IVANA TOMLJENOVIĆ – MELLER
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Ivana Tomljenović Meller (Zagreb, 1906-1988) studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb from 1924 to 1928 in the class of the famous painter and pedagogue Ljubo Babić. In 1929 Tomljenović moved to Dessau, and enrolled at the Bauhaus. She graduated from a preparatory course under Josef Albers and started studying photography with Walter Peterhansa. Her dominant interests were poster design and photo – editing. The poster Dictatorship in Yugoslavia (1930) is considered her most important work. In the third semester at Bauhaus, Tomljenović abandoned her studies and moved to Berlin, and in 1931. to Paris. Between 1933 – 1935, she worked in Prague, where in collaboration with her husband A. Meller, she created kinetic arrangements for department store windows. Tomljenovic worked as an art lecturer in Belgrade (1935 – 1938) and Zagreb (1938-1962).
The photography Tomljenović created while at Bauhaus demonstrates all the features of the new sensitivity and visual culture of the time: vertical perspective, lower angle, occasionally bizarre themes, light-shadow contrasts, double exposition, experimentation with negatives and photomontages. Furthermore, with her camera Tomljenović captured the dynamic and enthusiastic atmosphere of Dessau’s Bauhaus. Her photographs represent the everyday life of Bauhaus students, her friends and acquaintances, and also her unquestionable orientation towards the new aesthetics of the photographic image. Her photo-montage “Diktatur in Jugoslawien” from 1930, is an excellent example of the new aesthetic and formal solution taught at the Bauhaus during those years.
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