A retrospective exhibition that just opened in Zagreb a few days ago pays tribute to the late, great comic book artist Edvin “Eddy” Biuković, who left behind an immense body of work and who has had a far-reaching influence on this art form in Croatia and beyond.
Edvin Biuković, born in 1969, died quite tragically in 1999 due to a brain tumor. This put an end to a promising career, even though in the relatively brief 15 years of his active career he achieved considerable success, and broke into the demanding American comic book market. As fellow comic book artist Goran Sudžuka observed in the text he wrote for the book Retrospective, which was published to accompany the exhibition, in that short time, Biuković “left behind a legacy that makes him one of the best and most influential Croatian comic artists of all time.”
Although he got his start in the former Yugoslavia in the 1980s, Biuković gained an international reputation in the 1990s when his work began appearing in comics produced for American publishers. In that regard, his big break came in 1994, when Dark Horse Comics published the two-part story called Devils and Deaths by Biuković and writer Darko Macan, a part of the Grendel Tales series. He and Macan also collaborated on a sequel to that story, and a Star Wars story. Biuković also illustrated the well-regarded mini-series Human Target written by Peter Milligan.
The exhibition, simply entitled “Edvin Eddy Biuković – Restrospective,” opened in Zagreb’s prestigious Klovićevi Dvori Gallery on Thursday, October 26, 2017, and the opening ceremony was well-attended. The exhibition space encompasses an entire floor of the gallery and features works from every phase of Biuković’s productive career. The exhibition was conceptualized by Koraljka Jurčec Kos, Edvin Salihović and Sužduka. All three of them also worked together on the selection of the works to be exhibited, which includes finished comic book pages, individual illustrations, sketches and more. There are also several video presentations.
Speaking for the newspaper Večernji list, Salihović talked about how the idea for the exhibition arose. “After we set up a fan page on Facebook featuring Eddy’s comics, we sort of sparked a new interest in him. So I decided to organize a major exhibition, and I succeeded in that together with Goran Sudžuka, with cooperation from Eddy’s mother, who passed away in the meantime, and his cousin. We managed to gather all of his work that exists locally, and then we made a selection that I think will be interesting to the wider public.”
Jurčec Kos pointed out that choosing what to display was no easy task: “It became apparent during the selection of works that among the over eight hundred originals, almost every individual piece had equal value. To be sure, no such selection is simple, but this was particularly true in the case of an artist who was active for such a short time and then halted at the threshold of his artistic maturity by illness, and rapidly and irretrievably lost to the world of comics and illustration.”
The exhibition will remain open until December 10.
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