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Examples of Graphic Design in Serbia 1950-1970
Gordana Popović Vasić, concept and study

This affirmation and critical historical overview of phenomena related to graphic design is grounded in the twenty-year period starting with the year 1950, which is considered the official break-up with socialist realism, and ending in 1970, the year when the Students’ Culture Center (SKC) was founded, which marked the beginning of a new, contemporary understanding of graphic design. The exhibition provides an insight into the artistic practices within the field of graphic design (poster design, book design, graphic symbols, magazine design, advertisements, branding, etc) during this period, as well as some of those beginnings of a newer understanding of this form of applied art in our region.

Graphic Design, the practical art form, the first affordable means of propaganda, developed according to the general dynamic of the art world. The beginning of the 1950s was a pre-TV era, and the main forms of mass communication, apart from radio, were printed media - the words and images in newspapers and posters. Among other things, the 1950s were significant as a period of opening up towards the West. They were also the time when the first generation of graduates from the Academy of Applied Arts in Belgrade, students of the printmaker Branko Šotra, made their first steps as professional artists.

The history of graphic design between 1950 and 1970 also reveals some of the political, economic and cultural history of the country. Usually commissioned by government institutions, it provided insight into some of the societal dynamics and conveyed different kinds of messages, covering a vast area of everyday life and instant communication.

Gordana Popović-Vasić was one of the pioneering researchers in the field of graphic design, and nowadays she can map some of the most significant artistic events which painstakingly laid the foundations of the art form and lived through both the fear and the zeal on its way to becoming an authentic and independent form of artistic expression. Her detailed study, published in two languages and designed by Novica Kocić and Darko Novaković, as well as the anthological exhibition, represent a valuable resource for professionals, artists and art theoreticians, as well as a younger audience who is interested in getting acquainted with the pioneering works of graphic designers in Serbia. The provocative title, “Between Fear and Jubilance”, refers to some of the cardinal points in time and for the first time creates a thorough historical understanding of this period of graphic design as an authentic phenomenon, giving the field its well-deserved dignity in the wider corpus of Serbian art and visual culture of the 20th century.

The museological exhibition “Examples of Graphic Design in Serbia 1950-1970”, held in the Graphic Collective in 2009, covered a selection of 260 original artefacts in printed and electronic form, revitalizing through a multimedia presentation the aesthetic and spirit of those vital decades in our culture.

The project was initiated by Branko Vučićević, and the exhibition opened by Slobodan Mašić, a master of graphic design and free thought.

Translation from Serbian: Dunja Karanović

Catalogue of the exhibition



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