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Marko Čelebonović: life and works

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By Gwylym Owen

Marko Čelebonović (Serbian Cyrillic: Марко Челебоновић; 21 November 1902 – 23 June 1986) was one of the most famous Serbian painters of the 20th century.

Čelebonović was born in Belgrade. He studied enactment and economics in England and France. His first public exhibition was in Paris in 1925. Before World War II he resided in Saint Tropez. During the years of war, he was a enthusiast of the French Resistance. After the conflict he returned to Yugoslavia and from 1948 to 1960, he was a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade. During this time, he had numerous shows in Paris, Belgrade, Zurich, Geneva, Sarajevo, Skopje and Niš, as skillfully as taking allocation in a number of sum up shows of French painters in France and Italy, and in Yugoslav exhibitions in France, England, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, and Brazil. In 1963 he was awarded the “7th July” prize for life’s work.

In the spring of 1923, upon his return from England, he appeared at the clear Paris school Grande Chaumière in the studio of Antoine Bourdelle, with the object of devoting himself to sculpture. However, already in summer 1923 he began painting in his own studio and from then upon completely devoted himself to painting. In May 1925 he exhibited for the first become old in the Salon des Tuileries, and in June he left for Saint Tropez. He worked when many colleagues including, most notably, Édouard Vuillard, Paul Signac, Albert Marquet, André Dunoyer de Segonzac, and Kostia Terechkovitch. For this reason, his art bears many a characteristic of French painting and French tradition. Much of Čelebonović’s play is parallel to the tradition exhibited by the 1930 generation of French artists. However, be nonetheless maintained a more Balkan and Oriental way of being in his works. Čelebonović’s best works are characterized by an Oriental touch, Oriental preference for ripeness and shout abuse of color, such as the meaning of silence and its light, of gentle restrained gesture, the weight of the seated or lying human body. The logical element is gift in his painting, but always submerged under authentic affective attitude to life.

Although he spent his years in France, he was always next to attached to the Yugoslav painters who occasionally visited France (Sreten Stojanović, Marino Tartaglia, Petar Lubarda). In 1937 he had his first independent behave in Belgrade, and in 1938 he exhibited similar to the Twelve group. In those years he occasionally visited Yugoslavia, painted in Belgrade and on the Montenegrin Littoral, visited medieval monasteries and was an responsive presence in the art of the period. In his forward-thinking years, Celebonovic quoted “My activity and statute have been positive by my attitude towards Yugoslavia. I have aligned the fate of my art in imitation of Yugoslav painting. How one grows and attains parenthood is a question apart. The imitate of French painting on myself and others is natural enough. After all, who has ever been forgive from influence?

His decorations and awards include: award for painting at the first memorial of Nadežda Petrović in Čačak, the 7th of July praise for animatronics achievement, golden plaque for painting at the third triennial of visual arts in Belgrade, Order of brotherhood and unity, Order of merit to the people, Order of labour and Order of the Republic next golden wreath.

An exhibition featuring his selected works was opened in the Gallery of SANU in ahead of time 2019.

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