Artworks in the Collection

Painter (1932)

Bijelić’s portrait of painter Zlatko Knežević was first exhibited in Belgrade in 1932 at the seventh exhibition of the group “Form”. On that occasion, out of a total of five paintings there were three of his portraits. Almost at the same time as the Painter, a large number of female studies were produced with a visible similarity to the works of Amadeo Modigliani, particularly in the caricature-like accentuated elements of the physiognomy. According to the claims of painter Petar Tješić, “the girls with the crooked necks” were produced with the Italian author in mind, whose work and bohemian nature was much admired by Bijelić during his stay in Paris. It is interesting that although these pieces are typified, they
have strikingly individual features. With only a few brushstrokes, Bijelić successfully solved the facial characteristics. And it is by this very reduction, complemented by colour effects, that his portraits from the first half of the 1940s differ from the realizations of the same motif from previous decades. The artist explained this in the following words: “The way I see the technical aspect, the way I see the model, all this has perhaps remained essentially the same, but there is another living, glaring colour, a bright and powerful colouristic truth, which I hold to be genuine indeed.”

Jovan Bijelić