Female Nude, 1934.
Hinko Juhn (1891-1940)
Sign. d. m.
Inv. No. 50/02
Characteristic of Juhn’s works is his striving towards the beautiful, simple, and pleasant representations in tenuous material. His best creations were made in the art deco period, the 1920s and 1930s, where one perceives the influence of a modified expressionism in figures with massive limbs. Juhn was renowned for his significant works in ceramic. From 1930 he returned to the classical sculptural materials, including wood. In the spirit of the time he sculpted massive figures, mostly nudes with hypertrophied limbs. One such representation is the female nude in wood relief in the Art Collection at the Royal Compound in Belgrade. This work was exhibited, together with another similar sculpture at the Sixth Spring Exhibition of Yugoslav Painters and Sculptors (1934). The same representation of a nude woman, made in plaster, is kept in the local museum at Našice. It is possible that Juhn transferred the plaster model to wood. Proof of such practice is another plaster sculpture of a standing nude female figure pleating her hair from the same period, which also has its pendant in walnut wood and in relief.
He was born in Podgorač, near Našice. In Zagreb he attended the School for Crafts and later the High School for Arts and Crafts in the class of professors Robert Frangeš and Rudolf Valdec. He specialised at the International Academy in Florence, where, in 1912, he organised his first solo exhibition. Later on, he attended specialised courses in ceramic art in Vienna. He was the first formally educated ceramist in the region. He created and ran the Department of Ceramic Art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, and later the Department of Ceramics at the Industrial School. He should be merited for the education of generations of artists who promoted ceramics as art.