Olga Jevrić

19222014 | Belgrade, Serbia
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Olga  Jevrić — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Olga Jevrić in her studio, Belgrade, 1959, © Photo: Nobuya Abe

Sponsor
— Handel Street Projects

Serbian (Yougoslav) sculptor.

Olga Jevrić was born in a prosperous Belgrade family. She grew up in the city, attending St Joseph School and Third Grammar School for Girls , while at the same time taking classes at the Stanković Music School. In 1942 she continued her musical education at the Music Academy in Belgrade. The next year she enrolled to study sculpture at the Belgrade Academy of Fine Arts, in the class of Sreten Stojanović (1898-1960), student of Antoine Bourdelle and teacher of Alberto Giacometti and Henri Matisse). She graduated from the Music Academy in 1946 and from the Academy of Fine Arts in 1948, receiving her master’s degree the next year. Her first solo exhibition took place in the Gallery of Serbian Artists Union (Galerija ULUS-a) in Belgrade in 1957. This was an extremely important exhibition, introducing a completely new abstract concept in sculpture which, O. Jevrić called “spatial compositions”. These works represented a leap from a figurative sculpture of the human form, determined by finite closed volumes, to unbounded, open and abstract spatial sculpture. She experimented with a variety of techniques and materials, but preferred a mixture of cement and iron dust, a compound she called “ferroxide”. Her work owed a lot to her early interest in music. The shapes and formal aspects of the hammers and strings of a piano are ubiquitous in her work, materialised in nails, wires and lumps of matter connected with metal spines. She spoke of music as a spatial event in itself, with melodic lines spreading through time and space, ascending and descending, with scales, pauses, intervals, silence and rhythm, all contributing to the construction of her “spatial compositions”.

In 1958 O. Jevrić showed nine of her sculptures in the Yugoslav Pavilion at the 29th Venice Biennale. As a result of this, the next year she had her first international solo exhibition, at Galeria Notizie in Turin, run by Luciano Pistoi who saw her work in Venice. Many other European critics then took notice of her work and wrote about it including Giorgio de Chirico, Alain Jouffroy, Enrico Crispolti, Giuseppe Marchiori, Herta Wescher and others. An exhibition at Drian Galleries in London followed in 1962, and many study trips to Italy, France, Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

In 1965 she showed new works, made between 1963 and 1965, at the Salon of the Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade and she took part in Salon de la jeune sculpture at the Musée Rodin in Paris. Beginning the next year, she spent twelve months in the United States as a Ford Foundation Fellow, travelling extensively and meeting many artists including Louise Bourgeois and Naum Gabo. She spent the last three months of her stay at Cooper Union in New York, where she made more than fifteen sculptures.

In 1981 Olga Jevrić held a retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade, showing 141 works. This was the most comprehensive survey of her work to date. More recently, in 2016, eleven of her small works, Proposals for Monuments were shown at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds.

The largest survey of Olga Jevrić’s works outside her own country took place in 2019 in two London galleries, Handel Street Projects and PEER, with 46 works in total, coming from all periods of her long career.

Olga Jevrić’s works are in many collections including the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade, Heritage House Belgrade, the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences, The Cooper Union New York, The Israel Museum Jerusalem, the National Gallery Berlin, Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb. In 2019 the Tate Gallery London acquired nine of her sculptures for their collection.

 

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Fedja Klikovac

© Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions
Olga  Jevrić — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Olga Jevrić, Proposal for the Monument Bubanj, 1959, gypsum, 25 x 13 x 13 cm, Courtesy Handel Street Projects

Olga  Jevrić — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Olga Jevrić, Articulation of the Space IV (Grasshopper), 1958, ferric oxide, iron, 15 x 16 x 15 cm, Courtesy Handel Street Projects

Olga  Jevrić — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Olga Jevrić, Complementary Forms I, 1959, ferric oxide, iron, 27 x 21 x 11 cm, Courtesy Handel Street Projects

Olga  Jevrić — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Olga Jevrić, For Isotropic Space (four positions), 1992, ferric oxide, gypsum, 30 x 48 x 29 cm, Courtesy Handel Street Projects

Olga  Jevrić — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Olga Jevrić, Horizontal Movements, 1959, iron, 14 x 32.5 x 10 cm, Courtesy Handel Street Projects

Olga  Jevrić — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Olga Jevrić, Memento II, 1956, fired glazed clay, 19 x 14 x 4 cm, Courtesy Handel Street Projects

Olga  Jevrić — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Olga Jevrić, Portrait RD, 1952, patinated gypsum, 28 x 40 x 36 cm, Courtesy Handel Street Projects

Olga  Jevrić — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Olga Jevrić, Proposal for the Monument Prokuplje, 1951, dried earth, 24 x 24 x 12 cm, Courtesy Handel Street Projects

Olga  Jevrić — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Olga Jevrić, Three Elements I b, 1956, iron, 19 x 28 x 16 cm, Courtesy Handel Street Projects

Olga  Jevrić — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Olga Jevrić, Vertical Composition, 1956, cement, iron, 21 x 10 x 6 cm, Courtesy Handel Street Projects

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