(Soko Banja, 5. August 1921. – Belgrade, 19. June 1968.)
Aleksandar Tomašević graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade in 1952, and he perfected his conservation techniques in Paris in 1952-1953 and in Brussels in 1955. He was a member of the Independents with whom he exhibited in 1952, and he was also part of the December Group (1955-1960). He was a professor at the Academy of Applied Arts. He had solo exhibitions in Belgrade in 1952, 1954, 1967, and 1968, and a retrospective in the Cvijeta Zuzorić Art Pavilion in 1980. Latest posthumous exhibitions of his work were staged in the Rima Gallery in Kragujevac in 2010, and in the Sales Gallery in Belgrade in 2017. After the initial stage, which lasted from mid-1950s to early 1960s and was inspired by themes and methods of medieval painting (A Chalice With A Glass (1956), A Vase from Peć (1957), A White Chalice (1960), and The Patriarchy of Peć (1960) and others), Tomašević moved onto abstraction, and in two solo exhibitions staged one after another within a short period of time – in the Belgrade Officers’ Club Gallery in 1967 and in the ULUS Gallery in 1968 – he defined his unique and authentic understanding of art based on the intertwining of ancient spiritual heritage and contemporary formal language. On a distinctly innovative manner, he put forth “an idea of the past in modern art“, as this very important phenomenon in Serbian art of the 20th century was characterized by critic Lazar Trifunović. Characteristically, Tomašević named his last artistic creations Work (with a numeral), emphasizing their non-referential status with regard to their original sources of inspiration. The transition which Tomašević carried out in his two key solo exhibitions in 1967 and 1968 was precisely defined in the writings of Mila Rajković: „Tomašević completely left his earlier, tested, silent, tonal accords – the invocation of the ancient – and he set up new colors, modern ones, contrasts between red, blue, white, black. He also quit the classic background upon which he used to paint or engrave his linear signs and skeins, and elevated it in the plasticity of channeled wooden elements (triangles, squares, rectangles) from which he assembled paintings. Through purity, by fully quitting old emotionalities, he closed his circle, and contributed, in an entirely special manner, to the most modern problematic of geometric abstraction…“.
Aleksandar Tomasevic – Work 65 / n.n. Door (1968),<br>Colored fluted wooden elements, a diptych: the right wing, 160 cm x 65 cm
Work 65 / n.n. Door (1968)
Colored fluted wooden elements, a diptych: the right wing,
160 cm x 65 cm