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Marija Ilić

Marija Ilić (1959. Belgrade – 2011. Alkmaar) graduated from the Fine Arts Academy (Belgrade Art University) in 1983. MA degree from the Graphic Department of the same academy in 1987. Since 1983 working as a freelance artist. Participated in numerous exhibitions in former Yugoslavia and other countries (Italy, France, Japan, Poland, Austria, the Netherlands, Hungary, England, Greece, Belgium, Canada, Bulgaria, Germany). Since June 1993 living and working in The Netherlands. She was awarded with 3rd PRIZE Brugge, Belgie, 9de EUROPESE BIËNNALE VOOR GRAFISCHE KUNSTEN, ROTARIALE 2002. She had solo exhibitions since 1983, on more than 20 shows (Beograd, Zagreb, Vranje, Požarevac, Niš, Haarlem, Alkmaar, Beverwijk, Amsterdam, Michaelskerk, Leeuwarden,…)
Work in collections: Museum for Contemporary Art, Belgrade, Yugoslavia, Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar, The Netherlands, Grafisch Atelier Alkmaar, The Netherlands, Generali fondation, Viena, Austria, Rotary Club, Brugge, Belgium, De Boterhal, Hoorn, The Netherlands, Frans Masereel Centrum, Kasterlee, Belgium, Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerpen, Belgium.


With her intellectual habitus, Marija Ilić devotedly examined the creative potentials of the printmaking medium leaving a strong individual artistic stamp on the Belgrade Graphic School. She achieved a very authentic visual vocabulary by constructing a plastic form using a system of signs – energetic gestuality and vibrant coloristic sound. Attempting to expand the meaning of the print and its expressive content and embracing creative freedom, she often relied on the potentials of the collagraphic plate. Collagraphy enabled her to experiment by freely combining different materials. She developed her own concept through an interplay between her personal poetics and the current artistic trend. Her move to the Netherlands opened an even greater field of freedom of work and experimentation while she continued to connect the artistic communities of Belgrade and Alkmaar initiating new forms of creative communications. Marija Ilić's art is characterized by a boldness of execution, creative dynamics and a strong creative charge. She used to say: “When I make prints or draw, first I must get rid of the mechanical flow of thoughts, that endlessly jump from the past to the future and back, persistently avoiding the present … Just as a little trick to direct the mechanical process of thought, to give chaotic thoughts a "task", to engage them, so they would be useful or would calm down and fall asleep and not interfere in things they do not understand. That is how I gain the freedom essential for the way I work …"


Series of seven prints, made in 2002 and 2003; Size : 30 X 40 cm; Techniques : Etching; Collography

It’s a curious title... and when said in a certain way it sounds like music. This was my experience when I first saw the phrase “MODERATE LA VELOCITA” while traveling in Italy a few years ago. These words were illuminated in the electronic signs above the highway.
I was in Italy on a sort of pilgrimage traveling from place to place where I could see the works of the Old Masters. Whilst driving I was often confronted with the curious words above the road. (The meaning of which, ahem... I didn’t comprehend at the time!) The phrase in lights would be flashing on and off and would become, silently, like music to me. Given my preoccupation with the Italian artworks, I was traveling around to see, the blinking signs somehow became a part of my visual experience of the art. They entered into my dialogue with the Old Masters.
Back home I had already been working on a series of drawings and paintings stemming from a quotation of a famous detail from Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam.” When I associated my paintings with the roadway phrase, because of my memory of the experience of Italy, they obtained a different and very concrete level of meaning. So, this is how the current series of prints, previously titled “Seven Attempts at Creation” got its name.






Graphic Collective Gallery, Dragoslava Jovanovića 11, Belgrade, Weekdays 12 - 20h, Saturdays 12 - 17h, Sundays closed
tel: +381.11.3285.923; tel/fax: +381.11.2627.785