Deposition from the Cross, 2006
acrylic on canvas, 200×180 cm
Tomislav Buntak (1971) is one of Croatia’s most established postmodern figurative painters and draughtsmen. His basic artistic principle is citation, which he uses to transfigure methods and motifs from the visual legacy of mankind, literature, pop culture and comics aiming to preserve and deepen them. Buntak’s commitment to Figurative Art and his exploration of painting and drawing techniques dates from times that were averse to such visual expression and has persisted to date when it is contemporary, thus making room for new generations of artists. Both his drawings and paintings feature two-part and three-part shading. The arrangement of light and shadow in his Deposition from the Cross painting from 2006 is also divided into several parts. Buntak’s postmodern mannerism echoes with the mannerism of Jacopo Pontormo’s Deposition from the Cross (1525-1528). His originality manifests itself in his limited colour palette, the monumentality and pathos of the composition, the figurativeness and elongated proportions of the figures, and the simultaneousness of the sequences of removing Christ from the Cross and carrying Him. Paintings, drawings and murals featuring site-specific ultraviolet lighting are Buntak’s speciality. The ones he executed at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka (2004), at the MoMA PS1 contemporary art centre in New York (2005) and at the Art Pavilion in Zagreb (2008) should be singled out. He graduated in painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 1997 in the class of Prof. Miroslav Šutej. He has won numerous awards and his works are in the holdings of leading Croatian museums and galleries. He has been the president of the Croatian Association of Visual Artists and the Dean of the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb since 2018. Tomislav Buntak’s monograph by art historian and critic Branko Franceschi was published in 2012 by the Fraktura publishing house.
Text: Željko Marciuš, senior curator of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Translated by: Ana Janković
Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb