Black Man, 1975
200 x 75 x 77 cm
With his Black Man executed in polyester from 1975, Miro Vuco problematises reality and opposes fashionable abstract art trends. The figure of a worn-out and dark man is frighteningly objective and life-like. From the dominant formalism during the 1970s, Vuco turns to Art Brut. As one of the founders of the Biafra Group, he expresses himself in a dramatic and expressive manner, he is openly rebellious and actively opposes the generally accepted aestheticizing function of art.
In 1969, Miro Vuco (Vojnić Sinjski, 1941) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, where he has been teaching since 1986. After completing his postgraduate studies in Antun Augustinčić’s Master Workshop (1969 – 71), in 1970, he founded the Art Group (Atelier) Biafra, with sculptors Stjepan Gračan, Branko Bunić and Ratko Petrić.
Working in the style of New Figuration, they fought against social ills, established aesthetic norms and the dominant abstract idiom. They appropriated the name of the African country, devastated by war and famine, from the abandoned and devastated wing of the student dormitory in the centre of Zagreb where they lived, worked and exhibited as squatters. In protest against all authority and especially the government, they staged group exhibitions until 1978. Vuco later often combined elements of graphic art and painting, and since 1980 he has been making reliefs in polyester in the spirit of figurative Art Informel. In addition to his permanent commitment to socially provocative themes, Vuco also executed numerous portrait public monuments (Tin Ujević, Zagreb; Ante Starčević, Osijek; Franjo Tuđman, Knin).
Text : Lada Bošnjak Velagić, senior curator of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Image:"Black man" by Miro Vuco from the holdings of National Museum of Modern Art in the NMMU "One World" collection display at the Providur's Palace in Zadar / Photo: Goran Vranić, © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb