Artworks in the Collection

Liza KRIŽANIĆ
View of Belgrade (1953)


Of the seventy or so known city motifs done in oil to which Liza Križanić began to devote her attention from 1945, half are connected to Belgrade. She particularly liked panoramas featuring the Sava and Danube rivers, which could be seen from her flat in Prizrenska Street, from the nearby “Moskva” Hotel and other places dear to her. Then there was the spacious Terazije Square and certain monumental buildings (the Parliament, the railway station, the Pančevo Bridge). It seemed as if she had fulfilled the demands of socialist realism with her views of Novi Beograd under construction
(1948), but she never strayed from intimism, her own poetics and lyrical orientation, to which she remained faithful even when she approached a more expressive artistic expression. Even then she painted scenes enriched by architectural structures that follow each other as blots of paint, rhythms of geometrized areas, stirring of emotions, and not the topographically accurate rendering of what she saw. The View of Belgrade also asserts that she had a respect for the visual and the colourist harmony of a chosen segment of the periphery with the city visible in the distance, that she was more accurate in the foreground but that her eyes soared towards the spacious vistas, endless horizons and the wide expanse of the sky which obscured details and turned everything into atmosphere. This work remains as a trace of her resistance to time, as evidence that seemingly disinterested painters were, in their own way, active participants in the struggle for the freedom of expression and the right of the individual to express himself or herself in their own ways, in an everlasting dialogue with nature, stepping aside from the current trends in contemporary art which hurtle unstoppably towards unexplored possibilities and new aesthetic postulates.

Liza Križanić