The Vojvodina-based designer’s exhibition opened at the CHF Pula gallery, with academy educated painter of Croatian-Italian extraction Igor (Medović) Gustini giving an analysis of Vuković’s many fascinating posters.

The 19th I Dream of Books Fair in Istria County opened December 5th at the Croatian Veterans’ Hall in Pula. The book fair is one of the major events of its kind in Croatia and, during its ten days, a gathering place for other artists. Guests of the book fair in Istria County this year are well-known Vojvodina artists Tomislav Žigmanov, a writer of broad scope, and graphic design artist Darko Vuković.
Vuković’s exhibition Posters Non-Posters opened at the gallery of the Pula branch office of the Croatian Heritage Foundation Monday, December 9th. Tomislav Žigmanov took part in a round table discussion on All the Literatures of Vojvodina.
Ana Bedrina, head of the CHF branch office in Pula welcomed the guests from Vojvodina at the opening of the exhibition. Tomislav Žigmanov spoke of the context of the history of the city in which graphic design artist Vuković created his very expressive work.
Academy educated painter of Croatian-Italian extraction Igor (Medović) Gustini gave a very dynamic analysis of Vuković’s many fascinating and documentary posters.
His presentation opened with a quote from British transport administrator Frank Pick that “good design is intelligence made visible,” which graphically expresses the significance and achievement of Vojvodina Croatian designer Darko Vuković.
He also noted the great significance of the poster, noting that, “if we look carefully, the art history of the 20th century is entirely ‘covered’ by posters. From the legacy of post-impressionism to the present time almost every artistic avant-garde used posters for some purpose. One can almost not imagine, for example, Italian Futurism, Russian Constructivism, German Bauhaus or American pop art without this medium of graphic communication.
Used for political purposes, posters have marked all totalitarian regimes, and all democracies have also made use of them. Posters of various shape and content have always surrounded us and are often the first stage of visual communication, from mundane advertisements to announcements of various offers of cultural and tourism “consumerism.”
Darko Vuković’s posters contain all the potential power of direct communication and never cross the boundary into visual aggression or mawkish artistic forms. With personal visual solutions, free of redundant iconography and with an always meticulous choice of colour, the author sends a clear message to the viewer, and also reveals his own worldview.” This can best be read from the selection of posters that this designer and professor at the Novi Sad academy has created over many years, most for Croatian theatres, from Split and Osijek to Požega and Vinkovci, and for numerous theatre festivals in the broader region the significance and repertoire of which is very boldly depicted at the moment of their creation – as he noted at the opening of the exhibition, “Many stage plays have come and gone, while the posters remain as indelible traces of what was communicated in a given moment.”
Gustini emphasised that “Vuković’s posters are also in step with the time in which we live, with quality of content and a refined aspect, in a complete harmony of form and message in the whole. In some posters we find messages that can be read from both sides: when scissors become keys, when the pen becomes a weapon, when clothespins sprout legs, when a pistol turns into a guitar or fountain pen… while a poster featuring the European Union’s yellow stars and a dominant yellow crescent moon as a commentary of the current permanent standby attitude of the EU towards Turkey… while film critic Mate Ćurić in the Glas Istre daily newspaper notes that Vuković is somewhere in the same range of media achievement as Boris Ljubičić, or of the aesthetic achievements of Mirko Ilić, Bruketa&Žinić or Predrag Spasojević with whom he alternately worked on theatre projects in Split – certainly of significant merit.”

Text by: Ana Bedrina