Svetomir Arsic – Basara / sculptures

 The works of Svetomir Arsic Basara, as it was formerly noticed, reflect all essential substances of epochs, by which, during a long period of time – starting from early fifties of the last century up to nowadays, he was not only an incontestable witness, but also a successful artistic interpreter.

His sculpturing opus so far has been described several times, periodizated, evaluated, critically treated, theoreticallyestablished, and therefore such determinations are nowadaysmainly confirmed. But, since this author has been going throughvarious, not only artistic, but also vital- precisely defined – existential situations, having been by his origins and by fate from a little place over hillside of mountain Sara, it has left thedeepest trails in the morphology of his work, but also in hisspiritual, intellectual and mental layers of the constitution of hiscomplex personality, and taking into consideration the reality of his origins, to all of these evaluations, it could be reliably addedanother one, probably to most true one: Svetomir Arsic Basara has been living in two, firmly connected parallel lives; onerecorded in his biography from boyish age, pupil’s, student’s,professor’s and academic period, and another one, impressed in the shape, plastic form of the wood, experienced and treatedalmost as the side of his own personality almost with the samesignificance and value. And indeed, there are very few examples in Serbian contemporary fine arts with so many pure emotionsof the author deeply impressed in creative work, with intensiveexperience in each part, even in the smallest one, almost invisible element of the form, being so hardly intertwined, tiedinternal and external pulse of the time, dramatic and lyricalmoments, damnation of the history, contents of individual and collective memory…

When time gives a right not only to esthetic values of a work, but also to its ideological contents, its messages shaped in definite moment but dedicated to the future, and when the same are confirmed, then not solely non subjectivity of such work is provided, but just his author’s personality. Certainly that it is not necessary to prove too much that it is just a case with artistic opus of Svetomir Arsic Basara. This is just another, current confirmation of the permanence of his work and simultaneously it is the confirmation of spiritual, creative and intellectual olden devotion of this author, but, as we are going to see in this study, it was instigated in the delicate moment of artistic self–recognition, above all, as reliable and dedicated creator turned towards future in spite of permanent staring at the past and present times. The preaching that the classic has always been the avant-garde, surely at its time, this is valid for each particular case. In the case of works of Svetomir Arsic Basara, that was the intention – transposition of tradition, by contemporary language, into the message of the future.

The eternity of authentic artistic work is confirmed by this example: the creativity of Svetomir Arsic Basara by the study being in front of us, has been reading, comparing to all previous ones, with the most of completeness and devotion.

That is how these few words at the beginning in fact have got a note of conclusion. Many have been already convinced in the correctness of these, or similar judgments. There are no doubts that those to come will think and feel in the same way looking at the artistic opus of Svetomir Arsic Basara.

Jovan Despotovic

Belgrade, 1983