Josip Restek was born on March 7, 1915, in Volavje, County Jastrebarsko, near Zagreb. He obtained a degree in Painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 1940, where he was taught by professor Ljubo Babić and Omer Mujadžić. In the following year, he specialized in printmaking under the mentorship of Professor Tomislav Krizman. That same year, he graduated with a degree in art history from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb and started to intensively engage in graphic arts (high print; woodcut, linocut).

From 1950 to 1973, he was a teacher and staff member at the School of Applied Art in Zagreb, initially in the Painting Techniques study program and later at the Graphic Department. From 1973 until retirement in 1982, he was a lecturer at the Graphic Art School in Zagreb, where he taught Graphic Design and Graphic Art History; for teaching purposes, he published the textbook Osnove grafičkog dizajna / Introduction to Graphic Design in 1975, in which he compiled elements of graphic art and their visual perception, and Tabelarni pregled likovno-grafičke kulture / Tabular Overview of Graphic Art History in 1976.

On academic summer study programs, he regularly visited pulsating European art centers like Venice, Milan, and particularly Paris, often together with his wife Blanka, also an artist, where they visited galleries and museums and participated in artists activities and art conventions, often in the company of renown colleagues artists like Slavko Kopač. In Paris he worked in different art studious like atelier Edmond Desjobert, specializing in flat print (lithography, screen print). In an atelier, Johhny Friedländer perfected his skills in deep relief print (aquatint, drypoint, copper plate etching) and he soon transitioned into multi-media print art and charismatic and original art expression.

In the early 1970s: “Restek’s print sheet became a relief; it is almost as if he penetrates the boundaries of deep print by creating a borderline formation, the drama of which arises between the two-dimensionality of the print and the three-dimensionality of the object. He carves, cuts, decomposes the plate to an expressive and voluminous modelation of the print sheet to a tangible burst,” as accurately observed by the author of the Restek’s retrospective exhibition Biserka Rauter Plančić (Exhibition catalogue, Klovićevi Dvori Gallery, Zagreb, 2003).

His exceptional work brought him international recognition and numerous awards. In the 1970s, he was named member of “honoris causa” and given a diploma and silver medal by Accademia internazionale Tommaso Campanella; he received plaques for his graphic art at the 6th and 7th Annals of Lika in Gospić; he was rewarded the Work Medal with Silver Star in 1972; he was given the purchase award at the 4th Exhibition of Yugoslav Portrait in Tuzla, and was named Academic with a title in 1980 and won a Gold Medal  in 1982 by Accademia Italia delle Arte e del Lavoro in Salsomaggiore Terme, Italy.

From the early 1940s to the end of his life, he regularly exhibited his works at solo (43 exhibitions) and group exhibitions (275 exhibitions), at home, and around the world, of which it is specially worthy to mention the solo graphic art exhibition in Paris in Galerie Simone Badenijer (with introduction of Eduard Goerf) in 1956, the first retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Zagreb from March 5 to March 31, 1985, with introduction of Tomislav Lalin, as well as the second, posthumous retrospective exhibition at the Klovićevi Dvori Gallery in Zagreb, and the Vjekoslav Karas Gallery in Karlovac in 2003, exhibition author Biserka Rauter-Plančić, as well as the Exhibition  on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth entitled Krajolik Od forme do Enformela  / Landscape from Form to Art Informel  in Klovićevi Dvori Gallery, Lotrščak Tower in 2015, exhibition author Petra Vugrinec.

In 1978, in his charming now 112 years old wooden birth house in Volavje, he organized the Permanent Exhibition of Paintings and Prints of Josip Restek.

Josip Restek died on May 13, 1987, in Zagreb.




“According to his authentic creativity and wide range of his artistic interests, Restek is one of Croatia’s most elite modernist printmakers, and without a doubt an artist on the highest European niveau.  He carves, cuts, decomposes the plate to an expressive and voluminous modelation of the print sheet, to a tangible burst.”

Prof. Biserka Rauter Plančić,
Josip Restek, catalog of the retrospektive exibition,
galery Klovićevi Dvori, Zagreb,
pg. 6-7.


“I personally believe that the epithet of elitism is equally supported by the ‘moral beauty’ of the artist’s work and life. His artistic work is adorned with modesty and genuine delight in the artistic production sans the desire to pander to transient modes. Restek’s oeuvre exudes a human criterion, a seldom achieved harmony and tranquility. His consistency is a mimesis, and his production and pursuit a continuity that manifests itself in a rarely-observed mastery of deliberation in the realm of graphic art.”

