Conical Head, 1995
32 x 25 x 30 cm
The Conical Head from 1995 is Antun Babić’s typical imaginary, simple and benign figure modelled in supple terracotta. The robust conical volume was conceived as a symbol of a better world in which humour is devoid of all negativity. As a protagonist of the new reality, it is modelled in the shape of an only slightly caricatured head with accentuated facial details that give it mythical and timeless qualities. Babić grew up near the rivers Sava and Bosut. Fascinated by the nature and heritage of Slavonia, he created an entire ensemble of terracotta heroes, actors, musicians, singers and dancers of unpretentious dimensions and irresistible sensitivity, featuring a unique combination of mud, tenderness and melancholy.
In 1958, Antun Babić (Bijeljina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1931 – Vinkovci, 2023) obtained a degree in sculpture from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in the class of Vanja Radauš. For more than half a century, Babić expressed the paradox of human life with sculptures, drawings and prints that reinterpret physical facts and negate established norms. His strong, robust, closed volumes are often imbued with humour, but also the tragedy of human existence. He preferred clay and linocut, and often combined drawing with watercolour. His career as an art teacher started at a primary school in Vinkovci, and he later worked as an educational consultant and professor at the Faculty of Education in Osijek.
Text: Lada Bošnjak Velagić, 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