Artists in the Collection

Aleksandar Kumrić
(Kostajnica, 22 November 1898 – Belgrade, 12 June 1983)


Kumrić began his art studies at the Arts and Crafts College in Zagreb in 1917, (Prof. Lj. Babić) and continued as a part-time student, at the School of Art in Belgrade with Prof. Lj. Ivanović and M. Milovanović (1925–1929). He briefly undertook further studies in Vienna (1936) and Paris (1937–1938). He lived and worked in Novi Sad (1931–
1937) and Belgrade (after 1938), and was a member of the “Lada” Society of Serbian Artists (1940) and of ULUS (Association of Serbian Artists), in whose exhibitions he participated. He was a teacher at the ULUS Academy in Belgrade (1946–1947). He concentrated on stylistic formation alongside Milovanović and later he developed his impressionist sense of painting in Paris, particularly in the spirit of Monet. The poetics of impressionism shaped Kumrić’s choice of themes as well; his motifs primarily included seaside landscapes and the banks of the Danube and Sava rivers, panoramas, still-lifes, everyday scenes from the lives of Dalmatian fishermen, less frequently – portraits. For decades, the concept of painting had been based on the poetics of impressionism, whereas the motif
was dictated by the mood. Changes in such a creative approach can be recognized in more intense colouristic solutions, but the essence of the problem, which is manifested in examining the effects of light upon the countryside, would remain unchanged for a long time. The special lyricism and the light palette of the small strokes, the manner
of composition in still-lifes and figures in the interior characterized him, in the last decade before World War II, as a representative of the Belgrade intimistic circle. In later years, especially in the 1950s, he narrowed down the choice of colours and simplified the form, while enriching the facture by exploring matter in the thick and intense paste. At the very end of the decade he began an analysis of colouristic phenomena, whereby he conformed to the current trends of the renewal of classic values in a painting. In the seventh decade he made a sudden turn towards clear abstraction and he developed a system of his own of almost geometric and biomorphic forms in premeditated, subdued colouristic harmonies. With his abstract collages, he took an active part in contemporary processes of formal reduction and synthesis of form in Serbian painting in the manner of M. B. Protić and I. Tabaković.