Artists in the Collection

Petar Lubarda
(Ljubotinje, 27 July 1907 – Belgrade, 13 February 1974)


After leaving the School of Art in Belgrade and École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Lubarda dedicated himself to studying painting independently in the museums and galleries of the French capital (1926–1932). He used
to speak about his special artistic development, free from all direct influences. In his first stylistic opus, framed within his first and second stay in Paris (1938–1940), he built up a characteristic realistic expression with a gray-green tonality, which was revealed to the local public at his solo exhibitions in Belgrade (1933, 1934). He was later
noticed in Europe, where he received international awards (Paris, 1937 and Hague 1939). Lubarda trod the path from a realistic to an abstract visual language in his landscapes, as basic motifs: first the Paris landscape, where he started simplifying his colouristic expression about 1930, and then the Montenegrin landscape, which played a key role
twice. The first one was in the forming of the prewar style of “dramatic realism” (1932–1941) and later in the revolutionary movement which started around 1947, when these Montenegrin landscapes, presented at a solo exhibition in Belgrade in 1951, signified the beginning of associative abstraction in our country. Lubarda’s artistic mission was accompanied at the time by a social one, which was manifested in the founding of the School of Fine
Art at Cetinje, in 1947 (in cooperation with Milo Milunović), and the running of that institution in its initial stages. Due to the opening up of paintings to abstract visual language at the beginning of the fifties, all of Lubarda’s thematic preoccupations after 1951 found their place on the canvas, in constant transformations of form, colour and  space. That was a period when artists coming from these areas were at the very top of the international art scene, unique in our modern painting (awards in Sao Paolo in 1953, Tokyo in 1955, New York in 1956, Calcutta in 1970, Vienna in 1972, etc.). The dramatic interpretation of the subject matter, evocation of the national pathos of his Montenegrin homeland and an incessant reliance on things from the real world remain recognizable constants in Lubarda’s exceptionally prolific opus.