Artworks in the Collection

Aleksandar KUMRIĆ
The Sava near Belgrade (1947)

The primary theme of the painting – the sticky atmosphere of a summer day on the river, the slow dynamics, the relaxed movement – reveals to us the artist’s relationship towards the act of creating as the surrendering to the pleasure of long-lasting painting where the optical recording of a phenomenon has never been separated from experience of the scene. The vivid visual reminiscences of youthful impressionism, the intimate feel of nature, the presence of people which is only hinted at, are the true values of this canvas. The unusual whitish background of the painting lends an extraordinary atmosphere of an almost festive light and of sublimity to a mundane, transient everyday moment. On the other hand, the different directions of movement on the painting represent intersecting trajectories. They suggest a geometrical structure in the painting which is not apparent at a first glance and which shapes the central frame of the composition – the way of building the composition was an indication of his future interest in abstraction. Also, we must not disregard the detail that the main line of movement leads from the small floating crane towards the high-tension pylon, suggesting working class reality and a thematic alibi for the artist, as opposed to the “decadent” work of art which perhaps would not have been justified before the authorities in the first post-war years of the socialist reconstruction of the country.

Aleksandar Kumrić