Artists in the Collection

Ljubica Cuca Sokić
(Bitolj, 9 December 1914 – Belgrade, 8 January 2009)


Ljubica Sokić enrolled in the School of Art in Belgrade in 1930, encouraged by Zora Petrović, who instilled into her the first love of painting, with the advice she would always adhere to –“solve everything exclusively through visual art.” Having completed the Teaching Department (1934) and an Academic Course (1936) she continued her further
studies in Paris until 1939, where she studied the works of Cézanne, Chardin, Courbet, Corot, Bonnard, Vuillard, Matisse, Braque, and Picasso. She was one of the founders of the group “The Ten” in 1940. As a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade (1948–1972) she influenced the many generations of successful painters. She was elected a corresponding member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SANU) in 1968 and a full member
in 1978. She won many prestigious awards. She was a distinguished illustrator of children’s books and magazines. The art of Cuca Sokić belongs to the mature modernism of the thirties, between the two world wars, which was oriented towards a visual language that transcended nationality. Her elegiac and intimist painting is based on the classical
motifs – portraits, landscapes, urban panoramas, still-lifes – whose visual characteristics classify itas the “Belgrade School”. After a short period of sterner and drier materialization of form during the mid and late 1940s, her work gradually moved towards synthetic forms: recording the essence of the subject, simplified composition and a subdued
colour gamut, especially from 1952, when she spent time in Paris with D. Ristić. Through sophisticated visual relations, she strove towards a precise definition of the simple and noble, refined and humane character independently of any narration, thus advocating the poetics of the small, the common, the everyday in a lyrical but not sentimental way. For a while, she boldly immersed herself in experimenting with materials and geometric forms. Although in her art she always started from reality, her way of thinking was abstract: she was not interested in depicting reality through the appearance of the subject, but through realizations reached by means of impressions and clues left by the subject. That is why the art of Cuca Sokić defies the usual definitions and clear classification.