Serbian Art

VicLeka, Belgrade

This is the last post on the arts scene in Belgrade and I want to use it to focus attention on the creative print-making of Leka (aka Alexsandar Mladenovic). His latest exhibition was inspired by the music of the British punk rock singer Vic Godard. The project evolved collaboratively, between Vic in England and Leka in Belgrade. The geography was bridged by the lyrics. Vic sent them to Leka: the original sheets, hand-written, and from 5, 10 or 20 years before. These words and the music to which they belonged inspired in turn a series of prints: Leka’s equivalents to Vic’s songs. This cross-cultural collaboration even extended to the catalogue, where one entry was written by me and the other by a Serb and historian of rock music. A double Anglo-Serbian, transcultural project. The exhibition was open at the Ozone Gallery in Belgrade from 10-20th July, and to rave reviews. You can read the catalogue text here: VicLeka text in pdf and you can find a very extensive account of the project here, on Vic Godard’s website in two parts: part 1 and part 2

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Terralha: European Festival of Ceramic Art, 2015


This four-day festival of ceramic art – which has now been around for more than 30 years – takes place every year in the picturesque town St Quentin-La-Poterie in the Gard region of France. Pottery has long roots here: it reaches back to at least Roman times but today still many artists make St Quentin their home, living and working in the old stone houses of its medieval centre and selling directly to the public from their studios. Looking, buying and talking about ceramics has long been one of the unique pleasures of this very special place. ‘Terralha’ is the name of St Quentin’s Ceramic Arts Administrative centre. The purpose-built premises include a museum, focussed on the historical dimensions of this type of art and an exhibition space, dedicated to changing displays from all over the world. It is this interface between the precisely local and the broader international that makes the St Quentin festival so distinctive.

st quentin la poterie

To be selected as an ‘exhibitor’ for the annual Festival is an achievement: the field is highly competitive: every year only 40 artists are selected by a jury and on the strength of a ‘dossier’. Twenty exhibit their art in the dedicated Terralha space; 20 more are given spaces and niches in the town ad these imaginative locations are chosen to highlight the unique aspects of their work.

invitation st quentin

And so it came to pass that Jovana Cavorovic from the Blatobran Studio in Belgrade became the first ever Serbian artist to be invited to the Terralha Festival. Her enormous, illuminated organic constructions were transported across difficult borders and re-erected in the special settings of St Quentin where amateurs and professionals, buyers and sellers, locals and tourists – no less than 4,600 festival visitors for the four-day festival – could see and experience their dimensions and beauties for the first time.

Jovana Cavorovic’s ceramic installation at the Terralha Festival, St Quentin La Poterie, France, 2015

Jovana Cavorovic’s ceramic installation at the Terralha Festival, St Quentin La Poterie, France, 2015

st quentin la poterie photo

Jovana (far left) along with her fellow artists, including this year’s prize winners: Zélie Rouby, Ismaël Carré and Nathalie Jover and Qihui Huang.

It is exactly these sorts of creative connections that have been the principal animus of my blog: writing about as well as actively creating networks between artists in the Balkans with those living and working beyond. In August I left Serbia for Tel Aviv and thus I travel towards new artistic horizons….But there is one more post about Belgrade that I need to make before I close. Once again it will commemorate some recent cultural networking, this time using print as the artistic connector between Serbian art and British punk.



Blatobran Ceramic Artists (iii): Ana Jakić Jevtović, Julija Draškoci, Minja Djurdjević, Marija Milin & Tatjana Paradjanin


Julija Draškoci graduated in 2009 from the department of ceramics at the Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade. She has been working since 2010 as a freelance artist, taking part in different group exhibitions.  “Clay, paper and different drawing/painting materials and tools are my physical instruments for work. I chose ceramics because it offers the possibility of locating a fine balance between order and chaos.  I am interested in the process of ceramics, how you get to a point where you think you have got it and then you discover that there is something more behind, the process is spiral or wave like.”


Minja Djurdjević was born in Belgrade Serbia in 1984 and graduated in 2009 from the Faculty of Applied Arts, Department of Ceramics, in the class of professor Velimir Vukicevic. She lives and works in Belgrade and has exhibited in numerous group shows and solo exhibitions. “The materials through which my art expresses itself are natural (clay, wire, glass). My inspiration comes from my imaginary world and this produces rich colour and magical forms. Mostly I produce small formats. I love it when the drawing is rich and following form. Inspiration is all around me I find it in nature, people, animals and the mostly love.”


Marija Milin was born in 1978 in Belgrade. She graduated from the Faculty of Applied Arts, department for ceramics in Belgrade in 2002. “The technique which I use is stoneware: ceramics burned in the high temperatures and then decorated with metal oxides and glazes.I build forms by hand; frequently I use a ceramic wheel, and different types of clay. This allows me to create forms inspired by nature, sometimes usable or transposed from vessel to sculpture.”


