Designers & Creators Directory
Birthplace: Prilep, Macedonia
Date born: March 12th, 1925
Date deceased: May 27th, 1986
Education: Academy of Fine Arts, Belgrade (graduated 1952)
Jordan Grabul (whose last name is sometimes written in an extended form as 'Grabulovski' or 'Grabuloski') was born in Prilep, Macedonia in 1925 (at that time part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia). The artistic efforts and achievements through his life allowed him to become recognized as one of Macedonia's greatest sculptors as well as the father of modernist sculpture in Macedonia. In his youth he showed great promise as an artist, but as conflict came in 1941, he went to fight as a soldier to defend Macedonia during the People's Liberation Struggle (WWII) against the oppression Axis powers. After surviving the war, he set out to achieve his goal of becoming a sculptor. He spent time in Skopje apprenticing under great sculptors such as Dimo Todorovski and Ivan Mirkovic, while then going on to attend the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade, Serbia, in which he graduated from in 1952. After graduating, Grabul went on to do sculptural study trips to Italy, Greece, Egypt, Syria. Upon returning to Skopje, Grabul went on to teach at the School of Applied Arts in Skopje (eventually becoming its director), which is also where he first met his wife Iskra Spirov. They were soon married and had a daughter, Lira Grabul (who is today a well-known costume designer in Skopje).
Photo 1: Paradox of Existence (Paradox na egzistencijata), 1969 [source]
Photo 2: Plasticine Ambient (Plasticen ambient), 1968 [source]
Grabul is widely considered among the earliest founders of the modernist sculptural movement in Macedonia. He is especially noted for his many examples of expressive geometric shapes of vibrant color and minimalistic nature (Photo 1 & 2). Through the 1950s until the early 1970s, Grabul also spent a great deal of artistic effort on commissions creating grand public sculptures dedicated to the People's Liberation Struggle (WWII), most notably at Belčišta, Kicevo, Skopje, Oteševo and Gevgelija. However, his most famous work was the 'Makedonium' at Kruševo, Macedonia, which he worked on as a collaboration with his wife, Iskra. The 'Makedonium' was also his last public commission, possibly due to the intense disagreements and creative battling he engaged in with the government commission who oversaw the creation of 'Makedonium'. He retired from sculpting several years later in 1980, but continued to put on shows at various locations across the Balkans and Europe. Over his life, he won numerous awards and achievement recognitions, including twice winning the Macedonian 'October 11th' state award for excellence in the field of art and culture in 1966 and 1970. Grabul died of a heart-attack in Skopje on May 27th, 1986 at the age of 61 while at the studios of Skopje Television, where he was working to shoot a documentary about an art exhibition he was presenting at that time.
Works by this Designer:
This is a listing of a number of memorials, monuments, cultural centers and other notable Yugoslav-era civic works by Jordan Grabul. 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 is not exhaustive and will be added to over time.
Yugoslav Works with profile pages:
Click photos to go to page
Name: Flower of Freedom Monument
Year: completed 1960, w/ Blagoj Kolev
Name: Memorial to 12 Vataša Youths
Year: completed 1963
Name: Ilinden Monument (aka: Makedonium)
Year: completed 1974, w/ Iskra Grabul
Name: Monument to Nikola Karev
Year: completed 1953
Name: Mon. to the Maced.-Kosovo Brigade
Year: completed 1958, w/ Fedor Wenzler
Name: Mon. to the Prespa Party Conference
Year: completed 1973, w/ Boro Josifovski
Yugoslav Works without profile pages:
Kale Fortress, Skopje, MK
Name: Strength, Glory & Victory Monument
Year: completed 1954
Location: N42°00'01.8", E21°25'56.2"
Name: Kičevo Memorial Ossuarry
Year: completed 1963, w/ Luděk Kubeš
Location: N41°30'46.6", E20°57'58.4"
Name: Mon. to 1st Tobacco Worker's Strike
Year: completed 1958
Butel Cemetery, Skopje, MK
Name: Memorial Graveyard to Fallen Fighters
Year: completed 1964, w/ Duško Pecevski
Location: N42°02'16.2", E21°26'07.3"
Name: Monument to the Babuna Campaign
Year: completed 1963
Selected Sources and More Information: