Đurđica Zanoški Gudlin
Lady, 1977
polyester, paint
158.5 x 29 x 48 cm

Đurđica Zanoški Gudlin’s polyester Lady from 1977 is touchingly sad and alone. The old lady is clearly lost in the midst of contemporary society and its drama. The life-size figure performing a mundane spontaneous gesture is clearly wasting away in a grotesque reality to which she does not really belong. As a critical commentary of the time and the world in which she lives, the artist accentuates the human figure exhausted to the point of paradox. In the body of the Lady that is quite obviously withering away, Đurđica Zanoški Gudlin epitomises the criticism and vehement expressivity of the Biafra Art Group, from whose last exhibition in 1978 the sculpture was acquired for the NMMU collection.
In 1975, Đurđica Zanoški Gudlin (Prosenik, 1950) obtained a degree in sculpture from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in the class of Valerije Michieli, and a year earlier she joined the Biafra Group of artists who worked in the style of New Figuration and opposed all existing visual, cultural and social conventions. The sculptors Stjepan Gračan, Branko Bunić and Ratko Petrić came together spontaneously in 1970, and appropriated the name Biafra, as a symbol of war and famine in that African country, from the abandoned and devastated wing of the student dormitory in the centre of Zagreb where they lived, worked and exhibited as squatters. Until the group disbanded in 1978, Biafra held 15 group exhibitions, and they were later joined by Đurđica Zanoški Gudlin, as well as S. Jančić, I. Lesiak, V. Jakelić, R. Janjić Jobo, Z. Kauzlarić Atač, R. Labaš and E. R. Tanay. In addition to polyester, Đurđica Zanoški Gudlin also modells sculptures in wood and terracotta, and she makes jewellery.

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

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