Introduction

Braco Dimitrijevic, one of the pioneers of conceptual art, had his first one-man exhibition at the age of 10. In 1963 he made his first conceptual work, The Flag of the World, in which he replaced a national flag with an alternative sign. It marked the beginning of his artistic interventions into urban landscapes.

Over the past forty years he has exhibited extensively all over the world. His solo shows have included venues such as Tate Gallery and ICA in London, Kunsthalle Bern, Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Kunsthalle Dusseldorf, MUMOK in Vienna, Russian State Museum in St. Petersburg, Xin-Dong Cheng Space for Contemporary Art in Beijing and Musee d’Orsay in Paris.

He has participated in major group shows such as the Kassel Documenta 5. Documenta 6, Documenta 9, several times at the Venice Biennale, Sao Paulo Biennale, Sydney Biennale, as well as Santa Fe Biennale, Havana Biennale, Kwangju Biennale. He also took part in the exhibition Magiciens de la Terre at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

Dimitrijevic gained an international reputation in the seventies with his Casual passer-by series, in which gigantic photo portraits of anonymous people were displayed on prominent facades and billboards in European and American cities. The artist also mimicked other ways of glorifying important persons by building monuments to passers-by and installing memorial plaques in honour of anonymous citizens.

In the mid-seventies he started incorporating in his installations original paintings borrowed from museum collections. The Triptychos Post Historicus, realized in numerous museums around the world, unite in a harmonious synthesis high art, everyday objects, and fruit. The artist’s statement “Louvre is my studio, street is my museum” expresses both the dialectical and transgressive nature of his oeuvre. In the last thirty years, Dimitrijevic has realized over 500 Triptychos Post Historicus, with paintings ranging from Leonardo’s Madonna to Malevich’s Red Square, in numerous museum collections including the Tate Gallery, London, the Louvre, the Musee National d’Art Moderne Paris, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum New York, the Musee d’Orsay, and the Russian State Museum, St Petersburg, amongst many others.

In the early 1980s, Braco Dimitrijevic started making installations in which wild animals confront artifacts and works of art, thus joining two cultural models, the occidental model and the model offered by other cultures that live in greater harmony with nature.  In 1998, the artist realized one-man shows at Paris Zoo with installations in the cages of lions, tigers, crocodiles, camels and bisons.

The exhibition was seen by one million people. It was reviewed by the international press of some 40 countries and received repeated CNN Television coverage.

Braco Dimitrijevic’s work, as well as his theoretical book Tractatus Post Historicus, (1976) were an important influence on two tendencies that dominate artistic discourse today: critical practices in public space and interventions in museum collections.