Artist’s Book, 2014
24 pages, b/w, / 16 x 16 cm
Bilingual (Croatian / English), softcover
publisher: Institute for Contemporary Art , Zagreb
Editor: Janka Vukmir
Graphic design: Igor Kuduz – D72
Edition of 200, Hand Sewn
Slikovnica / Picturebook by Josip Stošić is an artist’s book published
by the Institute for Contemporary Art on the occasion of the first
post-mortem exhibition of the artist, marking the 5th anniversary of
Picturebook seems to be the classic children’s picture book, or
“slikovnica,” but its illustrations are composed of graphic design and
type. By redrawing the relationship between language and image
black and white picture book renews the relationship between
language and image through the use of letters as an artistic medium.
Croatian words for animals and their diacritical marks transform
into corresponding graphical line drawings of “hen, chicken, rooster,
horse, cow, bug, cat, dog, bird, snail, crab.”
Although titled Picturebook, stylistic elements such as lettering for a
border and highly designed type allow the book to transcend its
child-like nature and become a graphic design staple for kids and
adults. The publication reflects ideas and concepts of Josip Stošić,
Croatian famous author of concrete poetry and the significant figure
of Croatian conceptual art whose legacy is yet to be researched and
Josip Stošić (1935 – 2009) was a poet, art historian and visual artist
from Zagreb. His body of work influenced many other artists as well
as the development of contemporary arts in Croatia. In his visual
artworks, he participated in numerous group exhibitions with
artists and curators such as B. Bućan, Z. Tišljar, V. Gudac, L. Galeta, G.
Trbuljak, R. Putar, D. Matičević, R. Demarco. Stošić’s multimedia
artistic opus includes poetry, texts, minute dramas, films,
installations, 3D objects, concepts, graphic works and photography.
In 1951, at seventeen, he self-published the cult poetry book Đerdan
(Necklace), which was soon after censored and prohibited.
Alongside Radovan Ivšić, Bor Pavlović and Ivan Slamnig he
introduced concrete poetry to Croatian arts. He studied art history
and psychology and all the way till his retirement worked as an
archaeologist and art historian at the Institute of Art History in
Zagreb. In this role, he also made many important scientific
discoveries. In the medium of film, he worked with Darko Schneider
as a screenwriter on two films in the 1970s and on several animated
films with Ladislav Galeta.
During his life, Josip Stošić had only three solo exhibitions and
numerous group exhibitions in Croatia and abroad.
The exhibition Josip Stošić, and this publication were organized in
close collaboration with his family, Karmen Stošić and Irin Stošić.
It was designed by Igor Kuduz, the Institute for Contemporary Art’s
designer and co-founding member.