Jean Zorko was born in Slovenia in 1937.
A mechanic by profession, he loves steel, which for him is a “noble material”.
He took drawing lessons at the “Klas” School of Arts in Ljubljana. He begins to paint landscapes. He goes mountaineering, likes to confront nature, his own limits. Trees that resist natural storms fascinate him. In Slovenia, he exhibited his paintings in a collective exhibition in 1958. He exhibited alone in 1962. He arrived in France in 1964. He worked at Renault as a mechanic during the day and sculpted at night. In 1968, he set up his sculpture studio in Paris in the Montparnasse district. He gave courses in Plastic Arts and Art History at the Sorbonne from 1974 to 1986. In 1979, he received the Fontenay-sous-Bois contemporary sculpture prize. His work “Couple”, in elm burl and steel, made in 1974 has been installed since 1982 Place de l’Amitié entre les peuples.
It was restored in 2002. Jean Zorko participates in more than 150 international exhibitions. He sculpts monumental works as well as smaller ones, in wood, steel, marble… In 1998, he set up his entire studio in Faux-Fresnay, in the Marne, but still kept a pied-à-terre in Montparnasse.
In June 2012, Jean Zorko received the European Francophone Arts Prize Léopold Sédar Senghor.