The Legacy of Olja Ivanjicki

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A few weeks ago I visited an exhibition dedicated to the late Serbian painter, sculptor and poet. Olja (Olga) Ivanjicki (10 May 1931, Pančevo – 24 June 2009, Belgrade) was all that and much more. The daughter of Russian emigrants was born in Pančevo, Vojvodina. Olja studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade, graduated in 1957, and in the same year she was the only woman among the founders of MEDIALA Belgrade, an art group of painters, writers and architects such as Leonid Šejka, Vladimir Veličković, Ljubomir Popović, Miodrag Đurić and some other personalities.

During the sixties, this great woman brought pop-art to Belgrade and was the first who organized large and inspiring events, which are still remembered by many admirers of her work. Olja's paintings and sculptures can be found in many museums and private collections around the world (the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Museum of Santa Barbara Museum of Contemporary Art in Podgorica, the National Museum in Belgrade - Rockefeller, Kissinger, Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti, L. Eagleburger, John Ditch, HRH Prince Aleksandar II Karađorđević, Margaret Mallory,...)

In 1958 Olja began her journey through art by designing a Building for the future (Gradjevinu sinteze), as a version of her own museum. Later on, in 2007, she established OLJA IVANJICKI FOUNDATION which aims to protect the name and work of IVANJICKI, taking care of her  legacy, and working towards the ultimate goal - the creation of the Museum of Olja Ivanjicki.

At the Historical Museum of Serbia there is an exhibition that presents new series of creative work and personal belongings of this late Serbian artist. Also to point out that question about her legacy has not been resolved.

The exhibition contains the most representative parts of the legacy that after Olja's death were found in her studio. So, those interested can enjoy the paintings, drawings, sculptures and poems;  also, visitors are able to see her collection of glasses, lamps, books, jackets, shoes, sea shells, perfume... In a word, Belgrade has never had the opportunity to see so much of Olja in one place.

From the paintings creativity, there are works from her early period when she was inspired by the renowned old painters, then her famous depictions of angels, that represents a symbol of super-nature which gives us the creative force and power of expression. Also, there is a presentation of her pop-art portraits, that are significant for 20th century art; presentations of apocalypse as a result of destructive nature of man, and the image prediction of a trip into space and conquer of new planets.

Fascinated by the universe and the belief that there is something more than fate, Olja with a lot of intuition and a broad Slovenian soul went through life thinking that a creator must overcome their work, be strong for itself in order to get it properly presented to the world because... art is often insufficiently visible to the public and is not able to stand out and show off.

So if you are visiting or passing through Belgrade, be sure to check this great and significant exhibition that will be available until the 1st November at the Historical Museum of Serbia, Belgrade.



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