First published: Fall 2005
Ivan Rabuzin is a self-taught artist who is renowned as one of the foremost lyrical painters of the twentieth century. He was born in 1921 in the village of Kljuc, near the town of Novi Marof, in Croatia. After he left elementary school, he learned the trade of carpentry, achieving master level at the Craft School in Zagreb in 1947. For a short period of time he attended an evening art school for workers where he was taught by the painter and sculptor Kosta Angeli Radovani. From 1950 to 1963 he worked in a joinery firm in Novi Marof, first as master carpenter, then as foreman and technical manager, and finally as acting managing director.
Rabuzin's earliest preserved drawings and paintings date from the mid 1940s and display an academic and realistic Rabuzin's earliest preserved drawings and paintings date from the mid 1940s and display an academic and realistic treatment of his subjects and a striving for impressionist effects. He began to exhibit his work in 1956. After a long period working as an amateur, in 1959 he discovered the theme of lyrical landscapes and with it his own visual language. Finding archetypal symbols in the surrounding countryside, he began to create personal and highly recognisable works. He achieved this through a process of abstraction, systematic simplification and a conscious endeavour to approximate everything to its closest geometrical form: he painted wreaths of spherical clouds, trees with round trunks, dome-shaped hills, flower and sun spheres. Rabuzin found the utmost simplicity, concision and perfection in the sphere and the circle, which were to become his symbols of the absolute, symbols of completeness.
This is an article extract; read the full article in Raw Vision #52