(Bajmok, 16. March 1912. – Belgrade, 26. January 2008.)
Ana Bešlić graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade in 1947 and completed her postgraduate studies in 1949. She was an associate in the Toma Rosandić’s Master Workshop in 1950-1955. She had her first solo exhibition in Subotica in 1954. She was a member of the Prostor 8 group (1957-1958). On several occasions, she took part at the exhibitions of contemporary Yugoslav art abroad. Had solo exhibitions in Belgrade: in the Art Pavilion in 1959, in the Youth Center Gallery in 1970, in the Salon of the Museum of Contemporary Art in 1973, in the Cultural Center Gallery in 1979 and 1985. She received the October Award in 1979, and a retrospective exhibition of her work was staged in the Subotica City Museum in 1983.
The formation of Bešlić as a sculptor started and took place in the late 1940s and during the 1950s within the context of social, cultural and artistic changes and processes of quitting socialist realism as well as through a move towards postwar modernism. Among the first in Serbian sculpture, she introduced associative forms (Bone (1953), Torso (1954), and others), and then purely abstract forms (Two Forms (1957), Sculpture (1962), and others), following role models of – as she put it herself – Henry Moore and Jean Arp. A large transformation in the sculpture of Ana Bešlić came about after her study trip to Germany in 1966 where and when she discovered polyester as a new sculpting material which, in the Open Forms cycle, made it possible for the introduction of color and separation of the hitherto compact bloc of plastic body. In her late period, she returned to figurative themes of portrait and self-portrait, as well as to objective motifs (in the cycles such as Portraits (1978-1983), and Pillows (1987-1988)). Regarding associative and abstract forms, she wrote the following about her own understanding of sculpture: “This was a phase of oblique, reduced biological form with emphasized associative overtones. Its main movers were the wish to resolve the expansion of inner tension, and the wish to have it logically result in a certain sensibility, and there was also the need to ensure durability of sculpture as a new reality“. And, in another place: “The object is irrelevant, it is important only as a stimulus, a challenge… In the creation of a work of art, the object points to a real existing source which, in a synthesized shaping endures as a free associativity…“. The Sanja With A Beret sculpture belongs to the Portraits series (1978-1983), the artist’s late period, which M. Šuvaković referred to as “a field of sculpture ’after modernity’“, that, according to him, assumed “that it moves from a modern developmental historicism into a hybric and plular field of momentary sculptural reflections…“.
Sanja u beretki (1979)
38 cm x 32 cm