Miodrag Mića Popović
Miodrag Mića Popović
(Loznica, 12 June 1923 – Belgrade, 22 December 1996)
Mića Popović started his painting studies at the Academy of Visual Arts in Belgrade in 1946 but because of his participation in the Zadar Group in 1947, he was forced to definitely quit and continue his artistic activity on his own. His first solo exhibition, followed by an important own introduction in the catalogue, was staged in the Cvijeta Zuzorić Art Pavilion in 1950. Solo exhibitions in Belgrade followed in 1952 (The Nepričava Village) and in 1954 (Out of Fog, Out of Bones). He also staged a solo exhibition in Paris in 1953. After his Parisian stay in 1956 and in the Breton island of Bréhat (Île-de-Bréhat), together with Vera Božičković Popović, he started to experiment with the introduction of non-painterly means and application of anti-pictural methods which represented an introduction into the Art Informel period. He exhibited the works from the first phase of informalism at a solo exhibition in the Museum of Applied Arts in Belgrade in 1960, and works from his mature phase in the Salon of the Modern Gallery in 1963 (with an introduction in the catalogue by Lazar Trifunović). In addition to fully abstract paintings with titles such as Composition, White Painting, Large Black Painting, Black Composition and so forth, he retained associative attributes of abstract landscapes in paintings such as Quarry, Enclosed Landscape, The Village of Katići Under Mount Mučanj, Large Synthetic Landscape and others from the early 1960s. In his major paintings such as Initial (1963) and Basis (1963), both in the Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as in the Destroyed Bridges painting (1964) now in the Noveski collection, he used a complex technological method of putting inside the picture found items and concrete materials introduced in the surrounding of thick layers of colors applied on the surface burnt with flames and spilled over with various liquids, nevertheless taking into account that these mutually disparate fragments and destructive tackling fit into an order of sorted out and controlled relationships. After 1964, he entered the phase of “a long dying out of informalism“, so that he would move onto, with an exhibition in the Salon of the Museum of Contemporary Art in 1971, a phase of socially engaged figurative “Scenes Painting“. In addition to painting, in the totality of Popović’s oeuvre, an important and significant place was occupied by film directing (The Man from the Oak Forest, 1963; Swarm, 1966; Hassan Agha’s Wife, 1967, Madmen, 1969, Burdush, 1970), and literature (Clashes and Harmonies, 1954, Picnic, 1957, In the Studio Before the Night Fell, 1962, and others).