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Nebojša Radojev

The 20th century is finally over. It began in art with Duchamp’s Fountain and ended with Marina Abramović’s The Artist Is Present.
The art of printmaking went through rebirth, flourishing and decadence in the past century.
The authenticity of printmaking as a fine art discipline and the peak of printmaking creativity was achieved in the works of the German expressionist group The Bridge.
Classical printmaking, the one tied to the matrix: wood, metal, stone, depends on the resistance of the material and the artist’s intuitive acceptance of that resistance as a valuable factor in the realization of his ideas.
Manuel work with the material, overcoming the resistance of the material, use of tools, inspires creative energy, condenses ideas, provides the artist with the feeling of satisfaction with the executed work. The work is an expression of the artist’s being and has the power of provoking emotions in the sensibilitized observer.
In the first half of the 20th century, printmaking was still a minor art form only a part of some artists’ oeuvre, sustained by devotees, collectors and publishers.
The change occurred the 1950s when American artists, abstract expressionists, discovered the medium of printmaking and as the result of their experiments set norms for the whole world. Printmaking left its usual formats, becoming gigantic in size, all the more often monotypic.
For the next few decades the art of printmaking expanded, more and more artists worked in that medium, the number of devotees rose, the market began to make an impact, art critics followed the work of printmakers, all of them took part in organizing international exhibitions, awards were established, there was a boom in production, the aesthetic standards rose to the highest level, techniques and technology were developed to perfection. All this led to uniformity and a certain depersalitzation of prints.
With the emergence of the new digital media, printmaking finally lost touch with its life giving impetus. The seductive possibilities of new technologies quickly attracted more and more artists and became a trap for most of them, one they found difficult to leave. The digital prints are cold and lack a tactile quality, they do not evoke a need to be touched, smelled …
And then came the corona virus to tell us that we have overplayed and that we have become alienated from ourselves.
Perhaps this crisis will show that all those international biennials and triennials and other manifestations do not make any sense and do not bring the art of printmaking closer to a wider circle of people but only serve to acquaint the professionals with new tendencies so they could adjust their production with them. We look more and more like each other, which is inconsistent with the fundamental nature of artistic creation. The Covid crises, it seems, directs us to virtual relationships, exhibitions will be held in empty galleries or online, artists will be lonely. However, that situation might bring us back to ourselves , we may find our future in the past, and we may understand that it is necessary to return to the procedures of processing the plate, grinding the tools, in short return to the noble craft that encourages love and the equal passion for enjoying the beautiful.

Nebojša Radojev,
August 2020

Translation from Serbian: Vanda Perović

Nebojša Radojev (1946. Novi Kozarci) graduated in 1970, at the Academy of Fine Arts, department of Visual Arts, postgraduate studies in Graphic Arts, class professor Boško Karanovic. From 1969, solo and group exhibitions, nationally and internationally (Poland, Switzerland, Germany, Slovakia, Romania, France, Italy, Mexico, Canada, Japan...). Selected awards: October Salon, Belgrade, 1991; Big Seal, Graficki kolektiv, 1992; Small Seal, Graficki kolektiv, 2012. He was a professor at the Faculty of Visual Arts, Belgrade. He worked in the field of visual arts and graphic arts.


N. Radojev, Chair, 1991, woodcut, 48x64 cm
N. Radojev, Chair en face, 1995, woodcut, 60x31 cm


N. Radojev, Large Grater, 1988, woodcut, 64x78 cm
N. Radojev, Ala, 1991, woodcut, 40x43 cm


Opening of the exhibition "Praise to the Masters" of N.Radojev, The Graphic Collective, 27th October 2014


N. Radojev, Atelier IX, 2012, etching, 15x20 cm
N. Radojev, Atelier XXVI, 2012, etching, 15x20 cm
N. Radojev, Atelier VII, 2012, etching, 15x20 cm



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