Artworks in the Collection

Milan KONJOVIĆ
Sun over Bačka (1956)


The Sun over Bačka was painted in the painters’ colony in Ečka. Milan Konjović’s first participations in an art colony in Vojvodina coincided with a stylistic turnabout in his painting at the beginning of the 1950s. The fruit of a new feeling about the time and the era was first materialized in the artist’s studio: he started painting stilllifes, interiors with simplified, geometrically stylized shapes and intense colours, sacrificing his gestural stroke and dynamic idiom
to the monumental and unique rhythm of his artwork. The areas of clear colours are outlined by broad black contours, and instead of the classical perspective, the emphasis is on the two-dimensionality of the painting. In artists colonies Konjović transferred his new experiences into landscapes and figural compositions: through transposition and synthesis, he turned elements of reality into visual symbols woven into a firm architectural composition, which lent an extraordinary strength and homogeneity to these pieces. Konjović explained his sudden turnabout in painting from
his “gray” to his “colouristic period” as follows: “There was some criticism about the exhibition entitled ‘The Independent’ which said that I stagnated, that I was not developing, so I thought about that. In 1953, I painted a still-life ‘Nature morte 53 II’ in which I saw the essence: colour, composition and strength. Then the boil burst. I transposed what I saw in the same way in landscapes – geometrical colourism.” Enthusiastic about the motifs and the environment in general, Konjović always advocated a personal expression about one’s own time and surroundings,
because “only authentic painting,” he used to say, ”which is firmly linked with the artist’s native soil, has its place and value.” Pavle Beljanski bought the painting from the painter in June 1957.

Milan Konjović