Velickovic has had many solo exhibitions in Europe and Asia, and one in the US (Los Angeles, 1989). He has also received prestigious awards for drawing, painting, and etching. His work includes numerous series in which he reinterprets themes from religious art, notably the crucifixion and the recumbent effigy. References to the art of Matthias Grünewald recur as well. Throughout, his style establishes correspondences between the contemporary world in crisis and an experience of tragedy that is rooted in history. Marked by the crimes of the Second World War, Velickovic has focused his work on the representation of the body. Torn and mutilated, the male body in agony is an endless source of investigation for Velickovic—one in which the human figure mingles and merges with the animal (as in the series Pitbull, Crows, and Rats). With his skillful painting technique and vigorous draughtsmanship, Velickovic stands out as a consummate artist, in the tradition of the great masters.
Vladimir Velickovic was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, in 1935. After graduating from the Belgrade School of Architecture in 1960, he turned to painting and held his first solo exhibition in 1963. In 1965, he was honoured with a prize at the Biennale in Paris, where he moved the following year and continues to live and work. Velickovic gained public attention in 1967 with an exhibition at the Galerie du Dragon (Paris), emerging as one of the leading artists of the Narrative Figuration movement. In 1983, he was appointed professor at the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts in Paris, a post he held for eighteen years. A member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts as well as the Académie des beaux-arts–Institut de France, he is also a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et Lettres and a Knight of the Légion d’Honneur.
Working in the language of figurative expressionism, Velickovic offers a lucid and uncompromising reflection on the human condition, with its solitude and freedom. The problem of evil and suffering is often depicted through violence. At issue is a kind of sublimation of war, in which art is used to expose suffering and the atmosphere of battle—past or future, since conflict is always raging somewhere…
1700, rue Notre-Dame Ouest
Montréal (Qc) H3J 1M3
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