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Karanović, Srbinović, Ćelić - The Exhibitions of Printmaking

The need for the formation of a spiritual brotherhood amongst artists, generationally and conceptually devoted to the affirmation of printmaking, in the artistic and historical sense, are the exhibitions of Boško Karanović, Mladen Srbinović, and Stojan Ćelić held in 1953 and 1955. In its first decade, the debut exhibitions of future leading fine artists were part of the Graphic Collective’s pioneering efforts to establish the rightfully deserved status of the printmaking medium, previously reserved primarily for painting and sculpture. The atmosphere of collegial, artistic, and amicable closeness was part of the creative energy and spirit of the time that initiated and set the tone for these performances by young artists. Socializing as a kind of vital exchange of creative impulses fostered the program matrix of the Graphic Collective, and the 50's they were marked by joint exhibitions of these three painters and printmakers; they exhibited together in Belgrade, Novi Sad (Matica Srpska Gallery, 1955) and Zagreb (Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts, 1959). The considerable professional significance of these fine art events for printmaking is noted by the art critics of that time - Dejan Medaković, Miodrag Protić, Pavle Vasić, Đordje Popović. Thus, in the newspaper Borba (January 18, 1955), Aleksa Čelebonović emphasizes the double value of the exhibition - through its contribution to the development and popularization of the printmaking technique and the obvious effort of the artists in raising this method to a higher artistic level. Boško Karanović exhibited woodcuts, as well as color lithographs, a technique that was less present in the works of Belgrade printmakers at the time. The art prints of Ćelić and Srbinović were inspired by literature; Srbinović's intaglio prints illustrated Lorca's verses "Unfaithful Woman", and Ćelić's woodcuts and intaglio prints were conceived as a form akin to bibliophile editions of poetry " Uteha lišća " by Stevan Raičković and "Bačka Zapevka" by Pavle Ugrinov. The publication that accompanied the exhibition was a creation of this team, as well as an art print in which the handwritten orthography of the artists was visible.

The affirmation of printmaking as fine art and the transformation of its status as a medium on the art scene were followed by a change in the position of the printmaking artists, as confirmed by referential awards - the October Award of the City of Belgrade for Stojan Ćelić (1957) and Boško Karanović (1958).

"Even in the most concise historical factography of post-war Serbian printmaking, a particular place belongs to Boško Karanović, Mladen Srbinović, and Stojan Ćelić, who marked the sixties with their joint exhibitions in 1953, 1955, 1957, and 1959. Without diminishing the contributions of other artists in generating an awareness of the printmaking medium as art, the three mentioned artists with their exhibitions, at a high performing level, in the woodcut, linocut, etching, aquatint, and lithography techniques (depending on personal affinities to the material and needs of creative concept realization) - were the bearers of that new movement on the Serbian art scene", states Ljiljana Slijepcevic in her essay Printmaking in Serbia, Art Prints of the Belgrade Circle (1985).
(translation: Maja Simić)

Invitation for the Exhibition of Printmaking - Karanović, Srbinović, Ćelić, February 1955.

Boško Karanović (1924. Bosanska Krupa - 2009. Belgrade) graduated in 1948 from the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade, class of prof. Marko Celebonović. He completed a specialization in graphics in 1949, class of prof. Mihailo Petrov. He studied painting in the class of prof. Milo Milunović, Ivan Tabaković and Nedeljko Gvozdenović. Since 1952, he has exhibited independently (Belgrade, Zagreb ...) and at collective exhibitions in the country and abroad (Belgrade, Zurich, New Delhi, Ljubljana, Venice, Berlin, Lyon, Paris, Beijing, Tokyo, Rome, Brussels, Murska Sobota , Washington ...). Awards / Selection: October Salon Award, 1960; ULUS Golden Needle, 1970; Vuk Award, 1985. He is one of the founders of the Graphic Collective. Within the activities of the Graphic Collective, he founded the Club of Friends of Graphics ARTA. He has been systematically collecting graphic works of students since 1951 and formed the Collection of Graphics at the Academy of Fine Arts. He was member of the Independent Group. He is the author of conceptual solutions for monuments (mosaics) that were realized in Belgrade, Rudo, Bela Crkva, Bosanska Krupa and Cazin. He was a professor at the Academy / Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade.

Mladen Srbinović (1925. Sušica near Gostivar - 2009. Belgrade) graduated in painting in 1951 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade, and completed his postgraduate studies in 1953. He held many solo exhibitions (Belgrade, Skopje, Stockholm, Subotica) and participated in numerous group exhibitions in the country and abroad (Brussels, Moscow, Venice, Athens, Oslo, Tokyo, Mexico City, New Delhi). He was a member of the Graphic Collective and the Independent Group and the December Group. Besade painting and graphics, he was engaged in illustration, mosaic and tapestry. Awards / selection: October Award of Belgrade, 1958; Prize for graphics - Zagreb, 1960; Award for painting at the Nadežda Petrović Memorial in Čačak, 1960; Painting Award at the Sao Paulo International Biennale, 1961; October Award of Belgrade, 1974; July 7 Award, 1984. He was member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts and a professor at the Academy / Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade.

Stojan Ćelić (1925. Bosanski Novi - 1992. Belgrade) graduated in 1953 from the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade and completed a special course, class of prof. Nedeljko Gvozdenović. Since 1953, he held many solo exhibitions (Belgrade, Venice, Ljubljana, Paris ...) and participated in numerous group exhibitions in the country and abroad (Belgrade, Sao Paulo, Warsaw, Liege, Sofia, Tokyo, Rome, Geneva ...). The Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade organized in 1983 retrospective exhibition of his works. Awards / selection: Award at the III Zagreb Exhibition of Yugoslav Graphics, Zagreb, 1964; Second prize at the VI International Exhibition of Graphics, Ljubljana, 1965; Politika Award from the Vladislav Ribnikar Fund, 1969; October Award for Painting, Belgrade, 1972; Grand Prize for drawing at the V International Exhibition of Original Drawing, Rijeka, Prize at the IX Memorial of Nadežda Petrović, Čačak, 1976. Member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. He was a professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade. He was engaged in drawing, painting, graphics and mosaics.



Catalogue of the Exhibition of Printmaking - Karanović, Srbinović, Ćelić, February 1955.


Boško Karanović, Head, 1955; Mladen Srbinović, Federico García Lorca, The Unfaithful Housewife,
1953; Stojan Ćelić, Stevan Raičković, The Consolation of Leaves, 1953.



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