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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 in 1895. He spent his childhood and youth as a shepherd. He began doing painting in 1957. He donated his collection of paintings as the legacy to his native town. Ilija’s oeuvre can be classified into a few thematic units. Most numerous are the presentations of the Biblical, especially Old Testament motifs. 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. A significant part of his oeuvre includes the flying astrological beings. Ilija’s works are not descriptive, but are allegorical with multi-layered and symbolical context. He does not make difference between the presentation of an apocalyptic angel or modern astronaut, kings of Apocalypse and kings of Iliad, between a simple and an apocalyptic bird etc. Ilija creates the anti-illusionistic, the abstract.

  He does not use perspective; he eliminates reminiscences; he generalizes and prefigures by using symbols. Two-headed beings denote the duplicity of everything presented. In Biblical scenes or Serbian myths, legends and epics, the dynamics and morale prevail, while in scenes from Iliad we find humour, irony and grotesque. In these presentations, the artist tried to demythologize Biblical heroes and historical characters. His works are not descriptive, since they are the product of a self-taught visionary and instinctive neo-primitive. He most often used allegory with a multi-layered connotation. The mere names of his paintings, like in Sekulić and Jakić, help us to get acquainted with his world full of personal symbolism. He created in anti-illusionist and abstract manner, eliminated reminiscences and generalized due to his purely authentic understanding of the realistic. Ilija’s dynamic treatment of the coloured structure points to outstandingly modern dimension of his pictorial expression. The backgrounds in his paintings are often empty and flat, while rhythmically sequenced figures are floating, animated with wavy lines. The colour is raw, of visible ductus. Golden background is characteristic in the paintings of the special cycle. He had exhibitions in the country and abroad and was awarded many times. The greatest collection of his paintings is in the museum Ilijanum, in Šid (Serbia).  
  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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