of Cologne, a procession of dark figures seems to have halted mid-step. These figures are at a human scale, appearing as pairs or single persons, mostly women and children. Their heads are bent, looking down, in resignation, astonishment, and consternation. Read More

Dr. Aleksander Flaker, University of Zagreb – about my exhibition  RECALL BYBLOS in Zagreb 

“In this exhibition the Phoenitians are a big metonimy, pars pro toto, standing for all cultures which have made great contribution to mankind and than disappeared. Phoenitians have left us 22 letters which is quite a big contribution when we think of the fact that it has provided basis for writing texts in numerous contemporary languages. Read More

Iva Körbler, art historian, Zagreb / from the preface to monography “Kružni tok / Kreisverkehr/ Roundabout”, 2016  

“On the Croatian artistic scene the conceptual tendencies of similar ways of thinking can be found in the records, notebooks and black boards of the distinguished artist Dimitrije Bašičević Mangelos, one of the founders of conceptual art in Croatia. However, unlike the work of Anita Kontrec, Mangelos’ artwork is much closer to the tradition of the Dadaist objects, Read More

Iva Körbler, about my picture objects 

“In only two years, between 2004 and 2006, the artist created a series of picture-objects that predominantly consist of two shades of pigments, combined in utterly unpredictable, atypical pairs of colours, beyond the strict rules of complementariness or contras. /…/  Colour, as pure energy, receives in these works an entirely new dimension; a semi-transparent character of polyester enables the light of day or artificial light to pierce through the picture-objects, turning them into vibrant bodies of colour.Read More

 

Iva Körbler, about my work with feminist topics

  When Anita Kontrec deals with feminine subjects through history, Anita Kontrec can never be placed within the aggressive ideology of feminism, but rather, she very subtly lets it be known that without the female energy – which appears to be passive and on the receiving end – our world would collapse entirely. In this project Anita Kontrec also uses some ready-made elements of artwork, like the Dadaist Marcel Duchamp, but she makes repeated references to Beuys’ heritage, using organic substances as materials of short duration. Read More