For the end of the year, Modern Gallery Belgrade presents a selection of 20 works in the exhibition entitled “Expression of color and gesture of the fifties.” The exhibition consists of works by eleven authors from ten different private collections. The public will be able to see the works of artists: Milan Konjović, Petar Lubarda, Jovan Bijelić, Peđa Milosavljević, Zora Petrović, Nedeljko Gvozdenović, Ljubica Cuca Sokić, Milo Milunović, Stojan Aralica, Ivan Radović and Marko Čelebonović until December 30, 2023.
Expressionism as a stylistic direction played a key role in the rejection of socialist realism and the formation of the personal authorial expression of the greatest Yugoslav artists of the 20th century. The period of Serbian and Yugoslav art after 1950 was marked by processes of continuity and discontinuity, as stated by Miodrag B. Protic. Continuity is mainly embodied by the painters of the pre-war generations, still in full force, who after the collapse of socialist realism and the break with the USSR actualized variants of colorism and expressionism.
Konjović condenses his Vojvodina region into an affective, distinctly expressive code; Bijelić – “abstract landscape” touches action painting. Echoes of poetic realism and intimacy persist in the new stylization, which are either lyrically dynamized (Radović, Milosavljević, Gvozdenović) or slightly geometrically structured (Ljubica Cuca Sokić). The discontinuity is embodied first by supporters of the same generation who are the personae dramatis of the moment, and then by young people.
The turning point happened in 1951, with Petar Lubarda’s (1907-1974) historical exhibition. It reduces legends from national history and the Montenegrin epic landscape to a new form of autonomous image, to a multi-meaning brightly colored metaphor. Milo Milunović (1897-1967) also belongs to the Mediterranean spiritual climate, who, despite the sound of the line, blue and crimson colors, preserved his Cartesian basis.
With strong colors and bold gestures, painters expressed their own perception of the world. A special personality, the depths of the human soul and feelings have influenced and changed the artistic perception of reality, which the artist translates into the image through form. The form becomes a field of search for the personal authorial expression of each of the artists.
Among the most prominent painters whose expressionist phase was particularly significant are Milan Konjovic, Jovan Bijelić, Peđa Milosavljević, Nedeljko Gvozdenović, Ljubica Cuca Sokić, Milo Milunović, Stojan Aralica, Ivan Radović and Petar Lubarda. Playing with form, reducing it to colored surfaces and an emotionally intoned line, while stopping at the threshold of abstraction, is one of the main characteristics of their oeuvre in that period.
The Belgrade audience will have the opportunity to see the works of the aforementioned painters as part of the December exhibition of the Modern Gallery Belgrade at Strahinjića Bana Street 8, every working day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. until December 30, 2023.