Frane Gligora was born in 1945. in Kolan on the island of Pag. He graduated from the Teacher-training College in Rijeka after studying arts there. Until 1979. he worked in Orljavac (Slavonija) and Drnis as the Arts teacher. After returning to Kolan he is preoccupied with the eternal source of inspiration - stone.
So far he has had six exhibitions of his own and he has taken part in several group exhibitions as well. Painting Ogradice VII was given on behalf of the parish of St. Lucas evangelist in Kolan to His Holiness the Pope John Paul II on the occasion of his visit to Zadar Archbishopric in June 2003.
He lives in Kolan and works in the Primary school A.G. Matos in Novalja.


Frane Gligora
Figurica 22
23251 Kolan, island of Pag

00385 (0)23 698 060

Striving towards the over-all globalization and universally-shared ideas as the model of the world we should conform to, the local and the personal becomes the last resort of a lonely individual. Within the global parameters of the universal world, personalities which are protected by the membrane of its microcosm and immersed in the native landscape as if it were a spiritual well, are still reflected in the original landscape of preserved changes.

Born and living in the centre of the island Pag, a few kilometers away from the sea, in the village called Kolan which nurtured and preserved certain particularities, Frane Gligora retained within himself the picture of walled-in patches of land, heaps of stone, places for hay-stacks, narrow lanes, stone-made shelters for sheep and of those improvised gates. As his artistic inspiration, between the impressive rocky terrain and fertile fields of Kolan transformed into vineyard oasis and rich pastures, he chose the meander of dry stone walls and the centennial power of the olive trees of Lun.

Fascinated by the network-like structure of dry stone walls and by rich ornaments of cracked bark on bent trees, in them he spells out the primeval power and the tough persistence of the human effort which follows the inner, invisible ground-plan of the underground cracks and furrows. Everything that has been created by erosion, burrowed by water-worn ravines and perforated all over by boras, is equally reflected in the depth, in those secret places which send the power energy to the continuing existence of the island.

The specific quality of Pag, its bare and cramped state walled-in the dry stone walls, intertwined with narrow passages that connect those small patches of land, is transformed on Frane Gfigora's canvases into a characteristic relief-map. Into land properties which were getting smaller, shorter and narrowed-down by a series of legacies. The cadastre survey transformed the rectangutar patches into serpent-like forms, into curves and circles, ellipses and the partition lines.

The dry stone walls outgrow the rocky ground in verticals that illustrate aspirations of a confined world. Frane Gligora uses them to emphasis the structure of the rocky ground, the shapes of the lace of Pag, the geometrical playfulness in space. Without idealizing or changing the existing boundaries, he merely eliminates what is superfluous. A dry stone wall is thus reduced to a mere sign which he uses to point out the thing that fascinates him the most.

As building elements he chooses the suitable time of the year; winter or spring when everything is a mere hint or just a presentiment. The pastures void of people and sheep became an astral scenery on his canvases, getting metaphysical dimensions. The stylized space becomes a solid tore juxtaposed against the eluding time. Delineating emptiness in sheltered shadows of subdued light he reveals the magical surface of porosity and solidity. To the feeling of emptiness he opposes the inner light and so renews the ideal background for the mysterious and the elusive.

The reduced scenery reposes within the memory. Unexpected cuts, slants hilltops spring up out of the existing scenery but at the same time they are in perfect harmony with the map of the soul. The agility of the elemental and the spiritual guarantee an ideal construction, purity and restraint within given dimensions.

Even though Frane Gligora on his canvases depicts the original landscape, purifying it from the superfluous greenery leaving every now and then an occasional juniper-tree as an elevation and a milestone. In harmony with the measurable world which is reduced by the nature of premedieval purity, through many variation s of well-known places: Kolan, Sveti Duh, Barbat, Zubovici, Slatina, he fills in the space void of man. The unbound feeling of freedom is divided into the feeling of desolation as a possible deviation from the temporal and deterioration.

Choosing colures characteristic of the poor soil; the darker, brown shades and the color of washed-out lime-stone, a subdued white, he marks his temporal code into his paintings.

The poetry of loneliness melted with the firmness of the landscape creates the atmosphere of the original vitality. Trying to stop the time and emphasizes the persistence of survival Gligora introduces into the landscape a personal, tough note. His Olive Trees thus get mythical dimensions. The energetic power circulates with in them.

Bordered branches, tree trunks and roots of olive trees, he transfigures into "live sculptures" that sometimes remind us of people or animals. Emphasizing the creased bark and knotty protuberances, intertwined old branches and rough trunks he points out their texture and structure. Combining the white and the brown, the rough and the smooth, the dark and the light he creates the essential forms.

Immersed into the congenial landscape of the island of Pag Frane Gligora with sophisticated sensibility gives his paintings a personal touch, a mixture of the factual and the ideal, the existing and the imaginary. In a true artist's manner he depicts the connection between the human and the cosmic.

Andriana Škunca




WebEdIT Kolan