Škerlj, Josip | painter

Date created: 02.06.2015.
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„The pulse of Josip Škerlj paintings is inversely proportional to his age. In contrast with his youthful power and dark flirtations with Rembrandt's anachronism, they present vedute highly saturated with colour in the eighth decade of his life. Šerbu once commented that this was a consequence of eyesight deterioration, but I rather believe that my artist is in a hurry to capture bits of his youthful strength, which he perceives with a vibrancy that seems to reflect the true condition of his body. In order to capture each drop of life force, his painting opens up, expands, intensifies the registers of painted sections and blends all parts into a single one, biting into the motif in the process, and turning it from the protagonist into the object – something you cover with colour. (...) Although we, in the first place, associate Josip Škerlj with dancing figures, musicians, lovers and surrealist provocations, he is equally a vedutista. There is hardly an angle from which he has not pictured the City, mastering all vistas that other painters had been interested in before. After that, he discovered his own viewpoints, both internal and external, from which he observed Dubrovnik, his lover. This exhibition is by no means a recapitulation; it is Dubrovnik bursting with life”.

From Marin Ivanović's review

Josip Škerlj was born in 1941, in Dubrovnik. In 1965, he graduated in painting from the Zagreb Academy of Fine Arts under Oton Postružnik. From his return to Dubrovnik till his retirement in 2006, he was engaged in pedagogical practice. In addition to painting, Josip Škerlj writes fiction and poetry. His poems and stories have been published in around ten books. He has had about one hundred solo exhibitions, and has taken part in numerous painting colonies and group exhibitions at home and abroad. The winner of numerous awards and accolades, Josip Škerlj was presented a Danica Hrvatska medal with a Marko Marulić image. His work has been presented in several documentary films, and Antun Karaman wrote a monograph about his painting. Josip Škerlj lives and works in Dubrovnik.