Velizar Vasa Mihić (Vasa Velizar Mihich)

Velizar Vasa Mihić (Vasa Velizar Mihich)

(Belgrade, 1933)

Mihić graduated from the Academy of Applied Arts in Belgrade where he in 1956 and 1959 staged two solo exhibitions in the Graphic Arts Collective Gallery. Following a brief stay in Paris, in 1960, he moved to Los Angeles where he his work was first exhibited at the New Modes in Californian Painting and Sculpture exhibition in La Jolla in 1966. He staged his first solo exhibitions in Los Angeles in the Feigen-Palmer Gallery in 1966, and in the Herbert Palmer Gallery in 1967. His participation in the American Sculpture of the Sixties exhibition in the Los Angeles Museum of Modern Art (LACMA) was a key factor in the building of his reputation, after which numerous group and solo exhibitions followed. Since 1967, he has been teaching at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).

Mihich returned to the Serbian art scene for the first time by participating at the IV Belgrade Triennale of Contemporary Art in 1970, after which he had a solo exhibition in the Salon of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade in 1972, and then in the very museum itself in 1985. His works were shown in Belgrade for the last time at the Yugoslav Art 1951-1989 exhibition made from the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art and staged in the Heritage House in 2014, as well as in the museum’s Sequences show in 2018-2020.

At the time of his Belgrade beginnings and his short Parisian stay, Vasa was, as he put it himself, amazed by US abstract expressionism but after he moved to the United States of America, he faced a significantly changed art situation there. The current tendency at the American art scene at the time was minimalism, which suited him even better given his previous formal art education. Vasa also mentioned a decisive influence of a Californian abstract painter of hard-edge paintings, John McLaughlin (1898-1976), in his preorientation towards early minimalistic painting, soon after which objects done in colored wood followed in 1966-1967 with which he would be noted during his first solo and group exhibitions in California. A real breakthrough and discontinuance in his work was created when he started to use the technique of procesing plastic masses, which he perfected through his own methods, enriching it through a merger of color and light within spotlessly executed geometric shapes, individual ones or in series, of various size. Together with a few artists of congenial orientation, he was one of the leading representatives of the specific West Coast Minimalism, significantly different from the New York version of this important art movement. Lately, he has been dealing with a kind of painting in which he elaborates complex visual structures based on mathematical laws selected and programmed by a computer.

Velizar Vasa Mihić – Stub I-IV (1972), plastika (lepljeno), 247 cm x 12,5 cm x 9,5 cm (x4)

Velizar Vasa Mihić

Untitled (Column 1976)

Laminated cast acrylic,

85.7 cm x 26.0 cm x 15.2 cm