Aspects 75: Contemporary Yugoslav Art

29.09.75 – 25.10.75

Curated by Richard Demarco, Aspects ’75: Contemporary Yugoslav Art, featured works in a range of media by fifty contemporary artists from the eight distinct cultural regions making up the former Yugoslavia. Artists included Marina Abramović, Radomir Damnjanović Damnjan, Ida Biard, Braco Dimitrijevic, Goran Trbuljak, Slobodan Tadić, OHO Group, Sanja Iveković, Boris Jesih, Srečo Dragan, Nuša Dragan, Boris Bućan, Ivan Generalić, Dalibor Martinis, Julije Knifer, Vjenceslav Richter, Vilko Žiljak, Raša Todosijević, Neša Paripović.

Aspects ’75 built upon a previous exhibition, Eight Yugoslav Artists (1973), also curated by Richard Demarco and held at his gallery on Melville Crescent. Demarco first visited Yugoslavia in December 1972, invited by the Yugoslav Federal Institute of Culture, Education & Science to meet with prominent artists and curators. It was there that he was introduced to Radoslav Putar, director of the City Gallery, Zagreb, a partner gallery in the making of Aspects ’75. Demarco would make several trips back to the country in the following years, visiting, among other cultural institutions, the newly established Student Cultural Centre in Belgrade, where the artist Marina Abramović worked.

Aspects ’75 included works by established Yugoslav painters alongside a younger, more experimental cohort of artists working with video and performance. The exhibition catalogue took the form of a large-scale Yugoslav passport, with key artists profiled. The exhibition also extended to the Demarco Gallery where tapestries by Jagoda Buic, a textile artist from Dubrovnik, were hung. Buic had recently exhibited at the Musée d’Arte Moderne in Paris.

The opening event included performances from Braco Dimitrijevic, of Sarajevo, Ida Biard, and Goran Trbuljak, of Zagreb, and Marina Abramović, with a performance of Warm/Cold. Abramović would return to the Fruitmarket in 1986 for The Mirror & the Lamp, a thematic group exhibition for the Commonwealth Games and the Edinburgh International Festival, and again for a survey show of her sculpture and video work in 1995.

The Embassy of Yugoslavia, as well as the British-Yugoslav society, both in London, played a key role in the materialization of Aspects ’75, with Sir Fitzroy MacLean, president of the British-Yugoslav society at the time, serving as an honorary patron.

Aspects ’75 has been praised for its significant survey of Yugoslav art in its brief post-Soviet period before the dissolution of the state, and went on to travel to the Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin; the Turnpike Gallery, Lancashire; the Ulster Museum, Belfast; and the Third Eye Centre, Glasgow.

Aisling Clark
Fruitmarket Archive Intern, The University of Edinburgh, 2022

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