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Bratsa Bonifacho


  • born in 1937 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia
  • immigrated to Canada 1973
  • Sumatovacha School of Art (Drawing, Painting), Belgrade, Yugoslavia (1957-59); M.F.A. University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Yugoslavia (1960-65)

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From 1959 to 1965 Bonifacho developed Eyes over Belgrade, a series of art works which appeared on the roofs and facades of buildings in Belgrade, making the artist the subject of media attention throughout Europe. In the late 1970s Bonifacho exhibited his first paintings, a series of pop-art inspired works, conveying the artist’s disillusionment with American Cold War propaganda. Growing up in war-ravaged Belgrade, Bonifacho’s memories of the violent destruction caused by allied bombing perhaps account for Bonifacho’s recurring images of targets and gunsights. Bonifacho has said that "I don’t remember things that happened two years ago as vividly as I remember the war . . . bombing, killing, murders--we were occupied by Germany and bombed on a daily basis by the Allies" (1992). An expression of his "apocalyptic vision," Bonifacho’s Combustion Series (1988) is an abstract articulation of the artist’s anxieties regarding the threat of nuclear devastation and environmental degradation. In this series, "colour could be made to transcend language in addressing the most emotional precincts of issues which most troubled him; cynical and strategic nuclear planning, heedless and wide-spread environmental degradation, and mankind’s seemingly ceaseless capacity for inhumanity" (Ted Lindberg, 1997). Troubled by the destruction of the Gulf War, Bonifacho created the Earth and Fire series, in order to convey his opposition to this American military attack. In Parallellogramme (1997) the artist has departed from pure vibrant colour, choosing to paint abstract geometric compositions in a restricted metallic palette. This was not only a departure from Bonifacho’s normally vibrant palette, but "there is also the illusory qualities of the metallic substance and the way it implies an additional sculptural quality--as if the surfaces were freshly cut bronze" (Janice Whitehead, 1997). Bonifacho has explained briefly his affinity for a minimalist style: "Minimalist art depends on the repetition of simple geometric formations and on certain elementary principles of construction. This style is, perhaps, distinguished by the use of plain, lucid structures that tend to reveal themselves in their entirety from any viewpoint. The shapes, the unity, the projection, the metallic colour and the order of elements mounted on canvas are . . . aggressive and powerful. The materials used to shape these forms for me have significant meaning" (1990).



1997 Parallelograms
Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond, British Columbia


1996 Scotland Series
Gallery Nova, Vancouver, British Columbia

Peloponnesus Series
Bau-Xi Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia


1995 La Habana Series
Bau-Xi Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia

Earth and Fire
Bau-Xi Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia

Fran Willis  Gallery, Victoria, British Columbia


1993 Small Works
Threshold Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia


1992 Parallelograms
Patrick Doheny Fine Art Gallery


1991 Earth and Fire
Heffel Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia


1990    Scotland Series
Heffel Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia; Quan-Schieder Gallery, Toronto, Ontario


1989 Combustion Series
Quan-Schieder Gallery, Toronto, Ontario


1988 Combustion Series
Heffel Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia


1987 Combustion Series
Atelier Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia


1982 Blackboards
Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby, British Columbia; Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond, British Columbia


1979 Alberta Landscapes
Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia


1978 Alberta Landscapes
Gallery Scollard, Toronto, Ontario


1964 Roof Art
Belgrade, Yugoslavia



1997 The Time Machine
Anchorage Museum of History and Art, Anchorage, Alaska

The Canadian Collection at APEC
Vancouver, British Columbia


1996 Three Artists
Gallery Nova, Vancouver, British Columbia

Two Artists
Gango Gallery, Portland, Oregon

Collective Show
Kimsey Miller Gallery, Seattle, Washington


1995 30th Anniversary Exhibition
Bau-Xi Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia

West Coast Artists
Fran Willis Gallery, Victoria, British Columbia


1994-93 Curator's Choice
Doheny Fine Art Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia


1994 Simon Patrich Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia

Four Artists
Fran Willis Gallery, Victoria, British Columbia

Three Artists from the Permanent Collection
Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond, British Columbia


1993 Inaugural Exhibition
Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond, British Columbia

Artopolis 1993
Vancouver, British Columbia


1992 Combustion Series
Patrick Doheny Fine Art Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia

Scotland Series
Fran Willis Gallery, Victoria, British Columbia


1991 The Stendhal Effect
Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Vancouver, British Columbia


1990  North of the Border
Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, Washington

Artopolis '90
Roundhouse, Vancouver, British Columbia

Contemporary Art Abroad
National Museum, Belgrade, Yugoslavia


1988 Three Artists
Wade Gallery, Los Angeles, California


1987-86 British Columbia Artists at the Square
Vancouver, British Columbia


1987 101 Vancouver Artists
Pitt International Galleries, Vancouver, British Columbia


1985 FESF Narodna Biblioteka
Belgrade, Yugoslavia


1984 Warehouse Show
Vancouver, British Columbia


1983 Open October Salon
Belgrade, Yugoslavia


1979 British Columbia Artists Show
Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, Vancouver, British Columbia



Agnelli Corporation, Ferrara, Italy
Blake Cassels and Graydon, Vancouver, British Columbia
Brazilian Coffee Producers, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Canadian Embassy, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Clark, Wilson & Company, Vancouver, British Columbia
Collection Barbarelli, Milan, Italy
Department of External Affairs, Government of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
First City Financial Corporation, Vancouver, British Columbia
First City Trust, Toronto, Ontario
Green Circle Management, Canada
J.P. Morgan Securities Asia, Tokyo, Japan
L.O.M. Western Security, Vancouver, British Columbia
Mr. Jax Fashion, Vancouver, British Columbia
National Museum, Belgrade, Yugoslavia
Olivetti S.A., Milan, Italy
Pacific Language Institute, Vancouver, British Columbia
Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond, British Columbia
The Strand Corporation, Vancouver, British Columbia
Tiffin Capital Corporation, Vancouver, British Columbia
Toronto-Dominion Bank, Toronto, Ontario
Yugoslavian Embassy, Ottawa, Ontario



Grace, Sherrill. "Bonifacho." Vanguard 17, no. 1 (February/March 1988): 40.

Lindberg, Ted. "Bratsa Bonifacho: Parallelograms." Artichoke 9, no. 3 (Fall/Winter 1997): 28-31.

Rosenberg, Ann, and Ed Varney, ed. Artopolis 90: Lineages and Linkages. Vancouver, British Columbia: A.T. Eight Artopolis Society, 1990.

Whitehead, Janice. "The complete Parallelogram Series." Richmond Art Gallery News (Spring 1997): n.p.


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