Artworks in the Collection

Petar LUBARDA
The Albanian (1937)


Painted in 1937, The Albanian was first exhibited as part of the collection of Pavle Beljanski in Sombor in 1945. Although a “contemporary” of the Roses and Church of St. Blasius, this work does not have the same visual characteristics. The brushstrokes are indeed freer, but the density of the facture is lower, the contrast weaker, the light and the tonal gradation are of a reduced register, and the expressive role of the line appears again in the mild deformation of the object. Such expressive means were necessary for the psychological analysis of the “gray” reality of the model’s life. On this canvas, as in the paintings entitled Porter, Boy from the Boat, The Orange Salesman, Šiptar (from the Museum of Modern Art in Belgrade), one can see Lubarda’s orientation towards a social topic. His interest in the events and physiognomy of ordinary life led him towards a higher level of engagement. The reminiscences of Krsto Hegedušić, one of the founders of the group “Earth” testify to this: “Lubarda was left-oriented and a supporter of the tendencies of the ‘Earth’ Association of Visual Artists. Together with a group of young Belgrade painters (V. Avakumović, M. Kujačić, Živanović- Noe, D. Jovanović, M. Stevanović and D. Beraković), he intended to found a Belgrade branch of ‘Earth’.” Lubarda wanted to make the truth about the common man visible, not by using symbols and metaphors, but in a completely realistic way. One could say that the social dimension in Lubarda’s painting was not so much the result of his conscious, and even less so of his programmatic social engagement, as it was the result of his powerful intuition, with which he managed to express the spirit of an age through the object. The artist’s sensitivity to the social and human preoccupations of that time got its visual expression in portraits of “dramatic realism”, such as The Albanian from the collection of Pavle Beljanski.

Petar Lubarda