Competition: US & Canada
In his graphic work, Endi Poskovic invokes influences as disparate as early cinema, classic Japanese woodcut prints, devotional pictures, and Eastern European propaganda posters. By combining visual representation with text, Poskovic shifts the reading of the image by providing a new context for the viewer to continually reinterpret. Reminiscent of youthful whimsy and playful fantasy, the unsettling juxtapositions and invented constructions in Poskovic’s prints convey a sense of the habitual, like a window into the everyday reality of a different world. The hybridized narratives of toy-like objects and fantastic landscapes in Poskovic’s work imply stories from personal and social histories, referencing themes of displacement, shifting cultural identity, environmental transformation, migration, and alienation—all of which are presented in images that are as tragic as they are magnificent.
Endi Poskovic was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in1969. From an early age he studied music and art, which eventually led to performances of traditional music and songs of the Balkans at festivals throughout Europe and the Middle East. Poskovic completed his B.F.A. at the University of Sarajevo Academy of Fine Arts in 1990. A Minnefindet Scholarship, funded by the Norwegian government, enabled him to live in Norway for a year to study art as well as the Nynorsk language and culture. From Norway, Poskovic moved to the United States to study with Harvey Breverman and Adele Henderson at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he earned his M.F.A. in 1993.
Poskovic has been the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, most recently from the John D. Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Study Center in Italy and the Open Studio Centre in Canada. Other notable awards include grants and fellowships from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Camargo Foundation in France, MacDowell Colony, Art Matters Foundation, New York State Arts Council, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Indiana Arts Commission, Confucius Institute, Durfee Foundation, Flemish Ministry of Culture-Frans Masereel Centrum in Belgium, Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies, McColl Center for Visual Arts, Can Serrat International Art Centre in Spain, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Kala Art Institute, Valparaiso Foundation in Spain, and the University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies.
Widely exhibited, Poskovic has presented his prints in some of the most prestigious venues for print media, most recently in the 14th Taipei International Print Biennial, and the 2009 Krakow International Print Triennial. He has also shown work in the Egyptian International Print Triennial, La Biennale Internationale d’Estampe Contemporaine de Trois-Rivières in Canada, Deutsche Internationale Grafik-Triennale in Frechen, Tallinn International Triennial in Estonia, Xylon International Triennale in France, and Ljubljana International Graphic Arts Biennale in Slovenia. Comprehensive surveys of Poskovic’s prints have been organized by the Philadelphia Print Center in 2001, the Des Moines Art Center in 2006, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in 2007, and again in 2008 by the Frans Masereel Museum in Belgium—which traveled to Stad Leuven Academie en Conservatorium and Atelier Vrije Grafiek, Academie voor Beeldende Kunst-Ghent.
Works by Endi Poskovic are in many permanent collections, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Royal Antwerp Museum of Fine Arts, Centre National des Arts Plastiques in Cairo, the Fogg Art Museum—Harvard University, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, New Orleans Museum of Art, Orange County Museum of Art in California, the Kennedy Museum of American Art, the University of Iowa Museum of Art, Des Moines Art Center, Seattle Arts Commission, The Krakow International Print Triennial Society Museum of Art, Tampa Museum of Fine Arts, Vaasa Ostrobothnian Museum in Finland, and the Musée d’Art Contemporain Fernet Branca-Saint-Louis in France.
Poskovic is a Professor at the University of Michigan School of Art and Design, as well as at the University of Michigan Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies.
Poskovic’s current series of lithographic prints and animations are a roman à clef reminiscing Mostar, a city with several distinct ethnic communities in Southern Bosnia and Herzegovina. Through faith in the process of drawing, the series offers a personal tale of displacement and discovery.
Profile photograph by Julie Visco.