(Leskovac, 1952 – Belgrade, 26 April 2019)
Zoran Grebenarović graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade in 1981, and soon afterwards moved to New York where he stayed until 1986. He interrupted his stay in order to stage a solo exhibition in the Youth House Gallery in 1983. His other solo exhibitions in the 1980s were: in the Collegium Artisticum, Sarajevo (1984), in the Equrna Gallery, Ljubljana (1988), and in the Salon of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade (1989). He took part in the first and second Yugoslav Documents in Sarajevo in 1987 and 1989. He was one of the protagonists of arts of the 1980s in the Serbian and Yugoslav art scene within the “new geometries“ tendency (as opposed to the figurative “new painting“ of the beginning of the same decade).
During his stay in New York, in the eventful art atmosphere of the East Village, Grebenarović’s first works were done predominantly in the collage technique, have formal attributes of a specific hybrid “abstract pop-art“. During the three months of 1986, together with two New York artists – Liliana Luboya and Barnaby Ruhe – he completed a large-size painting (9 m × 15 m) after the motives of the famous The School of Athens by Rafael. In this painting, they would introduce, instead of original historical personalities, their New York contemporaries of whom one was the famous theater director Bob Wilson. Wilson’s image would precisely be in the group picture of the three aforementioned artists dressed in the costume identical in form to Grebenarović’s picture Wilson in the School of Athens (of which Nina Živančević had an authentic testimony in the thematic block of East Village (1980-1990): A Decade of Rococco of Postmodernism, published in the Moment magazine, (No. 23-24, Belgrade 2001). Having returned to Serbia, Grebenarović, as he put it himself “entered the field of Byzantine arts which, for me, becomes a full and new epiphany“.
<br><br><br>Zoran Grebenarović, <em>Wilson in the School of Athens (A Look Upwards)</em> (1986)<br><br>
Wilson in the School of Athens (A Look Upwards) (1986)
oil on panel,
107 cm x 50 cm x 5 cm