“Restek’s stylistic development … from realistically transferred motifs and figurative realism … to the liberation of form through expressionist morphological interventions in landscape and, ultimately, lyrical abstraction when he used motifs to abandon subjects from present time and place, thus abstracting occurrences to an extent of cosmic visions.”

Dr. sci. Petra Vugrinec,
Josip Restek – Krajolik, Od forme do enformela
Katalog izložbe proslave stote obljetnice u Kuli Lotrščak u Zagrebu
pg. 6-7.


“ In this evaluation of Restek’s art, I would like to emphasize the importance of his printmaking opus, which, without any doubt, belongs to the highest levels of Croatian graphic art of sixth and seventh decade of the last century. At that time, Restek has produced, in the techniques of aquatint, linocut, woodcut, and cooper plate etching, one of the most important pieces of Croatian Art Informel, which certainly belongs to the highest European levels. For his exceptional work as a printmaker, Restek was simultaneously gaining recognition and receiving numerous awards in the competitions of elite graphic artists on international art exhibitions and biennales.”

Dr. sci. Ivanka Reberski,
Valorization of the donation of Josip Restek art to the town of Zagreb,


“Considering Restek’s masterful insight and unmatched expertise in the graphic art medium and methodical implementation of the numerous versatile printmaking techniques, there is no doubt that Restek has exactly in that compartment achieved his optimum, particularly in deep print and especially challenging juvigravurs.

Drawings and aquarelles, gouache as well as monotype, often served only as a preparation (foreplay) for engraving the plate in the layered print sheet making his masterful graphic art opus representative domestic as well as universally.”

Akademik Dr. Tonko Maroević,
Valorization of the donation of Josip Restek art to the town of Zagrebu,


“Restek is included in the great sequence of lyrical Art Informel … He completely conceals the figural traces in his print sheets, and even in certain oil paintings, with intense abstract graphisms.”

Zdenko Rus,
Abstract Art in Croatia,




1982. Gold medal, Accademia Italia delle Arte e del Lavoro in Salsomaggiore Terme, Italy

1980. Accademia Italia delle Arte e Lavori, named Academic with a title

1979. Purchase award at the 4th Exhibition of Yugoslav Portrait in Tuzla

1972. Rewarded the Work Medal with Silver Star

1971. Received plaques for the graphic art at the 6th and 7th Annals of Lika in Gospić

1970. Accademia Internationale Tommaso Campanella, named member of “honoris causa” and given a diploma and silver medal

1956. Second price, competition for the big murial in the Jugoslav capital “Savezno Izvrsno Vijece”, “Federal Executive Council”, entitled “Zemlja i Svemir”, “Earth and Space”

Solo Exhibitions


Jastrebarsko, Galerija Gradskog Muzeja,
Izložba cjelokupne galerijske zbirke Josipa Resteka,


Zagreb, Galerija Klovićevi Dvori, Kula Lotrščak,
Samostalna izložba, Josip Restek, Krajolik, Od Forme do Enformela,
u povodu stogodišnjice rodenja slikara grafičara i restauratora Josipa Resteka,

Jastrebarsko, Gradski Muzej Jastrebarsko, Gradska Galerija Jastrebarsko,
Samostalna izložba,
Josip Restek 100 godina


Seattle, WA, SAD, Harrison Art Galery,
samostalna izložba Josip Restek,
Seattle Center, 22-23.10.


Jastrebarsko, Gradski muzej i Gradska Galerija,
Samostalna izložba Hommage à Josip Restek


Karlovac, Galerija „Vjekoslav Karas“,
Retrospektivna izložba Josip Restek 1915. – 1987. slike, crteži i grafike,
5. – 7.

Zagreb, Galerija Klovićevi dvori,
Retrospektivna izložba Josip Restek 1915. – 1987. slike, crteži i grafike,
28.10. – 30.11.


Jastrebarsko, Gradski muzej i galerija Jastrebarsko,
Samostalna izložba Josip Restek / 1915 – 1987.
( 4 rada-akvizicije novootvorene galerije),
1. 5. – 18. 5.


