Ibrahim Kodra (1918, Ishëm, Albania – 2006, Milan, Italy), was an Albanian artist who contributed to the Cubist and Early Modernist movements. He attended the Art School Odhise Paskali of Tirana and tank to a scholarship, in 1938 he moved to Milan to study at Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera. He learned very much from Carrà, Carpi e Funi: they teached him painting and fresco at the academy. In 1942 he won another scholarship because he was considered the best student in Brera. The next year he graduated and he joined the Exhibit of young at Permanente of Milan. He opened his studio in Milan and he joined the group Oltre Guernica with whom he exposed his artworks in a famous collective exhibit in via Brera. In 1947 he met Paul Eluard and the next year Pablo Picasso. The two artists said very good things about him. The former said “Kodra is the primitive of a new society”, the latter “Your signature too is a work of art”. Kodra started exhibiting all over the world, reaching a very great success: New York, Tokyo, Palermo, Stuttgart.
In 1943 he participated at the exhibition of Contemporary Italian Design at the Cairola Gallery in Milan, along with Manzu, Vedova, Cassinari, Guttuso, Morlotti and others. In 1954 participated in the Exhibition of Contemporary Drawing and Engraving in Chiaviari along with Picasso, Rouault, Dufy and Modigliani. In 1959 he took part in the collective exhibition 50 years of art in Milan. The following year he exhibited to a lithographs collective at the Montenapoleone Gallery in Milan (with Birolli, Delaunay, Ernst, Kokoschka, Leger, Miro and Severini) and participated in the 2nd Impromptu Painting Competition – Bice Bugatti Prize. In 1965 he exhibited in Bologna and Turin at the exhibition Art and Resistance in Europe.
Ibrahim Kodra’s artworks are influenced by post-cubist artists and they are enriched thanks to the memory of his homeland, rich in traditions, meeting of cultures on Mediterranean Sea. His subjects are sons of the Harlequins by Picasso and they are part of shining compositions: brilliant tiles which recall Byzantine style. His artworks are preserved in many museums and private collections, such as: the basilica Sanctuary of Santa Maria de Finibus Terrae in Santa Maria di Leuca, in the art collection of the province of Milan, at Vatican Museum, the Chamber of Deputies, and at the National Gallery of Kosovo in Pristina.
He died in Milan in 2006 and he was buried in Albania, in his homeland, as expressed in his last wishes.