The Artists From Bosnia and Herzegovina You Should Know

Safet Zec Artwork
Safet Zec Artwork | © Luigi Tiriticco/Flickr
Sam Bedford

Bosnia may not be the first place you think of with regard to art but this is to overlook some fabulous artists. Several Bosnian artists, including painters, sculptors and those who work with graphics produce a range of work from contemporary to war art. Here are the top Bosnian artists you should check out.

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Mersad Berber

Mersad Berber, born in 1940 in Bosanski Petrovac, Western Bosnia, is one of the area’s most renowned artists. The painter and graphic artist has an international reputation for his contemporary styles. In 1965 at the City Gallery of Ljubljana in Slovenia, Berber held his first one-man show presenting his work. Since then, his career skyrocketed and he won more than 5o awards. Mersad Berber created tapestries, poetic maps, and illustration too. The most famous works include “Between Earth and Fire” and “Artist of the Ideal”. The artist died in 2012.

Safet Zec

Safet Zec comes from a small town, Rogatica, to the east of Sarajevo. The painter’s style focuses on specific aspects of his subject instead of the image itself, earning him international recognition. Creating paintings and graphics, Zec has held over 70 solo exhibits around Bosnia, won over 20 awards, and displays work in galleries across Europe. Zec was Yugoslavia’s most famous artist in the 1990s before fleeing to Italy during the 1992 conflict. Notable works include his collection on the Bosnian War including a series of paintings on Srebrenica and “My Sister’s Room”. Others include landscapes, nature and facades.

Adi Granov

We all know Iron Man. And most have heard of Marvel Comics. But, we probably didn’t realise Bosnian Adi Granov contributes to both. Granov creates concept paintings and illustrations for comics. Apart from the above, other notable works include conceptual art for The Amazing Spiderman 2 and The Avengers.

Nesim Tahirovic

The Tuzla-born artist (1941) has created paintings, drawings and sculptures over a lengthy career spanning several decades. Nesim Tahirovic is one of the famous painters from Bosnia and he creates scenic designs too. Achievements include more than sixty solo exhibitions and contributing to over 100 group exhibitions in Bosnia. Most of Tahirovic’s work is on display in local galleries. The “Ancient symbols of peace and tolerance” is one of his most famous pieces.

Endi E. Poskovic

Poskovic, a Sarajevian born (1969) graphic expert, is a versatile contemporary Bosnian artist. His artwork combines vivid visuals juxtaposed behind blocks of text. The genius of Poskovic stems from the multiple layers of interpretation behind his artwork presenting Bosnia’s subtle demographic and political changes. Some of Poskovic’s work is on display around the world and even featured on Eastern Europe propaganda posters.

Darmin Veletanlic

The Bosnian painter, born in 1962, creates a variety of paintings focusing on the metaphysical and physical relationships between his subjects. Not only is Veletanlic one of the best Bosnian artists, but he is internationally recognised for his work in graphics. During the war, he fled to Paris where he now lives and works as an artist.

Vesna Bugarski

Vesna Bugarski deserves a special mention. Although not an artist by definition, she was the first female architect in Bosnia’s history. After WW2, Bugarski became the only woman to study architecture in Belgrade and later specialised in interior design. The eccentric and resilient artist experimented with tapestries while creating a name for herself in the world of architecture. But, her stubbornness cost her life.
During the Siege of Sarajevo, Bugarski refused to leave her hometown and continued to live as normally as possible. She died in August 1992, aged 62, killed by a grenade. Looters claimed her house and stole her work.

Dino Zonić

The Sarajevo-born (1966) composer has had work performed across both the United States and Europe, including performances to Pope John Paul II and the Dalai Lama. Dino Zonic’s skill and genius turned him into the unofficial Cultural Ambassador of Bosnia. After fleeing to Croatia during the Bosnian War and later emigrating to the United States, the composer’s career went from strength to strength. Zonic today conducts the Stivers Philharmonic Orchestra in Dayton.

Zuko Džumhur

Zuku Dzumhur (1920-1989), born in Konjic, is a renowned name in the world of Bosnian art. The writer, painter and caricaturist became the most famous illustrator in post-WW2 Yugoslavia. Dzumhur had more than 10,000 publication and later hosted the Sarajevian TV show Hodoljublje for ten years.

Braco Dimitrijevic

Born in 1948 and then moving to Paris, Braco Dimitrijevic became a pioneer in conceptual art. Famous pieces include “The Flag of the World” and “Casual Passer-By. Dimitrijevic moved into installations later in his career. Some of his work featured in galleries around the world since the 1970s earning him a reputation as one of the greatest artists from Bosnia.

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