Intimacies of Space: Interior 

National Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Paintings from the collection of the National Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Interior
Within painting, the interior is treated as a metaphor of human intimacy because it offers, in the most vivid manor, a glance of the space that is private and that as such should be protected from view. The artist places the spectator in a challenging position of a voyeur, giving him permission to take a peek through the hole in the space and into the soul of its inhabitant. Interiors are spatialized biographies, portraits or self-portraits, mirrors of the soul, contributions to the social, economic and sociological depiction of time. We meet them within the fine arts, ranging from the 17th century Dutch painting, which establishes the genre as autonomous, to installations by contemporary artists. The interior is the central theme of this exhibition and a motif on which the concept of the intimate space display is based on, from which again other presented motifs have developed.

Creating a poetics of space was one of the biggest ideals of Bosnian and Herzegovinian artists. It is important to mention Enver Štaljo, from Banja Luka, a member of the group “Četvorica” ("The Four"), whose visual preoccupation of the sixties is represented by an interiorized view of the forgotten world of the house and household items. This is when his best works are created (Interior with still life). There is also Ibrahim Ljubović, one of the most important representatives of intimism and neo-surrealism in the field of our fine arts.

Although the interiors are deprived of the presence of the human figure, on two examples we can see people gathered around the fireplace, the symbolic core of every home, which always evokes memories of warmth and closeness in our subconsciousness (Vojo Dimitrijevic's Beside the Furnace and Omer Mujadžić's The Hearth)

Ljubomir Džoni Naumović (Kragujevac, Serbia, 1898 – Cannes surroundings, France, 1956)

Little information has been saved regarding Naumović's artistic education. It is known that after the end of World War, he studied painting in London and Paris (probably at the École des Beaux-Arts). Upon his return to Serbia, he lived in Kragujevac, and then in Belgrade. From 1948 he lived and worked on the Côte d'Azur, where he was killed in a car accident.

In addition to painting, he also concentrated on drawing, caricature, illustration and posters, and occasionally even sculpture.

Mica Todorović excludes the human figure and turns to things and spaces that surround her, while delighting in her "ordinariness". It is the largest and most recognizable cycle of this artist, so the number of her works that have been included within this permanent exhibition is not surprising.

Atelier
Displays of the atelier and scenes from it have emerged as the largest group of works within the exhibition.  The number of the works was surprising, and so was the time span in which they were created. These displays should be understood as self-representation, a kind of a self-portrait, an act that thematises the conditions of the art creation in a particular way. Aesthetic and biographical information are intertwined. They suggest the social, economic, psychological and any other state of the artist. The most radical example of an installation here is perhaps Edin Numakadić's installation, which is an excerpt from the life and work of an artists during the siege of  Sarajevo.

Numankadić's table represents a clip from the living and working space of an artist during the siege of Sarajevo and as such is probably the most intimate, yet most documented, view of the atelier (and space) at the exhibition. Numankadić's table is a memory and a testimony. By entering the exhibition, the space has lost its primary function and has become a metaphor.

Among the presented depictions of the atelier, one work of art stands out – From the Studio by Mario Mikulić, which shows only one detail, one object, in the atelier. This depiction is probably a hommage to Cézanne's work (Stove in the studio, 1865), but also to one important element of every atelier - the source of heat.

A special segment consists of art works that show the process of work in the atelier, either through self-portraits of the artist, where along with the artist we can see the completed works or works in the process of creation, or through models - nudes.

Self-portrait by Gabrijel Jurkić, known in several versions (a work of art depicted in the background varies), in this context is viewed as a double self-portrait – through the painters own figure and through his own work, which specifically highlights the connection between the artist and his work.

National Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina - Part of the permanent exhibition "Intimacies of Space"
Credits: Story

© 2017 National Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina | Umjetnička galerija Bosne i Hercegovine

Permanent exhibition (2015 - )
Intimacies of Space: Interior and Exterior from the Collection of the National Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Author: Maja Abdomerović
Photographs: Archive of the National Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Text: Exhibition catalogue "Intimacies of Space: Interior and Exterior from the Collection of the National Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina", National Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 2015.

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