Kopac Collection & ArtRencontre

By paraphrasing the classic of the world contemporary art Slavko Kopac about a modest, frugal, life in this world, we point to simplicity, but also to the specificity of the author who expresses everything that he has to express by means of painting, creating a comprehensive art which, at first sight, does not seem to be that, looking exactly as it should look. The power of Kopac’s painting is a projection of the artist’s substance which is reflected in a primary, bare rudimentary quality, emanated from an unsifted, undisguised distinctiveness. Rejecting all that is realistic and academised, Kopac mirrors himself in a unique truthfulness of the depth of his being, whose reflection is identical and equal to the elementary expression which is one of the unparalleled foundations of raw art – l’Art Brut.

Mother, 1949

In the dialectics of creation imbued by polarities, in his superb achievements, Slavko Kopac, who, by rare character, gave by himself and from himself a free genuine art, as Josip Depolo said on the occasion of the author’s retrospective in Zagreb: “Kopac is one of the rare painters who went to Paris to take something there and not to take it away from Paris”. This is the real truth with which, from the author’s unaware and peculiar inner perception and projection, his entire opus is saturated, becoming a universal work of world resonances, renewed and never completed valorisations. Wanting, intention, dedication, reassessment of the painter’s heritage in the universal context is realised by means of a gradually newly established Kopac Collection, a framed book, which reasonably promotes the entire Kopac’s heritage as an incontestable share of the world’s history of art.  It is a former, present and future mission of the collection and the publication which promotes it as an indisputable contribution to Paris, but also to the whole world.

Slavko Kopac is a veritable artist of a natural awareness who rejected academic knowledge and who headed for research and creation of unknown traces of human soul and spirituality, which are the key determinants of surreal involuntary and raw art. Kopac was a true innovator ahead of his time. After just a few days following their acquaintance and having had a look at the work Kopac created in Florence, the father of Art Brut Jean Dubuffet appointed him as the head of Foyer de l’ Art Brut, where he succeeded Michel Tapié. He spent over 20 years in that position (until the move of the collection to Lausanne) and, together with Dubuffet, is the key person in the formation of an entire art movement.

Kopac’s exceptional gift is confirmed also by André Breton, who, shortly after their acquaintance, entrusted him with engagement on the equipment of a limited series of his poem from 1949, Un regard des divinités. He took part in the preparation of the surrealist almanac Almanach Surréaliste du Demi Siècle in 1950 and exhibited at Breton’s gallery A l’étoile scellée in 1953.

Exhibition invitation, A l’étoile scellée, 1953

In his book Un Art Autre from 1952, Michel Tapié ranks Kopac among the greatest artists and movement founders.

The realisation about an artist who was not interested in promoting, selling and exhibiting his work rises from the Slavko Kopac’s entire art. He was truly happy when he artistically created, at the same time retaining variety-wise complex, but simple elementarity, constantly developing his unique, always original, style allusively linked with the primitive and childlike in art. He lived extremely modestly and anonymously, outside the circles of art dealers, which led to his misfortune of not getting realistic acknowledgement in world art, which he above all deserves. Both the Kopac Collection and the book which promotes it wish to change this state of affairs.

Oxen, 1967

Slavko Kopac, born and schooled in Croatia, permanently moved to Paris and we rank him among the true world’s greatest figures. Given his origin and modesty in the promotion of himself and his own work, it is understandable that his expression and contribution have not been valorised as have those of Dubuffet, Breton, Tapié and others by whom he was surrounded, universal artists, writers, art critics…, who immensely appreciated his work, his immeasurable talent, anthological visualisations – reified paintings and pictorial sculptures where, by the alchemy of the creation, the spirit and matter are united, tangible and intangible in art. By free associations, we compare Slavko Kopac to another great man born in Croatia, Nikola Tesla, one of the greatest minds in the history of humanity, who realised his biggest inventions in New York. His merits for the humanity and life-long work are not recognised; they are being progressively recognised and perceived in scientific and futuristic categories of Tesla’s inventions. Neither Tesla nor Kopač were interested in monetary rewards; they lived enjoying their ingenious work. We believe that the way in which Nikola Tesla contributed to science and thus indebted the whole world is comparable to Slavko Kopac’s innovations in the worlds of art. This will surely be recognised and evident in the future.

Masks 1962

The aim of the Kopac Collection is not financial gain, but the benefit of revalorisation of the humanistic artist Slavko Kopac and his multiperspective visualisations, as well as a discovery of exceptional achievements in the world community by means of exhibitions and cooperation with the world galleries and museums in the circular presentation of Kopac’s always open work.

This was also the artist’s last wish, which, to date, has not been fulfilled. By the promotion of the Kopac Collection in the form of a universally formatted book, this wish is, slowly but methodically, being fulfilled. There are no simple definitions of Kopac’s work. His art is multi-layered, multifaceted and timeless. This is exactly where his special value dwells.