Sava Sekulić. From Sava to Sava

Galerie Michael Haas presents selected works from the comprehensive estate of the Yugoslavian artist Sava Sekulić (1902 – 1989). Intertwined human and animal bodies, scenes from everyday life, landscapes and frontal portraits, captured in elementary colours and formal reduction are characteristic of his work.

The exhibition is titled after an eponymous cycle of work and emphasises the artist’s two creative poles, the writer and the painter. Until 1932, Sekulić created thousands of poems, drawings and dramas. He learned to read and write as well as to paint and draw himself. Sekulić emphasised this identity as an autodidact in his signature “CCC”. In the Cyrillic alphabet, it stands for the first letters of his first and last name as well for “samouk” meaning “autodidact”.

Besides oil works on cardboard and wood, the drawings disclose that poetry and visual art were of equal value to Sekulić. The poems often appear on the backs of the sheets, at the same time they are an intrinsic part of the fronts. They contain teachings and general statements. In some works, they complement the images.

While the works are often associated with naïve art, especially their frontal representation without the use of perspective and a focus on a few colours, these very qualities can be linked to the anthropomorphic creatures, hunting scenes and roundels on bogomil stones or with early Christian art in Croatia. Sekulić reassesses and extends the relevance of these traditions to his own present and creates an idiom of his own.



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