The movement and the transience of an action fixed forever: Vladimir Veličković.
Between Serbia and France
Born in Belgrade (at the time Yugoslav city) in 1936, Vladimir Veličkovic graduated in Architecture from the local university. He then moved to Zagreb where, between 1962 and ’63, he worked in the atelier of the Croatian painter Krsto Hegedusic.
Just in 1963 he made his debut with a personal exhibition at the Biennial of Sao Paulo in Brazil. In 1965 he received the Paris Biennial Prize and the following year he moved to the French capital, where he held a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art of the City (1970).
In 1972 he represented Yugoslavia at the Venice Biennale. From 1983 to 2000 he taught at the Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, but never severed his bond with the mother country: in 1985 he was appointed a member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SANU), one of the most important institutions academics of the country, which includes among its associates nobel prizes and scholars of Serbian origin who have distinguished themselves in the sciences or the arts.
In 2005 Veličković became part of the Academie des Beaux-Arts in Paris, becoming one of the 12 members of the Painting section. He received one of the highest French honors, that of Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur and Commandeur des Arts et Lettres.
In 2017, together with other Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian and Montenegrin artists and intellectuals, he signed the Declaration on the Common Language which aims to counteract nationalisms and political manipulation of language in the countries of ex-Yugoslavia.
Vladimir Vélickovic dies in Split in 2019.
Vladimir Veličkovic’s poetics
Since its inception, Veličković directs his artistic research towards moving subjects while confronting dramatic and frightening situations.
Among its subjects, in addition to humans, mice and dogs often occur, blocked in the climax of the action by coordinates, figures, color diagrams or measures of time and space.
The atrocities committed by the Nazis in his country, which he witnessed as a child, are sublimated in single pictorial frames, in a moment of brutality and threat made eternal.
His poetics evolved further in the early nineties, at the beginning of the war that devastated the Balkan peninsula. In his works persistently desolate landscapes appear, populated only by crows, fires, bodies torn by the horrors of war and continuous symbolic allusions to the crucifixion.
During his long life Veličković exhibits in international museums and galleries and his works appear in numerous public and private collections, such as the Tate Gallery in London, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Center Pompidou in Paris, the MOMA in New York , the Maeght Foundation of Saint-Paul-de-Vence.