Ivan Rabuzin is everything but – naïve; his landscapes, exploding like fireworks yet consisting of very subtle shades of colors, always manage to surprise us with endless varieties of one and the same motif.

Only a true master – and this is why the Japanese adore him – can create works so deceivingly simple and yet so complex at the same time!

Ivan Rabuzin portrait

Ivan Rabuzin was born in Novi Marof in 1921 as the sixth of eleven children. Having gained qualifications in carpentry in Zagreb and Zemun, Rabuzin starts working in a furniture factory.

He didn’t receive any formal art education. However, he takes up an evening drawing course held by Kosta Angeli Radovani and devotes himself entirely to painting after his first exhibition in the late 1950s. During mid-20th century his artworks enjoy remarkable success across Europe and even worldwide.

He had around 200 of solo exhibitions and partook at even more of group ones. Moreover, he is the subject of ten documentaries and many books in different languages. He painted theatre curtains in Tokyo and Museum of Contemporary Art in Urawa in Japan, and alongside Victor Vasarely and Henri Rousseau, he had the honour to paint ceramics for the famous Rosenthal company.

Recurring motifs in Rabuzin’s paintings are countryside and landscape of Hrvatsko zagorje; the sun, clouds, flowers and hills.

The painter’s palette of pastel shades permeates large canvases that flicker in the pointillistic manner. In fact, there is only landscape living in Rabuzin’s paintings; rural lifestyle and toil of the people living there are portrayed by this unwavering dreamer in a sequence of neatly cultivated pastures, fields and vineyards. He uses oversized flowers to unite the sky and the earth and as in a ritualistic manner multiplies the details and creates a harmonious image. As we observe the painter’s canvases, there is nothing else to do but to drift away in our minds to the carefree worlds of the painters imagination.

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