(1913 – 1995)


A Legend of the Post-War Art

A Legend of the Post-War Art

The Artist

“I think that a man, finally that is the whole Art Brut theory – the less he knows and the less he’s skilled, the more sincere and fairer and to be himself he would be. One can learn anything. The school, as any school, trains you to a certain point to be a good technician, to learn how you should work, how you should mix, how to spread colour and all that, but it isn’t enough. I even think that it is bad.”

“I never or seldom say, that I’m a painter because I think it means nothing.”

“Today, everything is written down, recorded, that moment has no longer any sense. A painter today doesn’t have to and mustn’t be any longer the painter of that reality.”

“Picasso was the first to say: “Open the windows!”. I’m adding that it is not enough. Open your windows and doors and not only open but smash the glass, as windows and doors can be closed, that’s why they need to be smashed.”

“I’m feeling as a great sinner.”

“I feel not only liberated, but also free. I told you once that freedom is always very expensive. And I’m telling you now that I had paid a lot for it and that I’m very pleased and that I don’t need anything.”

“Normally, I don’t like the word – professionally – profession is something which deforms you. A painter who is a professional, he is, I think, a lost man. Painting, it is like breathing. You work because you have to, because it makes you happy and, as for a painful childbirth, I don’t know of it”.

Artwork Collection


Slavko Kopac, Young Girl on the Window, 1940


Slavko Kopac, Horses, 1947


Slavko Kopac, Werewolf, 1962



Critics and artists about Kopac

“Holiness, we know, hardly supports extraversion. Kopac was gentle and discreet. But, in his friend’s creation, Dubuffet had recognized a talent, comparable to his.” Emmanuel Daydé

“If he is sometimes compared to Dubuffet, if only because they both worked within the context of “Art Brut”  one will note that Dubuffet loathed reality and that Kopac illuminates it with a jubilation wanting innocence and wisdom to go hand in hand. Or, the modesty of knowledge.” Jean-Jacques Lévêque

“We would not know how to introduce Slavko Kopac as we would any other artist; was he the most talented in the world,since he does not offer at all to present his artistic approach to our time, but, on the contrary, places himself at the very birth of art, at the point where a child – which dwells in the heart of every man – discovers the world and is delighted with it” Benjamin Péret

“Definitely free from a paralysing skill, you allow the materials the freedom to express themselves, you capture the unexpected. And it is how, much longer befor the present trends vulgarised the use of a found object, you were one of the first ones to “breathe life into a thing which appears to have ceased to exist” Elie Charles Flamand

“Infinitely more dangerous, Kopac’s art brings us to the edge of ourselves, to the edge of the vertigo of meaning, to the edge of the unavoidable questioning of what we are. As if the answer was in the questioning. As if life was in the “who goes there?” As if poetry began with this unending conscience of nothingness. Not long ago, I met Kopac; he carried like a bouquet all the colors of a storm.” Annie Le Brun

“If we had to assign a genre for him, it would be among those artist who, with Dubuffet and Fautrier at the head, make what I used to call, for want of something better: “another figuration”. While Dubuffet’s work is a passionate protest against the world, a kind of a pictorial “Journey to the end of the night”, Kopac’s work is ingenious, composed, gracious. His world is sometimes strangely funny, but never grim. It is cheerful, lively work. When looking at Kopac’s paintings, we think of spring.” Michel Ragon

“Kopac exists with his light hands out of which, like joyful bubbles, come drawings, paintings, collages, and sculptures; each piece of his works is an unexpected apparition, the awakening of an original being on the surface of a wall. Here is the very purity of life.” Gilles Plazy

“Loyalty to the human world – and in this world we will bring animals and plants – this is what, in the first place, characterises the work of Kopac, despite the boldness and originality of his techniques.This is what Kopac’s art describes or incarnates with an unbelievable precision – the dream is happily exact – the beings and landscapes which inhabit the artist’s imagination and create a special world.” Philippe Dereux

“Moreover, the organization’s right-hand man, Slavko Kopac, was described by Dubuffet as a “discreet, solitary, ferocious man lacking (fortunately) any of the know-how to succeed on the professional art scene. Luckily, he had been chosen to succeed the vocal Michel Tapié.” Lucienne Peiry

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