(Kruševac, 1933 – Belgrade, 6 February 1988)
Vladislav Todorović graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade in 1959 where he completed a special course in 1961. He exhibited for the first time in 1960, at the exhibition of the Association of Fine Artists of Serbia (ULUS). He was a participant of key exhibitions in the history of Belgrade Art Informel: together with Branislav Protić and Zoran Pavlović in the Museum of Applied Arts in 1961, then at the auteur’s exhibition by Lazar Trifunović Art Informel – Young Belgrade Painters in Belgrade Cultural Centre Gallery in 1963, together with B. Protić, Z. Pavlović, and Živojin Turinski, with Branko Filipović Filo in the same gallery in 1965, and at the retrospective Art Informel in Belgrade in the Cvijeta Zuzorić Art Pavilion in 1982. With his participation at the Salon 61 (1961) at the 2nd and 3rd Youth Biennale in the Modern Gallery in Rijeka in 1962 and 1964 (where he was awarded), he was also a protagonist of the actuality of Art Informel in the then existing Yugoslav art space. A posthumous retrospective, with a focus on precisely the informalism period, was dedicated to him in the Cultural Centre Gallery in 2010. The Traces in Ashes painting (1961-1963) is one of the anthological in the totality of artist’s oeuvre.
Referential titles of the majority of Todorović’s early paintings, such as Ancient Covenant (1961), Stone, Water and Life (1962), Petrified Sea (1962), Insensitivity of the Sea (1963), From the Skies to the Sea (1963), Ash-Grey Skies (1964), Moon’s Shore (1964), Infinite Sky of Sorrow and Joy (1964) and others testify to the fact that the artist’s inspirational sources emanate as much from direct experience of natural phenomena, as they certainly come from, and even more so, the artist’s after-thought reflections upon the significance of those phenomena prompted by his subjective existential projections. The fact that Todorović’s painting from the Art Informel period, regardless of referential titles, nevertheless does not fall under the category of “abstract landscape“, is a consequence of his improvised and sped-up painting procedure in which, outside a proven manner of painting, he used chance intervention of leaking diluted paint, repeatedly placing and removing of outer layers, and even impressing of fragments of found objects in the sensitive tissue of the background. Rudimentary forms in the Traces in Ashes painting look like they are found in the stage of incessant transformations, they remind oneself of some primordial organisms, they are stripped of more solid compositional points, and they are startled as if they hover in some infinite and immense outside-material spaciousness.
Traces in Ashes (1961-1963)
oil on canvas,
200 cm x 150 cm