He was born in Gorizia in 1909 and trained at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, then moved to Madrid for over a year.
Between 1935 and 1940 he stayed in Dalmatia, then in Venice where he was arrested in 1944 by the Gestapo and interned in the Dachau concentration camp (prisoner number 128231): the drawings made in desperate conditions during his imprisonment, at the risk of his life, were his way of surviving the daily horror.
After the war, returning from the concentration camp, he returns in Venice where he resumed his artistic activity dedicating himself to a painting of memory, however mediated by elements of exemplification and reduction that lead him to results of lyrical abstractionism. The series of watercolors dedicated to the Zattere, the Giudecca Canal, the Grand Canal and Rialto are from these years, at the same time as he takes up some themes already addressed before the deportation: the karst expanses of Dalmatia, with horses, dry stone walls, the donkeys.
In 1948 he exhibited at the Venice Biennale and his works became part of the most important collections.
In 1950 he was again present at the Venice Biennale and the following year he won the Prix de Paris and chose Paris as his second home. Parallel to his pictorial activity, he successfully dedicated himself to engraving, creating numerous etchings.
He participated in the Roman Quadrennial in 1955, in 1956 and in 1960 he won the Grand Prix for graphic art at the Venice Biennale. In 1970, the exhibition We are not the last dates, inspired by the experience of Dachau, which will be traveling in many cities of Europe. In 1972 the first retrospective of a living painter was dedicated to him at the Museum of Modern Art in the city of Paris. In 1981 he was appointed Commandeur des Arts et Lettres in Paris.
At the end of the eighties he devoted himself to the new series dedicated to Self-portraits and Ateliers. In 1988 he was awarded the Legion d'Honneur. In 1995 the important retrospective was set up in Paris at the National Galleries of the Grand Palais, comprising over two hundred works.
He died in Venice in 2005.
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