Milivoj Uzelac, Plane Trees, 1933

Milivoj Uzelac
Plane Trees, 1933
oil on canvas,
117 x 89,5 cm

Strong expression and suggestive colour contrasts make the “Plane Trees” one of the most outstanding works from Uzelac’s most prolific phase. During the 1930s, as an already renowned painter in Paris and Cotignac, Milivoj Uzelac masterfully painted numerous scenes from contemporary life with exceptional creative ease, often interpreting the same motif in several variants. Reminiscent of Matisse and Derain, Uzelac achieves an impressive array of cityscapes, but also portraits and nudes in the interior, wherein he combines, in a unique way, mimetic parts of the painting with sections in which he approaches abstraction.
Milivoj Uzelac (Mostar, 1897 – Cotignac, 1977) was educated in Banja Luka, Zagreb and Prague. Although he moved to France in 1923, he continued to regularly exhibit in his homeland and his experiences of Cézanneism, Expressionism and finally Lhote’s academic Cubism had a particularly decisive influence on the new generation of Croatian painters between the two wars. Destinies of Milivoj Uzelac and Vilko Gecan have strongly been intertwined since their early youth, and the complementarity of Uzelac’s creative hastiness and Gecan’s creative discipline was extremely important for both of their work.

Text: Lada Bošnjak Velagić, senior curator of the National Museum of Modern Art© National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb 2022
Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb 2022

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