March 3 - April 29, 2012
Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Gallery
A Bosnian of Muslim heritage, Tanja Softić grew up in Sarajevo where she received her undergraduate diploma in painting from the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of Sarajevo in 1988. While completing graduate studies in printmaking at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Va., (M.F.A. 1992), the Bosnian War erupted in her homeland half a world away, permanently altering the course of her life. Displaced and unable to return, Softić forged ahead, an émigré artist in a new environment and culture: the United States.
Softić’s works on paper explore the nature of memory, cultural identity, and national belonging experienced through the hybrid worldview of an immigrant. With a rich visual vocabulary that draws upon artistic, literary and scientific methods of inquiry, Softić creates intricately layered images full of iconography and association. Exquisitely rendered elements of landscape, microscopic life forms, architectural details and diagrams, obsolete geographical maps, astronomical charts, and anatomical fragments are combined to suggest a narrative that is deeply personal, yet easily adaptable to interpretation.
Softić is a recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Grant, National Endowment for the Arts/ Southern Arts Federation Visual Artist Fellowship and Soros Foundation – Open Society Institute Exhibition Support Grant. Her work is included in numerous collections in the U.S. and abroad, among them New York Public Library, Library of Congress Print Department and New South Wales Gallery of Art in Sydney, Australia. She participated in the 12th International Print Triennial in Krakow, Poland, and won a First Prize at the 5th Kochi International Triennial Exhibition of Prints, Ino-cho Paper Museum, Kochi, Japan, in 2002. She completed print projects at Flying Horse Press, Tamarind Institute and Anderson Ranch’s Patton Printshop. She is currently Professor of Art and Chair of the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Richmond, Richmond, Va.
The Walter Gropius Master Artists Series is funded through the generosity of the Estate of Roxanna Y. Booth, who wished to assist in the development of an art education program in accordance with the proposals of Walter Gropius, who designed the Museum’s Gropius Addition as well as the Gropius Studios. The Museum is indebted to Roxanna Y. Booth’s son, Alex Booth, for his participation in the concept development of the Gropius Master Artists Workshops.