(Bosanski Novi, 16 February 1925 – Belgrade, 30 April 1992)
In addition to painting and graphic arts, Stojan Ćelić had numerous and important roles in and contributions to the Serbian art school as well as wider cultural audience of the second half of the 20th century. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in 1954, and he completed his special course in 1953, after which he became a professor at the institution. He was also a member of the December Group (1955-1960). He organized a series of solo exhibitions in Belgrade as well as in other art centres of the then Yugoslav state. He exhibited in the Yugoslav Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1964. He was a founding editor of the Art (Umetnost) magazine in 1965. He was awarded at the International Biennale of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana in 1969. He published, in addition to several monographs, books of criticial and thereotical writings on contemporary art: Between the World and the Painting (1981), The Fate of Sculpture (1994), From Another Angle (2012). In his voluminous painterly and graphic arts oeuvre, he passed through visible thematic and visual language changes, remaining always true to basic sources of a “reductive method“ marked by a strife to reduce object-related information, primarily landscapes, as well as their transposition and transformation into visual solutions as independent as possible. In painting this was done by coloristic and two-dimensional space, and in graphic arts and in drawing, these were linear visual solutions, with a constant feature of establishing an ideal of a harmonious compositional whole, in line with fundamental premises of formation of the postwar high modernism. In addition to the Mid-Summer I painting (1969), there were two others with the same motif and bearing the same title: Mid-Summer II (diptych), also painted in 1969, and Mid-Summer III (1974). The first one was exhibited at the IV Triennale in 1970, and it was recently shown at the 20 Years Without Stojan Ćelić exhibition in the Zepter Museum in 2012, when it was reproduced in the accompanying catalogue. The painting possess a very complex history of short-lived changes of ownership. It was purchased from the artist for a private Dutch collection, The Peter Stuyvesant Collection, established in 1960, which was formed upon advice of respectable art historians and museum directors in the Netherlands. With an aim of “humanization of workspace“ these works were exhibited in the installations of the Turmac tobacco factory in Zevenaar. Under the title A Museum Inside The Factory, this collection was shown in the Belgrade Museum of Contemporary Art in 1971.
Mid-Summer I (1969)
oil on canvas,
195 cm x 140 cm