Jagoda Buić
Black Dynamic Circle, 1966 – 1978
wool / tapestry
225 x 260 cm

Jagoda Buić (1930 – 2022) is an internationally acclaimed Croatian visual artist, best known for her art of creating tapestries and textile sculptures. In addition, she was also a costume and set designer, sculptress and paintress, and she also worked as a theatre director. What is specific about her tapestries is the pictorial treatment of the visual complex. Her tapestries and textile sculptures can be understood in the expanded meaning of imago (image, figure, form) as images and sculptures in themselves, with inherent material qualities. In 1949, she entered the Academy of Applied Arts and Design in Zagreb (E. Tomašević. K. A. Radovani). She went on to study costume and set design in Rome and Venice, and in 1954 she obtained a degree in textile art and interior architecture at the Akademie für angewandte Kunst in Vienna. She created more than 150 costumes and set designs, and also made costumes for films (The Emperor’s New Clothes, 1961), but as of 1962, tapestry became her primary medium of artistic expression. Jagoda Buić was also inspired by yarn needlework of the Dalmatian Hinterland. She continues to explore the form and structure of the material and creates vertical tapestries (Vertical I, 1968), which were exhibited at the 26th Venice Biennale in 1968. Since the 1970s, she creates three-dimensional tapestries as forms in motion in the wind and water (Black Leafing, 1978). She theoretically explains her execution by referring to the myth of Ariadne combining woollen threads with empty spaces thus giving them structural value. The Black Dynamic Circle from 1966 – 1978 appears as if it has been produced by the laboratory of the New Tendencies (1961 – 1973). We see, like an image within an image, a minimalist visual assembly of black on black, a structurally-imbued relief circle on a rectangular surface. It is a pure geometric factuality of the tapestry-image implemented through two fundamental human forms: the circle and the square. In 1991, her work was presented at the Jean-Lurçat Contemporary Tapestry Museum in Angers, and in 2011, the Museum of Applied Arts in Zagreb organised a large retrospective exhibition in her honour, as well as the Revoltella Museum in Trieste in 2014. Later in life, she started working with paper, pieces of wool and cardboard (Moderator 2006), an in 2021 her works were presented at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. She has received numerous awards at home (Vladimir Nazor, 2014) and abroad, and her works are part of many prominent collections and museums.

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

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