... Archive ...Vojin Velickovic has a special place in the Guest Artists Gallery. I have a great pleasure to present my step-grandfather, the artist who had a great influence on the development of art in my hometown Jagodina and, in a sense even in Serbia, continuing the finest tradition of Serbian artists of the XIX and early XX century.
Vojin Velickovic - Vojkan ... 1914-2001
Vojin Velickovic - Vojkan was born in 1914. in Belgrade. He
studied Fine Arts in class of Beta Vukanovic and Ljubomir Ivanovic, and
academic art class with Ivan Radovic. He was an art pedagogue, teacher, in
Jagodina from 1941 until 1975. He lived in Jagodina until he passed away in
2001, in his favorite time for painting - late summer. He lived a highly
productive life and produced over 1000 paintings and drawings. Even only a
year or so before he died, in his late eighties, people in Jagodina could
see him riding his bike with his canvases and brushes. Every ride was a
lesson about art to the small town he embraced as his own. His activity was unassuming, yet powerful. His style
was always respected while at the same time it was often a topic of great
arguments and even looked down on paradoxically by those who he created as
artists! Even having to constantly fight his ways against contemporary
styles, philosophies, so called "progressive forces in modern art" he
persistently and patiently adhered to his believes, the same way he adhered
to the town vignettes, streets where he was often seen submersed in the act of
From 1965. he was a member of
(Highest Artistic Association in Serbia). His first group exhibition was in
1937. in the most highly respected "Cvijeta Zuzoric Pavilion". Since then,
he had numerous group and solo exhibitions all over Serbia.
His work is in many private and public collections in Serbia and abroad:
Paris, London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Moskva, Venice, Chicago, Cider Lake,
He commenced numerous graduate studies: Greece, Hungary, Czechoslovakia,
Austria, Italy, France, and was awarded many artistic awards in Serbia and
his home town - Jagodina.
As per words of Dr. Miodrag Jovanovic :" Without a statement about tradition
and past, we couldn't understand the art of Vojin Velickovic. His romantic
love for painting old Jagodina was a part of a particular philosophy and
defined life motto of our artist. Facing the old houses, in narrow streets
disappearing almost before his easel, Velickovic is not colouring his
canvases with pessimism and sorrow for what unavoidably evaporates. In fact,
off the paintings we see brightness and optimism, quiet happiness before
blooming gardens of low houses, warped fences and weathered walls.
He continues:" Velickovic's paintings are not protest placates against
technocratic cockiness (of new architecture - art vrbaski note), but,
perhaps even only subconsciously, they caution us of our imprudent urban
and architectural surgery on vitality of the past."
In Vojin's paintings there is lyricism and poeticism. He is deeply
humanitarian in his approach, in his love and understanding of everyday
motifs. Yet, when we take a closer look of the details on his paintings, we
see the depths of his poetry, the quiet but deepest love for life made of
small, often overlooked elements.
This small gallery is a tribute to his art and life.
"Colorful" in the title here could be
understood metaphorically, although the
pub really existed. The message in Vojin's paintings was way bigger than
just archiving the town's past. It's noticeable in his refined and
optimistic colours, joyful brush strokes, tipsy-slanted lines of the pub and
surrounding buildings as if they dance in joy... It's universal.
... Levacka Carsija (Levach District)... Original in oil on canvas
A cheerful sunny day in a street where roofs dance and colours sing. Many of those warped houses survived centuries, from Ottoman Empire. I remember this street being paved in 4"x4"x4" stone pavers, and the sound of car tires was like a bridge to a different world. The "progress" brought a black asphalt cover, and the character of centuries was buried. We don't like to be reminded of the past, we have to be detached from our soul, we have to look ahead until we forget our own face...
Vojin never judged the new developments that were
inevitably pushing the old out of the town's life. It was there as a fact,
and he was only trying to enjoy what was still there from the past for as
long as possible. And he did it masterfully.
Looking at these beautiful paintings, I can't but notice
how much the town has changed since. Our memory is too short for all the
subtle changes we experience, tricked by the pretty new developments. Only
when we see it like this we realize that it still lives in us, and it always
will. And - we still need it...
The site proposed scheme close up more clearly shows the
main areas of the site. The redevelopment of the existing stadium complex
with a new commercial connector, the new parking area with a pedestrian
overpass leading to the circular plaza as a center of the new block of
recreational buildings and further over the river to the small commercial
strip mall and one of the exits.
Aside for the artistic value of this painting, many
personal memories are attached to this house where I lived for several years
as a teenager. The house itself was of a very high heritage value. Like so
many others, it was destroyed by arrogance and ignorance of primitivism and