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  MUSEUM OF NAÏVE AND MARGINAL ART
CULTURAL INSTITUTION OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE
         
 
 
 
 
         
     

     
     

Bašičević Bosilj Ilija (Serbia)

1895-1972

     
   

He was born in Šid, Serbia, in 1895. He began doing painting in 1957. In the beginning he did drawings and gouaches, then oil on wood, canvas, fibreboard, cardboard, paper and rarely on glass. He had his first exhibition in 1963. He donated his collection of paintings as the legacy to his native town. Today, it is a gallery-museum collection which bears his name Ilijanum, and at the same time is the largest collection of his works.
He was one of the most significant representatives of the so-called art brut in Serbia. He had exhibitions in the country and abroad, at famous international events where he received awards and recognitions for his realisations. At the Third Triennial in Bratislava, in 1972, Ilija posthumously received Special Recognition of the international Jury for his achievements in the domain of naïve and marginal art. He was a world classic. In the Iliad Cycle, which has nothing in common with the famous Homer’s epic but is related to the painter’s name, the artistic allusions to the real world and his fights against human foolishness, duplicity and hypocrisy are often.

  Ilija’s oeuvre can be classified into a few thematic units. Most numerous are the presentations of the Biblical, especially Old Testament scenes.

Then the motifs inspired by epics, legends and myths followed. In the Iliad Cycle, which has nothing in common with the famous Homer’s epic but is related to the painter’s name, the artistic allusions to the real world and his fights against human foolishness, duplicity and hypocrisy are often. Then, he portrays the cycle with figures of real and imaginary animals. Finally, some paintings include flying astrological beings. Ilija’s works are not descriptive, but are allegorical with multi-layered and symbolical context. He did not make difference between the presentation of an apocalyptic angel or modern astronaut, kings of Apocalypse and kings of Iliad, between a common and an apocalyptic or paradise bird etc. Ilija created the anti-illusionistic, the abstract.
He did not use perspective; he eliminated reminiscences; he generalized and prefigured by using symbols.

References:
M. Bošković; M. Maširević, Samouki likovni umetnici u Srbiji, Torino, 1977
Oto Bihalji-Merin; Nebojša Bato Tomašević, Enciklopedija naivne umetnosti sveta, Beograd, 1984
N. Krstić, Naivna umetnost Srbije, SANU, Jagodina, 2003
N. Krstić, Naivna i marginalna umetnost Srbije, MNMU, Jagodina, 2007
Lj. Kojić, Dragutin Aleksić, monografija, MNMU, Jagodina, 2007

 
  The Arrival of Astronauts on the Moon, 1965, oil on canvas, 50x67cm  
 
 

 
 
Bašičević Bosilj Ilija - The Arrival of Astronauts on the Moon Bašičević Bosilj Ilija - Miss Iliad      
The Arrival

of Astronauts on the Moon, 1965,
oil on canvas, 50x67cm

Miss Iliad, 1969,

oil on fibre board,

115x120cm

     
 
         
         
 
 
 
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