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Nebojša Lazić

Memories from the Academy and the Tamarind Institute

More than thirty years ago, while studying as a undergraduate student at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade, I realized how extremely important it was to know the technology and be able to master the processes in the making of a print. The first encounter with the printmaking tools - paper, plates, presses - already arouse my personal and professional interest in perceiving the best ways to use these tools and make my own original prints with the skill and knowledge of technological procedures. Apart from attending the regular program at the Academy and my already solid knowledge of traditional printmaking techniques, my interests grew, so I attended demonstrations of printmaking techniques by prominent printmakers from other parts of Yugoslavia, as well as the Open Graphic Studio, at the National Museum in Belgrade that was the authorial concept of Vanja Kraut, curator of the Cabinet of Graphics.


N. Lazić, John Lennon, lithography*
N. Lazić, Robert F. Kennedy, lithography
N. Lazić, Aleksandar Karađorđević, lithography

Foreign artists visited the Graphic Department of the Faculty of Fine Arts, so it was an opportunity to meet exceptional artists, and be introduced to processes and procedures that they used in their work. Among them, I single out Dan Ellison and Lori Krismostri, who influenced my attitude towards the role of technology in the complex printmaking processes.
Dan Ellison, an American artist, demonstrated the technique of collotype and had an exhibition of his works at the Sebastian Gallery in 1989. He printed multicolored prints from one plate, which was prepared by a non-traditional procedure. The result was impressive: a print richly saturated with full-color oil paint, obtained from just one passage of the press. His large-format prints left a powerful impression.


N. Lazić, Andy Warhol, lithography
N. Lazić, Martin Luther King, lithography
N. Lazić, Zoran Đinđić, lithography

American artist Lori Christmastree demonstrated how to make hand-made paper, and then taught the audience the skills of how that paper can be used for printmaking, or as an independent work of art. Handmade paper is still the subject of my artistic research today. Graphic artist Bill Lagattuta, a master printer at the Tamarind Institute, spent a month at the Graphic Department of the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade in 1990, as part of the cooperation between the Faculty and this institute from New Mexico. Lagattuta presented the workings of the Tamarind Institute in his lectures, and demonstrated a number of lithographic techniques on matrices, such as lithographic stone and an aluminum cornice plate prepared for lithography.


N. Lazić, Indira Gandhi, lithography
N. Lazić, John F. Kennedy, lithography
N. Lazić, Malcolm X, lithography

The forms of collaborative printing fostered at the Tamarind Institute, and the very concept of the institute for one of the graphic disciplines, as well as the processes, materials, techniques of printing on dry graphic paper, were a new experience in my artistic work. It is a technology that I quickly adopted, as they corresponded with my interests, but I realized the true proportions of such a way of working only a few years later, at that very institute in New Mexico, where I researched and worked for two years. During my stay at the Tamarind Institute, my task for a year was to research the light sensitivity of pigments in lithographic inks intended for printing in an anhydrous lithographic process. The experience of collaborative printing in Tamarind on one hand marked my professional work dedicated to cooperation with other artists in the realization of their prints, and on the other my own artistic research.
In my artistic practice, I try to unite traditional processes with digital printing, color addition, photo-mechanical applications and drawing by hand on quality print paper, so all these processes would become an integral part of the creative act.

Nebojša Lazić

Translation from Serbian: Vanda Perović

*litographies - a part of PhD project of N. Lazić - were presented at the exhibition "Assassinated" in Graphic Collective Gallery in December, 2011

Nebojša Lazić (1965) graduated in 1992, post-graduate studies in 1996, Phd in 2015, at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Graphic Arts Department, Belgrade. Scolarship at the Tamarin Institute for lithography, New Mexico, US, 1993, printmaking associate. Since 2007, he is the artistic associate at the Printmaking and Visual Research Center at the University of the Fine Arts, Belgrade. He has exhibited at group exhibitions in Serbia and abroad. He has had more than 20 solo exhibitions since 1990. Since 2014 he works at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad. Awards/selection: Academy of the Fine Arts, Award in Printmaking, Belgrade, 1991; Peter Lubarda Award in Printmaking, Academy of the Fine Arts, Belgrade, 1992; Professional Printer, Tamarind Institute, Albuquerque, NM, 1994; Master Printer, Tamarind Institute, Albuquerque, NM, 1995; First Prize on International Competition of Small Prints, Istanbul, Turkey, 2005.



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