Artworks in the Collection

My Backyard (1956)

In 1939, when the collection of his reproductions entitled 33 Years of Painting the Outskirts of Belgrade was published, Borivoje Stevanović had already painted numerous canvases with themes from the suburbs of Marinkova Bara, from Dušanovac and Voždovac or from Pašino brdo. Since he had definitely decided on a technique, the painter had turned the search for a motif into his main objective. Nothing would change significantly in the years after the 1950s, only his range of movement would gradually decrease to end up in the late years of the decade in his own backyard. The painting My Backyard from 1956 was exactly such a motif. With regard to the formal structure, one can recognize the strokes with which the painter applied his pastose layers of ochre, green and grayishblue shades: their steadiness bordering on virtuosity, they are mainly horizontal, with seldom, mild arabesques. The basic greenred contrast is also characteristic of Stevanović’s paintings and it is in this, among other things, that they differ from those of his contemporaries regardless of which generation or artistic orientation they belonged to. Namely, there was always a hint of olive in his green, while his favorite pink gradually changed into a somewhat sharper terracotta red. On the other hand, the wide spectrum of the artist’s well-known inner experience: it served as an inexhaustible source of inspiration for poetic descriptions. The painting My Backyard is less of an elegiac meditation and much more a simple dithyramb to the sun, and its cheerful verses express a discreet and quiet joy of living and optimism.

Borivoje Stevanović