Nihad-Nino Pushija

1965, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Hercegovina


Down There Where the Spirit Meets the Bone (2), 1995 – ongoing

Series of 3 photographs, 30 x 42 cm

Acquisition: Gift by the artist

Reference: 05275 (2)


Nihad Nino Pušija is a photographer now based in Berlin. Born in Sarajevo, Bosnia, in 1965, he studied journalism at the city’s university. Subsequently he worked as a trainee photojournalist and photo illustrator for the Bosnian independent daily newspaper Oslobodjenje in Sarajevo. Before moving to Berlin in 1992, he worked on photo projects and studied in England, Belgium, Italy and the United States. In 1994 he was at the helm for the project ‘Zyklop foto fabrik’ (Cyclops Photo Factory) in Germany, which involved a group of young artists who were forced to abandon their studies because of the Yugoslavian war. In the project, which was supported by Kunstamt Kreuzberg and NGBK (New Society of Fine Art), they explored the themes of Bosnia, refugees, conflict resolution, integration and Roma in Europe. Pušija attended Marina Abramović’s classes at the Academy of Arts in Braunschweig in 2001, and exhibited in Paradise Lost, the 1st Roma Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2007.

He chose to live and work in Berlin because he found there was no other metropolis in the world in which two divided halves were trying to grow back together. Trying to capture both the division and merging of the Eastern and Western Blocs, he explores Berlin as a microcosm of streets, food stands and park benches – as change is in progress steadily. In this context, the faces inhabiting the pictures become projections of events. He considers photography to be a medium for (re)gaining one’s identity and self-image, both for himself as an artist and for his subjects.

Aiming to communicate his own experiences as part of a whole, his portraits of Roma people make them and their unique personal stories the focus of attention. These photographs of individuals become defining documentaries for whole groups of people. Pušija’s artistic goal is to seek out microcosms where he lives and works, so that the resulting photographs defy the vague generalisations of his surroundings and daily life.


1931, Kraljevo, Serbia – 1991, Bosnia and Hercegovina


G – 1/79, 1979

Silkscreen on paper, 84 x 60 cm

Edition: a.p., inscription b.l. E.A. serigrafija; b.c. „G 1/79“; b.r. (handwritten signature)/79

Acquisition: Gift

Reference: 02814

1946, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Hercegovina – 2013, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Hercegovina


In the Garden, 1983

Acrylic on canvas, 180 x 142 cm

Acquisition: Purchased

Reference: 04813



Radoslav Tadić was of an age to witness the founding of the Sarajevo Art Academy, to be one of its first students, and later, after time spent pursuing doctoral studies in Ljubljana, to become one of its most prominent tutors and administrators. In the 1980s, Tadić’s career showed the agility and adaptability that is the trademark of all Sarajevo artists; moving with ease between the life of the academy, the art politics and administration of ULUBIH, and the artist-run manifestations of Yugoslav Dokumenta in 1987 and 1989. All this, alongside a growing exhibiting profile both within and beyond the borders of the former Yugoslavia. But this summary of the artist’s main achievements tends to focus attention away from the foundations of his prominent position- an uncompromising and ceaselessly inventive practice. Having initially had a background in medicine, Tadić turned to art on the foundation of the academy in Sarajevo in 1972. His early self portrait above shows an already very assured grasp of colour and composition; the livid green background gives his face a ghostly and impermanent presence, almost as though he is inviting the viewer to consider *how* the image has been painted, rather than the features of the person who created it. 

In the early 1980s Tadić became fully immersed in the mechanics, poetics and structure of painting, a process which perhaps can best be seen in his series of paintings entitled In the Garden. Vlastimir Kusik, writing in the catalogue for Yugoslav Dokumenta ’87, perhaps summed up these fundamental re-evaluations the best: “For Radoslav Tadić, the vocation of a painter is a pre-requiste for any artistic attitude and choice. Even when he became distrustful of painting, he still painted, because this was the only way of his expression. Painting as act was analytical in process and primary in treatment. The result was a painting as a recording of an attitude which annuled the painting itself…It annuled the skill of painting, reducing it to a primary activity.” In this sense, then, paintings such as In the Garden, a mosaic of coolly thought-through pointillism and vigorous, quickly applied primary blocks of colour, can be read as a mosaic of attitudes during the work’s composition, as much as a statement of aesthetic intent. Towards the end of the 1980s Tadić’s critical reflections on painting led him into a series of sculptural works, which, much like his painting of the time, were a means of analysing and deconstructing the processes of making, in order to discover more about the nature of the art-object. This expanded practice was on display prominently at the Yugoslav Dokumenta show of 1989; alongside an acrylic painting, Tadić made the witty outline of a window frame on the floor, holding up the previously unexamined random cracks and imperfections in the tiles to the “aesthetic scrutiny” of the visitor; turning, in a subtle way, the gallery visitors process of evaluation and analytical experience against themselves.

Tadić continued to make work and exhibit as he could during the siege of Sarajevo, and attend to the work of the students who were left at the Academy. The maps works he made during this period, subsequently, were exhibited all over the world and identified Tadić as one of wartime Sarajevo’s most prominent cultural figures. In the last decade of his life, he continued to maintain a significant international exhibiting profile and was regularly shown in Sarajevo’s exhibiting spaces, particularly Collegium Artisticum.

Source from: – Sarajevo Culture Bureau

1931, Krbavica, Croatia – 2016, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Hercegovina 


Embryo, 1979

Wood, rope, 42 х 52 х 30 cm

Acquisition: Purchased

Reference: 04746