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Through the Binoculars of the Graphic Collective - mapping history. Within the framework of an online project, we present artistic phenomena and events that marked the contemporary art scene in Serbia and the activity of the Graphic Collective. Since its founding, this House of Artists has been a cultural hub that brings together representatives of various fields of artistic activity, many of whom have achieved a paradigmatic role in their creative field.

Mile Grozdanić

Mile Grozdanić's oeuvre developed in two parallel trajectories in the field of fine arts – printmaking and art book design, both of which are dialectically connected and rooted in the same artistic sensibility of their author. Mile Grozdanić represents a specific artistic phenomenon within the Belgrade printmaking circle, associated with bold technological innovations in the classical printmaking medium. He was the first among Serbian printmakers to make a significant step forward in this medium by examining and provoking the inviolability of the print during the 1970s. By introducing new elements – the printer’s matrix – Grozdanić created a structure of graphic composition close to Rauschenbergian poetics.
Grozdanić exhibited at the Graphic Collective in 1973 and 1981. Already on the occasion of this first solo exhibition of prints, critics underlined his radical deviation from existing practices, linking it to the author's experience with applied graphics. Thus, each artistic print is the result of a technological experiment, with an additional layer of transparent foil as its integral part, carrying a strong personal style of drawing. This fact represents an important premise in the artist’s visual solutions, because it was precisely this interdisciplinary activity that led to experimentation free from almost any limitation.
Symbolism and lyrical abstract motifs are the carriers of Grozdanić's formal aesthetics. The synergy of the visual experience of book design could be recognized in almost every graphic composition. He devoted a significant part of his oeuvre to the aesthetics of books, so it can also be said that this form of creation was his greatest love. Namely, in establishing an original artistic language, Grozdanić reckons with a series of technological innovations that go beyond the strict framework of the discipline, and the "hypnotic world of the printing workshop and matrices" are part of the experiential discourse. Receiving the Great Seal Award of the Graphic Collective in 1978 represents an important professional accomplishment in the field of printmaking.


M. Grozdanić, Apparition, 1977, mixed media, 76x105 cm, Great Seal Award 1978

The second half of Grozdanić's artistic personality is represented by his work on the artistic equipment of books, which he believed was more than graphic design based on his high creative standards; he often combined these experiences and technical elements in his artistic work. Certainly, he was building a unique creative world, and the idea of synthesis was encoded in his system of visual signs. Grozdanić understood the aesthetics of the book, which by its structure is a complex graphic three-dimensional object, as a work of art. A pedagogue with decades of experience faced the fact that there is no thorough literature on book design in our country, so he tried to systematize his knowledge and experience, along with demanding theoretical research. Grozdanić’s book “The Way to the Book” was published in 2007, a capital work of encyclopedic scope (over 600 works and 650 terms) about the origin, history and artistic equipment of the book.
Sreto Bošnjak authored the 2011 monograph “Psychology of Symbolic Forms”, dedicated to the work of Mile Grozdanić. “For Grozdanić, painting is a fact of civilization of first-rate value and importance: the language of painting creates a new dimension of the world, from archetype to myth and from symbol to metaphysics”, as Bošnjak summed up.



M. Grozdanić, Madlonete, 1978, linotype, 50x66cm;
M. Grozdanić, Maenads in conquest, 1972, linotype, 50x65 cm;
M. Grozdanić, Untitled, 1975, mixed media, 50x60.5 cm;
M. Grozdanić, Rhapsody, 1970, linotype, 50.5x66 cm.

In addition to his artistic practice, Grozdanić devoted decades to teaching in high schools and universities in Belgrade and Cetinje. At the newly founded Faculty of Fine Arts in Cetinje in 1988, he formed the department of Graphic Design where he taught book design, technologies of book production, and drawing.
Although he formed his creative handwriting in the age of analogue technology, Grozdanić saw computers as tools in the materialization of formed ideas. Regardless of powerful computer technology, he considered the creative process of drawing and painting disciplines to be fundamental steps on the way to a top result in book design. As an artist, independently or in a group, he represented Yugoslavia, i.e. Serbia and Montenegro, at representative exhibitions in the country and abroad. Grozdanić's last Belgrade exhibition was held in the "Haos" gallery in 2014, on the occasion of the "Mića Popović" Award for a great contribution to our culture.


Catalog of the exhibition of Mile Grozdanić at the Graphic Collective in 1981.;
Text by Nikola Kusovac about Mile Grozdanić's exhibition at the Graphic Collective, Politika Ekspres, September 24, 1981.

Mile Grozdanić (1942. Ponori/Lika, Croatia-2022. Belgrade) graduated in 1972 from the Academy of Fine Arts, class of prof. Miodrag Rogić, where he completed his postgraduate studies in 1974. Since 1973, he has exhibited independently and at collective exhibitions in the country and abroad (Belgrade, Copenhagen, Milan, Toronto, Florence, Warsaw...). He is the winner of several awards for graphics (October Salon award in 1975) and graphic design.
He was a professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade and at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Cetinje. In addition to graphics, he is engaged in graphic design and painting. He wrote the encyclopedic study "The Way to the Book" (Publikum, Belgrade 2007), for which he was awarded the Best Book at the Belgrade Book Fair in 2007.



Graphic Collective Gallery, Dragoslava Jovanovića 11, Belgrade, Weekdays 12 - 20h, Saturdays 12 - 17h, Sundays closed
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