Đakovo, Spomen muzej biskupa J. J. Strossmayera,
Samostalna izložba Josip Restek iz zbirke Ivana Rabuzina,
2 – 3.

Karlovac, Galerija ZILIK,
Samostalna izložba – Djela Josipa Resteka iz zbirke Ivana Rabuzina / izložba prva,
28. 5 – 20. 6.
Samostalna izložba – Djela Josipa Resteka iz zbirke Ivana Rabuzina/ izložba druga,
10 – 12.


Zagreb, Galerija Ullrich,
Samostalna izložba Josip Restek
18. 10 – 10. 11.


Zagreb, Galerija Itea,
Samostalna izložba Hommage Josip Restek,
23. 6. – 20. 7.


Karlovac, Gradski muzej,
Samostalna izložba Josip Restek, 3.

Zagreb, Knjižnica Novi Zagreb,
Samostalna izložba Josip Restek, 6.


Zagreb, Galerija Miroslav Kraljević,
Samostalna izložba Josip Restek,
5 – 25. 5.


Zagreb, Galerija Moša Pijade,
Samostalna izložba Josip Restek,
3 – 30. 3.


Karlovac, Zorin dom,
Samostalna izložba Josip Restek,
17 – 26. 11.


Karlovac, Gradski muzej,
Samostalna izložba Josip Restek, 11.


Zagreb, Studio Galerije Forum,
Samostalna izložba grafika Josip Restek,
19. 4. – 9. 5.

Ivanić Grad, Narodno sveučilište,
Samostalna izložba slika Josip Restek,


Zagreb, Galerija Prozori – Knjižnica S. S. Kranjčević,
Samostalna izložba Josip Restek – akvareli (30 akvarela),
13 – 28. 3.


Volavje kraj Jastrebarskog,
Samostalna izložba stalnog postava slika i grafika Josipa Resteka;
otvoreno 25. 6


Karlovac, Galerija Vjekoslav Karas,
Samostalna izložba slika i grafika Josip Restek,
2 – 5. 11.


Split, izložbeni prostor Matice Hrvatske,
Samostalna izložba slika i grafika RESTEK (15 radova),
16. 1 – 16. 2.

Šibenik, Muzej grada Šibenika,
Samostalna izložba slika i grafika Josipa Resteka,
18 – 28. 2.


Zagreb, Salon ULUH-a,
Samostalna izložba Grafika – Restek Josip,
16 – 30. 10.


Gospić, izložbene prostorije JNA, a u organizaciji Muzeja Like,
Samostalna izložba radova Josipa Resteka (30 radova),
9 – 18. 6.


Zagreb, Kabinet grafike JAZU,
Samostalna izložba Josipa Resteka,
2 – 3.


Rijeka, Mala galerija,
Samostalna izložba grafike Josipa Resteka (45 radova),
8 – 15. 9.

Split, Galerija umjetnina,
Samostalna izložba Josipa Resteka (45 radova),
14. 10. – 31. 10.


Zagreb, Umjetnički paviljon,
Samostalna izložba slika i grafika Restek Josip (45 radova),
20 – 30. 3.


Pariz, Francuska, Galerie Simone Badenier,
Samostalna izložba grafika Joseph Restek (litografije, suhe igle, akvatinte; 30 radova),
13 – 31. 1.

Karlovac, Gradska galerija,
Samostalna izložba slika Josipa Resteka,


Zagreb, Salon ULUH-a,
Samostalna izložba slika J. Restek (23 rada), 19. 12. 1954 –
3. 1. 1955.

Beograd, Srbija, Umjetnička galerija na Terazijama,
Samostalna izložba slika i grafikae Josip Restek (36 radova),
1 – 10. 3.

Zagreb, Salon ULUH-a,
Samostalna izložba slika Josipa Resteka,

Beograd, Srbija, Umjetnička galerija,
Samostalna izložba grafika Josipa Resteka,


Zagreb, Knjižara Mladost,
Samostalna izložba mape drvoreza Seoskim putem,


Zagreb, Salon LIKUM-a,
Samostalna izložba slika J. Resteka (52 ulja, tempere i grafike),
1. – 15. 03.


Karlovac, Galerija Gradskog narodnog odbora,
Samostalna izložba slika Josipa Resteka (71 rad),
17. – 30. 11.


Karlovac, Športska dvorana Sokol,
Samostalna izložba slika Josipa Resteka (51 rad),
24 – 30. 10.

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