Živojin Žika Turinski
Živojin Žika Turinski
(Petrovgrad, 26 October 1935 – Belgrade, 2001)
Živojin Turinski graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade in 1960, and completed post-graduate studies after which he stayed as a professor of a painting technology course. He exhibited for the first time at the Youth Biennale in Rijeka in 1961, and he had his first solo exhibition in the Graphic Arts Collective Gallery in Belgrade in 1962. Together with Zoran Pavlović, he exhibited in the Salon of the Modern Gallery in 1964. He is a participant of the auteur exhibitions by Lazar Trifunović staged to promote and historicize the Belgrade Art Enformel: Art Informel – Young Belgrade Painters in the Culture Center Gallery in 1962, Abstract Painting in Serbia 1951-1971 in the same gallery in 1971, and Art Informel in Belgrade staged in Cvijeta Zuzorić Art Pavilion in 1982. He was also involved with visual arts criticism, publishing in the Danas review, Politika and NIN. He was a member of the founding editorial office in 1965 and the editor-in-chief of the Art (Umetnost) magazine between 1972 and 1977. He published Unity of Measurement (Vršac, 1984), and Essays on Understanding a Painting (Belgrade, 1999).
In his initial phase, Turinski used various non-painterly methods and materials in the spirit of basic axioms of Art Informel, so to achieve individual recognizability within the Belgrade informalism by isolating a large abstract sign, in emblematic works of his mature painting oeuvre, in paintings entitled Megaron (1961), Small Initial (1962) and Large Initial (1962), Large Symbol (1963), Initial – Metamorphosis of Circle (1967), Trochee Symbol (1967) and others. He stated his theoretical interpretation of Art Informel in the article entitled “An Essay on Art Informel”, Umetnost, No. 14 (1968). According to Jovan Despotović, “gradually this ur-form in his paintings would push out the very matter, so that this way it would become dominant in the graphic aspect. This sign, symbol… when once it is established as a constant, would remain in the oeuvre of Živojin Turinski as some final, permanent, auteur, enigmatic form which would definitely mark his painterly art“.
Circular Sign (1962)
oil on canvas,
56 cm × 39.5 cm