The exhibition “Julio Radilović Jules – Through Decades Past” will take place from 11th to 13th May 2018 in Mestrovic Pavillion in Zagreb, marking Jules’ 90th birthday and 65 years of his career.
Jules is one of the legends of the Croatian cultural scene and the last living member of the so-called “Golden Generation” of comic authors in Croatia. At 90, Radilovic still draws and illustrates daily, continuing a 65-year-long career that has in many ways been responsible for Croatian visual culture in the 20th century.
The exhibition represents the greatest retrospective of original works of this master of drawing, offering to the general public for the first time insight into the development and the work of one of the world’s last living greats. Presenting more than 250 original panels, covers, illustrations, drawings, strips, photos and documents in the Mestrovic Pavillion in the Ring gallery of the Home of Croatian Association of Fine Artists (HDLU), the opening will be graced by the author’s presence.
His immense contribution to culture has been formally recognized by his inclusion in a number of national encyclopaedias of art, such as the Fine Art Encyclopaedia of Yugoslavia, the Encyclopaedia of Croatian Art, the Croatian Lexicon, the Croatian Visual Arts Encyclopaedia, as well as the world’s most relevant publications related to the field of comics, such as Maurice Horn’s World Encyclopaedia of Comics.
Perhaps even greater recognition stems from the fact that, in the local comic art environment, Radilović’s style is considered to be a sort of Croatian proto-work, or “what comics should look like”, that informs the styles of others, thus entering, consciously or subconsciously, in the cultural collective consciousness of a nation.
Radilovic is not only a master of his profession, but also one of Croatia’s biggest cultural ambassadors in the last century. His comics were released and reissued in most European countries, the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and he was decorated in the Order of the Danica for merit in promoting Croatian culture. He is also the recipient of a series of professional awards and accolades.
The exhibition is one of the largest gallery projects in the field of the “ninth art” ever produced in Croatia. Newer editions of monumental works by Jules are rare and are not given much attention in the over-saturated media landscape of today, which leads to a gradual collective forgetting of an author whose comics raised and educated youth in Croatia, and his detailed and thoroughly researched visual adventures and historical graphic novels spurred the imagination and the interest of adults.
With this exhibition, the Crtani Romani Sou Association wishes to remind the audiences once more of the impressive and almost unsurpassed opus of Jules, and the accompanying workshops and lectures will help educate the younger generations about the immense local visual art tradition in the context of ‘young media’ – once neck to neck with the most popular art trends in the world and repeatedly putting Croatia on the international art map – led by Julio Radilović.