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In Art, the intersection between the roads of mysticism and philosophy often lead to landmarks from where we set off on a journey to realities that exist beyond those of the real world, only perceivable in the world of painting. It is precisely at this point of intersection where we should place the artist Zdravko Ducmelic, born in Vinkovci, Croatia, in 1923, who became an Argentine citizen in 1958, nine years after his arrival in the country.

Possessor of a rich and cosmopolitan artistic background, Ducmelic began to study drawing in Zagreb. Between 1945 and 1947, he went to study painting in Rome and later relocated in Madrid where he would continue with his artistic formation at the San Fernando Royal Academy. Subsequently, as he was in contact with other cultural and artistic centers in Europe, he would pursue his studies further in Hungary, Austria and France.

Preceded by a reputation born from his shows in Rome and Madrid, he holds his first exhibition in Argentina in 1950, once he had established himself in the country.

His work is very well received locally and is translated into the string of awards obtained during his lifetime’s work and the exhibitions held in important art galleries: “Gran Teatro Opera”, Joraci, Huemul, Muller, Van Riel and Wildenstein.

Having experienced different artistic genders such as sculpture and graphics, and having gone beyond the boundaries between the figurative and abstraction, his timeless paintings of silent stone landscapes and muted, eyeless characters are perceived as his most indelible works, in the words of Borges: “as eternal as water and air.”

In fact, the illustrations of the texts of Jorge Luis Borges (Borges Labyrinths, Joraci 1978), his last paintings, endorse the catalyzing destiny of a transcendent recollection that comes about in the ritual of the verb “to create” and spreads over the canvass towards an immense dimension in real time.

“The present is pain” Ducmelic would say. This assertion points to a past and a future as the scenario of his work.

Argentine art was truly boosted when in 1981, on the occasion of the country’s fourth centennial, the historic Galleria degli Ufficci in Florence decided to add to its formidable collection of self-portraits of artists, that of Zdravko Ducmelic.

Mariano Levat