Existentialist Figuration

The experience of suffering during wartime and the uncertainty of contemporary life have long inspired artists to reflect on humankind and the human condition, to explore human existence. Existentialist figuration focuses on the body as the central possibility of experience and as both the content and formal source of the wide-open field of visual arts. The struggle of modernist art to free itself from its dependence on the (human) body proved to be a utopian illusion, for the figure – whole or fragmented, barely perceptible or completely covered – remains the fundamental principle and the canon behind our visual perception of the world. Sooner or later, existential experience, transposed into the artistic expression of suggestive aesthetics, invalidates the many established ideas about humankind and the world, about social relations, the transparency of the world and the value of human action. In such works of art, we find visible traces of the process of painting or sculpting and the expressively structured layers of paint or the treatment of material, and figures are deformed following the example of expressionism, often represented as uncanny, even shocking, by means of unconventional and grotesque visualisation procedures.

“Discovering Art” is an educational portal where you can discover interesting facts about art and museums of art.

The online portal Discovering Art is the collaborative effort of four institutions:

Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb, Fundació Antoni Tàpies from Barcelona, Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina and Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Koroška from Slovenj Gradec.

The portal is part of the European project Performing the Museum.