Tatjana Paradjanin

Tanja is one of Blatobran’s founders; she studied Landscape Architecture and Interior Design and started working with clay 10 years ago; she loves design and socially responsible design ( Her activities are related to environmental protection and innovation.

My thanks to Jovana for collecting the artist statements. For more information on these artists contact

Blatobran Ceramic Artists (ii): Jovana Čavorović, Bojana Ristevski and Ana Jakić Jevtović

jovana čavorović


Jovana Čavorović was born in Gornji Milanovac, Serbia 1985 and has been working in the field of ceramic art for the last five years. She graduated in 2010 from the department of ceramics at the University of Applied Arts in Belgrade. She has been exhibiting since 2007 and has participated in many solo & group exhibitions, symposiums and art related projects. These enormous illuminated sculptural projects have been selected for exhibition in France at the Terralha Festival, a European festival of ceramic art held every year at St Quentin la Poterie, Gard, for more information see                                                                                                                         

bojana ristevski

Bojana  Ristevski was born in 1985 in Belgrade. She graduated from the ceramics department at the Faculty of Applied Arts and Design in Belgrade in 2009. Since then she has participated in many exhibitions and projects both in Serbia and abroad. “The point of departure in my work is drawing. I try to transpose my drawings into ceramics. So you could say that drawing and form are my means of expression. I use a white surface for it to be clear and clean for the drawing. I like to build a form and play with it, searching for the right proportions and decoration, and getting the form back into its right position. I try to be personal in my work but the themes are changing, though the central inspirations remain: people, animals, food and my relationship towards them.


Ana Jakić Jevtović

Graduated from the ceramics department at the Faculty of Applied Arts and Design in Belgrade in 2003. She acquired the status of an independent artist in 2003 and has been teaching in the ‘Tehnoart’ professional school in the department of pottery. ‘My work is primarily oriented in two directions. First is the design of home-ware, based mostly on minimalist basic geometry – circles, cylinders, cubes etc., that have a multi-purpose character. This means that a cylinder may represent a vase, a candle-holder or a pot in one collection of items, all depending on the proportional relations of their simple geometry. I prefer earthy, natural colouring and an accent on subtle textures, comprised of text or other abstract shapes. Apart from home-ware, I’m involved in making porcelain jewelery and accessories in combination with other materials such as rubber, wood, silver and other metals.

The other aspect of my work is panel ceramic paintings. I experiment with various techniques and colouring on two-dimensional and mildly three-dimensional surfaces, raku and porcelain being the most common. I like the unpredictability of raku in combination with porcelain’s  clarity and it’s susceptibility for rich textures.

for more information on these artists contact

Blatobran Ceramic Artists (i) : Lana Tikveša, Aleksandar Vac & Nemanja Nikolić Prika

lana tikveša
Lana Tikveša

“My works often come to life in different styles, shapes and sizes. Sometimes they are large and colourful and resemble imaginary sea creatures or geological formations; sometimes they are complicated structures made of many different objects, with different surfaces and shapes that interact with one another. But for me they are always about the same thing: capturing and freezing a moment in time, with its special atmosphere and emotions that are hard to describe in words. In that sense, my objects are a quest for the true essence of feeling and movement. By modelling magic materials – clay and porcelain – that can change in structure, size and colour through different technological processes – is how I try and capture the true essence of life.” (Text from the artist, my thanks to Jovana Čavorocić)

aleksandar vac

Aleksandar Vac 

Aleksandar Vac was born in Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia in 1973. He graduated from the Department of Ceramics at the Academy of Applied Arts in Belgrade, where he now lives and works. Vac has participated in many national and international exhibitions and has been the recipient of many awards. His work combines the ancient technique of terra sigillata with a modern approach to form.

nemanja nikolić prika

Nemanja Nikolić Prika

‘I’m an artist who lives and works in Belgrade, Serbia. I graduated from the Ceramics Department at the Academy of Applied Arts in Belgrade in 2004. My art is expressed through different forms and shapes, from sculpture to illuminating objects where I use and combine a wide range of techniques and materials. I’ve been publishing and exhibiting nationally and internationally. I find paper porcelain as the best technical solution for presenting my interest in illuminated objects and experimenting with the integration of ceramic and light. When the light runs through the paper porcelain it creates a warm feeling in the spectator through the natural palette of colours from yellow to orange and red. I enjoy playing with the interventions on the surface which in the final product result from the extraordinary dance of light and shadows.’ (text from the artist, my thanks to Jovana Čavorocić)

All of these artists are exhibited at the gallery. For more information on these artists, contact

