Artworks in the Collection

Woman by the Table (1938)

His six-month stay in Paris in 1936 was a turning point in Gvozdenović’s life. Although he had spent much less time in Paris than most Serbian artists from that time, Gvozdenović became attached to the poetic painting of the Paris school. The art of the two masters of intimist painting in Paris, Bonnard and Vuillard suited his sensitivity best, their “careful linking of tones, on whose borders appear accents of intense colours.” Gvozdenović penetrated the very core of intimist
painting, and on his return from Paris he abandoned still-life for a while, immersing himself in landscapes and figures in the interior. Although the figure in the interior appeared in Gvozdenović’s painting early on in gouache, it was painted in oil only after his return from Paris. Enchanted by the magical atmosphere of the inner space, Gvozdenović painted two versions of the painting Woman by the Table (the other one is in the National Museum in Belgrade). Gvozdenović was interested in the figure-object-space relationship. The background consists of a tonally executed vertical of the wall and the horizontal of the floor (placed diagonally), there is a competitive relationship between the seated female figure and the table with a vase, covered with a decorative cloth. In the simple and firm composition “with a thick impasto and rich material structure”, dominated by two volumes (the woman and the table), Gvozdenović paid attention to the details as well: the pattern of the woman’s dress, the rug and the table cloth, which stand out like a relief against the neutral background. This painting represents further evidence that works from the Pavle Beljanski collection are essential
features in exhibitions of works painted between the two world wars: this painting was displayed at the exhibition of Seventy Works by Painters and Sculptors between 1920 and 1940 at the ULUS Gallery.

Nedeljko Gvozdenović