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 Bruno Stern Zupan  (1939 - )

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Lived/Active: Georgia / France      Known for: land-cityscape, architecture, graphics

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Ad Code: 4
Bruno Zupan
from Auction House Records.
Courtyard with Grapvine
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Trbovlje, Slovenia, Bruno Zupan became a painter in cityscapes and landscapes in a mod Impressionist style. At age 14, he entered an engineering school, but feeling out of place, he switched to art school without telling his parents. He completed his studies in Zagreb, Croatia before emigrating to Paris in 1962.

In Paris, he met Jane Ritchie, an American student from Columbus, Georgia, who was studying at the Sorbonne. They married in 1964, and he became an American citizen in 1969. From that time the couple, along with their daughter Natasha, who also became an artist, have led a nomadic lifestyle between Mallorca, Paris, Venice, and Columbus.

1965 was a breakthrough year for Zupan's career in the United States. Two Georgia museums, the Columbus Museum and Greenville Museums, held exhibitions as did galleries in Washington DC and New York. In 2000, another exhibition at the Columbus Museum was curated from the works of the many collectors in that area as well as from recent paintings he had done in Europe.

Zupan has exhibited widely on three continents, over one hundred fifty one-man exhibitions, and published fifty limited edition graphic works in Paris and Mallorca. He has completed over three-thousand oil and watercolor paintings and ten thousand prints.

In 1976, he was awarded life membership in the Society of French Artists, and in 1981 and 1991, he received special commissions to create First Day Covers for the World Federation of United Nations Associations philatelic program.

Zupan prefers to paint directly from nature rather than in a studio, and his primary locations are Mallorca, Venice, and Paris.

Biography from The Columbus Museum of Art, Georgia:
At the age of fourteen, Bruno Stern Zupan enrolled in an engineering school in Zagreb, and then switched to art school without consulting his parents.  According to Zupan, “I would say that upon entering the art school, I felt happy for the first time in my life, to be among people who felt as I did and shared my interests.”(1)

In the early 1960s, he was in Paris, where he painted scenes of the city and its environs and lived on the minimal pay he earned making drawings for the Larousse Encyclopedia.  He met his future wife, Jane Ritchie, in Paris while she was studying at the Sorbonne, and in the mid-1960s they returned to the United States.  In 1969 Zupan became an American citizen.

He now divides his time between Paris, Mallorca, Venice, New York, and Columbus, Georgia, his adopted hometown.  Noting that the artist’s work was contemporary but anchored in the fundamentals of the history of art, Edward Shorter, director emeritus of the Columbus Museum, arranged Zupan’s first exhibition at the museum in 1965. That same year he also had solo shows at the Greenville County Museum of Art, South Carolina, and the Columbia (S.C.) Museum of Art, followed by gallery shows in Birmingham, Alabama, and Washington, D.C.

1. Interview with Charles T. Butler and the artist, Columbus Museum files, spring 1999.
Submitted by the Staff, Columbus Museum

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