Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mersad Berber

Berber was born in Bosanski Petrovac, a township in western Bosnia. In 1963 he was in Ljubljana, completing his painting studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in the class of Maksim Sedej and attending his M.A. in the graphic arts with professor Riko Debenjak. Fifteen years later, Berber himself received a teaching position at the Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo. Since 1965 and his first one-man show at the City Gallery of Ljubljana, the career of this remarkable artist has been on a sharp rise.

Today Berber, as one of the best known graphic artists in the world, who was included in the Tate Gallery collection in 1984, makes the aesthetic and ethical identity of his homeland known to millions of people. Nearly forty years of his artistic activity was spent as a true homo universalis - Berber has been occupied with painting, graphic art, tapestry, illustrating and preparing bibliographic editions, graphic and poetic maps. His scenography and costume design came to life in theatres in Ljubljana, Zagreb, Sarajevo and Washington. In 1985 Berber finished Tempo Secondo, his own animated cartoon.

Since 1966 Mersad Berber has received more than fifty awards. Among many international prizes it is inevitable to mention the Gold Medal and Honorary Diploma at the First International Exhibition of Graphic Art in Trieste, the first award at the 11th International Biennale in São Paulo, Honorary Prix at the 10th International Biennale of Graphic Art in Tokyo, the first award at the 7th Mediterranean Biennale in Alexandria, award of ICOM in Monte Carlo, the Kraków City award at the 4th International Biennale of graphic art and the Lalit Kala Academy Grand Prix at the 5th Indian Triennale in New Delhi.

Kraków Grand Prix in 1997, an Ostend exhibition entitled "Between earth and heaven" and a recent one "Artist of the ideal" in Verona, selected by famous art critic Edward Lucie-Smith, confirmed Berber as one of the most significant contemporary artists. Comprehensive monography studies of Mersad Berberis art were published by Mladinska knjiga, Ljubljana in 1980 and 1985, by Sol Intercontinental, Ljubljana in 1997 and by E&A Agency, Zagreb in 2000.

Since 1992 Mersad Berber has been living and working in Zagreb and Dubrovnik.

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