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Dušan Džamonja

(DOO-shahn JHA-mohn-yah)

Birthplace: Strumica, Macedonia

Heritage: Macedonian/Croatian

Date born: January 31st, 1928

Date deceased: January 14th, 2009

Education: Academy of Fine Arts, Zagreb (graduated 1951)

(Душан Џамоња)

Biography

Artist Dušan Džamonja, born in Strumica, Macedonia in 1928 (then part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia), was one of the most influential and visionary sculptural artists during the days of the socialist Yugoslav-era. Having trained at Zagreb's Academy of Fine Arts under Vanja Radauš and Frano Kršinić, Džamonja's, specializing in the work of Antun Augustinčić. While his early work of his career was figurative, by the late 1950s he began to experiment with sculptural approaches of "free spatial construction" that combined the organic and inorganic worlds, where inorganic materials such as metal, glass, stone or concrete was shaped and molded to resemble the organic. Furthermore, Džamonja concentrated on combining simple shapes and forms (such as curves, spheres and ovids) into highly complex and inspiring designs. Colleague Jasia Reinchard said of Džamonja's work:

"He developed new ways of using traditional materials; he reconciled the intractability of metal to the fluidity and animation of nature; and, without resorting to narrative, he imbued his architectural monuments with the sensation of human presence…"

In the early 1950s, Džamonja began to be commissioned to create large-scale public spomenik complexes commemorating the events of the National Liberation War (WWII) across Yugoslavia and in Italy, for which he was recognized with numerous awards and accolades. In the late 1950s, he was commissioned to create a spomenik park by the city of Zagreb to commemorate the victims who killed during massacres there during WWII -- the small sculptural monument he created (opened in 1960) is considered by many to be the first abstract post-modern WWII monument ever built in Yugoslavia. As such, Džamonja is often felt to be the father of this uniquely Yugoslavian commemorative sculptural movement. He went on to create additional monuments in the same style, notably at Podgarić and Kozara, which still to this day stand as two of the most well known and significant of all the monuments in all the former-Yugoslavia.

 

Džamonja continued to create such monuments until the 1980s. In addition, he went on to create various forms of sculptural art for museums, galleries and houses of worship well into the 21st century. In the early 2000s, Džamonja submitted a design proposal to the competition for 9/11 Memorial in New York City, but his entry was not chosen for the final design. He later adapted elements from his 9/11 Memorial concept into what would subsequently be the "Wall of Pain" monument he created in 2004 at Mirogoj Cemetery in Zagreb. In 2009, he died at a hospital in Zagreb. In the town of Vrsar, Croatia, there is a large sculpture park on the edge of the Istrian Peninsula overlooking the Adriatic which is exclusively dedicated to displaying some of the most iconic of Džamonja's sculptures.

Works by this Designer:

This is a listing of a number of memorials, monuments, cultural centers and other notable Yugoslav-era civic works by Dušan Džamonja. Those sites listed in the upper part of this section have profile pages, while those listed in the lower part do not yet have completed profile pages. This list also includes non-Yugoslav international projects that Džamonja created, as well his unrealized works for which models only exist. This list is not exhaustive and will be added to over time.

Yugoslav Works with profile pages:

Click photos to go to page

Podgarić, HR

Name: Mon. to Revolution of Moslavine People

Year: completed 1967, w/ Vlad. Veličković

Jasenovac, HR
small1.jpg

Name: Memorial sculptural relief

Year: completed 1968

Kozara, BiH

Name: Monument to the Revolution

Year: completed 1972

Sisak, HR

Name: Monument to Edvard Kardelj

Year: completed 1980

Zagreb, HR

Name: December Victims Monument

Year: completed 1960

Belgrade, SRB

Name: Sun Relief on the Dom Omladine

Year: completed 1967

Zenica, BiH

Name: Sculpture in front of National Theatre

Year: completed 1978

Location: N44°12'05.7", E17°54'19.1"

Yugoslav Works without profile pages:

Jošan, HR

Name: Monument to Fallen Fighters

Year: completed 1980

Location: N44°34'32.8", E15°44'58.5"

Slavonski Brod, HR

Name: Monument to Fallen Fighters

Year: completed 1951, expunged 1995

Location: N45°09'29.6", E18°00'44.7"

Mali Lošinj, HR

Name: Mon. to the Liberators of Cres & Lošinj

Year: completed 1955

Location: N44°32'13.5", E14°27'25.4"

Vrsar, HR

Name: Džamonja's Studio & Sculpture Park

Year: initiated in 1965, opened to public in 1981

Location: N45°09'38.1", E13°36'39.9"

Aranđelovac, SRB

Name: 'Flower' at Bukovička Banja Sculp. Park

Year: completed 1970

Location: N44°18'30.7", E20°33'10.7"

Komletinci, HR

Name: Partisan Memorial Cemetery

Year: completed 1976, w/ Zdenko Kolacio

Location: N45°09'01.9", E18°57'20.6"

Labin, HR

Name: Abstract work at Dubrova Sculpture Park

Year: completed ???

Location: N45°06'56.4", E14°07'02.1"

International Works without profile pages:

Barletta, Italy

Name: Memorial Ossuary to Fallen Yugoslavs

Year: completed 1970, w/ Hildegard Auf-Franić

Location: N41°19'38.4", E16°15'16.9"

Brussels, Belgium

Name: Sculpture at World Expo 58

Year: completed 1958

Location: temporary exhibit

Montreal, Canada

Name: Sculpture at World Expo 67

Year: completed 1967

Location: temporary exhibit

Dallas, Texas, USA

Name: 'Cortens' at the Dallas World Trade Center

Year: completed 1978

Location: N32°48'07.4", W96°49'27.5"

Unrealized Memorial Projects:

This section contains a listing of design proposals for various memorial projects that were submitted to competitions for consideration, but were ultimately NOT the final proposals chosen by the selection juries for the memorial projects they were submitted for. Below each photo is detailed the monument project it was submitted for, as well as the year it was submitted in.

Auschwitz, Poland

Name: Concept for Auschwitz Conc. Camp Mon.

Year: proposed 1958

Belgrade, SRB

Name: Concept for Jajinci Memorial Park

Year: proposed 1958 (1st competition)

Dachau, Germany

Name: Concept for Mem. Graveyard at Dachau

Year: proposed 1959, w/ Ninoslav Kučan

Kamenska, HR

Name: Concept for Slavonia Victory Monument

Year: proposed 1962

Gornja Stubica, HR

Name: Concept for Monument to Matija Gubec

Year: proposed 1969

Mikleuš, HR

Name: Concept for Ernest Telman Monument

Year: proposed 1967

Adaševci, SRB

Name: Concept for Sremski Front Memorial

Year: proposed 1974

Dachau, Germany

Name: Concept for Dachau Conc. Camp Mon.

Year: proposed 1965

Belgrade, SRB

Name: Concept for Jajinci Memorial Park

Year: proposed 1976 (2nd competition)

Zadar, HR

Name: Concept for Monument to Josip Broz Tito

Year: proposed 1982