Trapezoid (I-IV), 1986
acrylic on paper
(4 x) 74.2 x 66 cm
Edita Schubert (1947 – 2001) is an artist whose oeuvre is marked by constant transgression (crossing) of the boundaries between the medium and the work (L. Kovač). She graduated in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 1971 (M. Stančić), and since 1972 she has been working at the Institute of Anatomy of the University of Zagreb School of Medicine. In the early 1970s, she creates hyper-realistic works on canvas with everyday motifs. Soon after, in the late 1970s, she takes a step outside the framework painting and into sculpture-objects made from plain organic materials – leaves, branches, stems. During the 1980s and the Transavantgarde movement, she returns to the painting medium with works of unusual formats, while in the mid-1980s she creates neo-geometric works based on a constructivist approach that evokes Croatian post-war neoconstructivist practices, some of the best examples of which locally are the works of EXAT-51 members. With her trapezoids and then cathedrals (1986 – 1987) she tries to exceed the limitations of the medium of painting itself, by the act of painting. The Trapezoid (I-IV), 1986, is a seemingly tightly framed image, non-representational in nature, in the spirit of geometric abstraction, however the trapezoidal frame is a window into the infinite space of the painting. Although the composition is reduced to geometric, abstract forms of primary colours (red, blue) and black, their relations and planes draw us into the depths of the immeasurable (L. Kovač). The beginning of transgressing geometry itself will lead to later works, such as those on the walls of exhibition spaces (Museum of Contemporary Art and PM Gallery, 1995), in which the product of painting is not an image, but a new spatial situation (L. Kovač). From the latter half of the 1990s, the artist remains devoted to constant transgression with her turn towards installations with autobiographical elements (Ambient, 1996; Incorporation, Autobiography, 1997).
The artist’s works are kept in the National Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb, the Virovitica City Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts in Split.
In 2015, a large retrospective exhibition of her work was staged in Klovićevi Dvori Gallery.
Text: Željko Marciuš, museum consultant of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Photo Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb