How a trad Christian pop folk singer became the most controversial person in ex-Yugoslavia When you listen to Danica Crnogorčević’s music, you will be instantly amazed by her voice. Wonderfully colourful and powerful, she comes across as a Montenegrin Enya, and in a lot of ways the two share a lot in common. Like Enya, she cuts an almost impossibly wholesome figure: a church-going (her … Continue reading Danica Crnogorčević: the trad villainess of the Balkan Arts scene
In the library of my grandmother’s salon in Avalska, between the many Marxist and Yugoslav communist tomes, stood a hard bound copy of „Civilisation“ by Kenneth Clark, published by Mladost from Zagreb in 1972. The fact that this book, a seductive (and often derided) statmeet of Western cultural supremacy, was translated into Serbo-Croatian and published in a socialist only three years after it appeared in … Continue reading The fall of Yugoslav civilisation: Doomers at the gates
As a twenty-something third year student at Belgrade’s art Academy in 1960s, Slobodan Kojić dreamt big. A Kikinda native, he envisaged creating an art colony which would make use of his native city’s clay pits – which powered the city’s brick and roof tile industry – so artists could create majestic, grandiose works of terracotta. The use or clay in the arts in what is … Continue reading Terra, Kikinda: How a local artist used home turf to create a world’s best terracotta art collection
When I asked Maja Necić from AUTORI, one of the leading contemporary architecture and design studios in Serbia, for any buildings that inspire her work, she took a pause and then immediately said: Sava Centar. Designed by Stojan Maksimović, one of Yugoslavia’s most promising architects who was in his 40s at the time, and built between 1976 and 1979, it was mean to be the … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (45) Sava Centar: Yugoslavia’s Global Stage
In 1911, Ivan Meštrović, a Croatian sculptor raised in Dalmatian backwater and educated in Vienna, who was hailed as one of the greatest of his generation and a successor to Rodin, caused the first of many political stirs in his life. Instead of exhibiting his monumental, secession-inspired works to show the glory and grandeur of the imperial Austro-Hungary during the 1911 international art exhibition in … Continue reading How Ivan Meštrović brought the Kosovo Myth to life
Public art in Belgrade is back in fashion with many ambitious projects completed and planned. They range from the sculptural/architectural collaboration between Turner prize-winning Richard Deacon and widely acclaimed local sculptor Mrđan Bajić to the future gigantic monument to the founder of the most successful of Serbian medieval states, Stefan Nemanja, made by the acclaimed Russian sculptor Alexander Rukavishnikov. There have also recently been two … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (42): Art for The People!