Tanja Softić Bosnian/American, b. 1966


"I use languages of printmaking, drawing, photography and poetic text to explore questions of cultural belonging, hybridity and memory. I work on and with the paper, the substrate civilizations are recorded upon, the last bastion of tactility in our world of virtual images. The processes themselves and metaphors they offer, the physicality of paper and drawing media, the visual sources I use, all inform my work.


There is no discernible center of my images, and the floating elements come in and out of focus, alternatively anchoring and orbiting others, settling nowhere permanently. I use perspective, but not as illusionistic tool. I cultivate the space in drawing or print that is polyphonic and at times contradictory. The works are metaphorical maps of change, perishing and memory.  They beg for highly individualized, poetic translation. I hope that the viewer sees them the way one sees a familiar thicket of weeds one day, in particular moment, in particular light, suddenly awash in form and meaning."

—Tanja Softić


Born in Bosnia in 1966, Tanja Softić studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo and earned her M.F.A. in Printmaking from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia in 1992. She works across the media of printmaking, drawing, photography and book arts, and teaches at the University of Richmond. She 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 Grant. Her work is included in collections worldwide, among them those of the New York Public Library, Library of Congress Print Department and New South Wales Gallery of Art in Sydney, Australia.


2012     Theresa Pollak Award for Excellence in Visual Arts, Richmond, Virginia.
2009     Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant.

2009     Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Artist Fellowship in Drawing.

2008     Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Creative Fellowship, Virginia Center for Creative Arts.

2004     Painting Fellowship, Virginia Commission for the Arts, Richmond, Virginia.

2002     First Prize, The 5th Kochi International Triennial Exhibition of Prints, Ino-cho Paper Museum, Kochi, Japan.

1997     Open Society Fund—Bosnia and Herzegovina/Soros Foundation, Exhibition Support Grant.

1996-7   Visual Artist Fellowship

1996     Southern Arts Federation/National Endowment for the Arts

Museums and Public Collections

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

Atlanta College of Art and Design, Atlanta, Georgia.

Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand.

Boston Public Library’s Rare Books and Manuscripts Collection, Boston, Massachusetts.

Cornell Museum of Fine Arts, Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida.

Ino-Cho Paper Museum, Kochi, Japan.

International Center for Peace, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

New York Public Library, New York City.

Sheridan Libraries, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.

Johannes Stegman Art Gallery, University of the Orange Free State, South Africa.

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia.

Virginia Commonwealth University Cabell Library Special Collections.

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