Ceramic Art: Blatobran Galerija, Belgrade

A new gallery dedicated solely to contemporary ceramic art has just opened in Belgrade. This light, bright attractive space, located in the fashionable Dorcal area, has been designed to showcase the work of a group of artists some of whom are directly associated with the Blatobran Workshop, a loose but ambitious group of ceramicists who teach and work in a shared studios. The selection currently on display is notable for its eclecticism and as such demonstrates the extraordinary versatility of clay as a medium: the pieces shown here are at once aesthetic, practical, sculptural and ornamental, criss-crossing categories so that lights, bowls, animals, objects and constructions harness light and shade, void and surface, colour and texture, size and technique in brilliantly creative ways. Artists exhibiting at the moment include professionals and amateurs as well as new and established artists, and many of whom are increasingly being recognised internationally. The display will change regularly and most pieces are for sale. The gallery is open daily. Gospodar Jevremova 38, Beograd,

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Saša Marjanović, Artwork, Belgrade

A fascinating exhibition of thirty-two drawings by an artist who completed his post-graduate studies in 2010 (Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Belgrade) and who has already won several awards and sent his work to exhibitions abroad (Italy, Slovakia, Switzerland and Japan). He uses lead pencil or black charcoal on white paper and his technique gives the drawings a monumental, sculptural quality that make them stick in your mind. Many are of children shown in ordinary ways – sitting, eating, reading or playing but there are also submarines at sea or drawings of nothing but the sea. The subjects are oddly varied; some relate to cinema (Bergman, Tarkovsky) while the blur looks to Richter. About 80% of the drawings have already been sold. The exhibition continues until February 16th 2015. At the Haos Gallery, Dositejeva 3, Belgrade

Boy with a Toy I, charcoal on paper, 100 x 140cm

Boy with a Toy I, charcoal on paper, 50 x 35cm


Praznina, ugljen na papiru 140 x 100 cm, 2014.

Void, graphite on paper, 140 x 100cm


Stepenice, ugljen na papiru, 100 x 140 cm, 2014.

Stairs, graphite on paper, 100 x 140cm


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Ratko Lalic, Drawings, Belgrade

Currently on display in an award-winning gallery specialising in the exhibition of drawings is a retrospective of a highly considered, internationally acclaimed, bosnian-born artist who lives and works in Belgrade. The drawings are witness to several decades of work and they all relate to Ratko Lalic’s intense engagement with the materiality of nature. Drawing means a mixture of pencil, pen, ink, watercolour, collage and paint. What it produces are zoomed-in explorations of trees, trunks, branches, paths, nests, birds, petals and stones. The images offer intricate, dense networks of criss-crossed lines that are set against delicate colour tints – pale greys and blues, whites, greens or browns – painted-in incompletely onto textured paper. Some look botanical, others architectural. The titles record subjects in general terms, yet the drawings give aesthetic and imaginative life to the very organic particulars of Sunflowers, Roots, Vines, Blades of Grass and Traces in the Snow. Lalic sells and exhibits all over the world. This exhibition is at the Haos Drawing Art Gallery, Dositejeva 3, 11000, Belgrade. From 12h to 20h every day until 21st November 2014 see

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Keyword: Printmaking


Bojan Otasevic


Danja Tekic


Jelena Sredanovic


Milena Maksimovic

This was the first ever public exhibition by PhD students in the print-making department of the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Belgrade. The three exhibitions highlight the sophistication with which old and new print methods are being used (and often combined) while the prints themselves demonstrate how the process of print-making is always integral to the conceptualisation of the subject. Shown here, from the top down: Bojan Otasevic reworking themes relating to Durer’s Melancolia in explosive pictorial colour; Danja Tekic’s lithographies (one of six) achieving a subtle interplay of abstract form and tonal hue; Jelena Sredanovic’s monumental wood-cut, minutely worked of celestial heights and Milena Maksimovic using thin rice paper to aquatint human-animal dualities and opposites. The display is huge and was organised across several venues in Belgrade (Galerija Grafički, Galerija Fakulteta Likovnih Umetnosti, Galerija Akademia). Parts of the show are travelling onto Bosnia and can be seen at the Gallery Prijedor in Prijedor, Republika Srpska from mid July to mid August 2014.

Vladimir Milanović wins the Great Seal Award, 2014

The Great Seal Award is the most prestigious prize for print-making in Serbia and it has just been won by Vladimir Milanović for the digital print School, a detail of which features on the headline to this blog. The award is organized by the Gallery Grafički Kolektiv in Belgrade which was founded in 1949 as a specialised centre for art in print in Yugoslavia. It’s still going strong; they organise exhibitions of national and international importance, every year conferring the Great Seal as a form of National Recognition in the field of Print Art. There were 100 contenders for this year’s prize, artists, students and professors. The work is on show until the 7th June at the Gallery, Milanović (born Belgrade, 1979) lives, works and teaches in the city. All prints are for sale at

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