Vojin Stojic

The dynamic records of movement 

After o short stagnation during fhe period of dogmatically regulated aesthefics of socialist realism, Serbian visual arts abruptly opened fo new plastic concepts, along different idiomatic directions, sfylisfic tendencies and formal realizafions. The first postwar generafions, those that enfered fhe artistic scene in early sixties, now completely free from the polifically imposed patterns of creation, frankly demonstrafed the changed undersfanding of fhe posifion of visual arts, and their refurn to exclusively artistic criteria and values. Alfhough sculpture was, naturally, the mosf inerf and fhe leasf conducive of all for such changes, for material and technological reasons, sculptors gave a significant confribution to this revival and fhe reunion of our arf wifh fhe family of European and world developments. 

One of fhe most interesting and original sculptors (whose work, strangely enough, has not yet received adequate aesthetic valorizafion) is Vojin Stojic. His not parficularly large opus discloses a sufficienf quantify of precious features and works thaf stond as evidence of fhe transformation Serbian art had undergone in the changed conditions of renewed modermsm; they can also bring us to an adequate interpretafion of the kind of fransformation thaf took place, related not only fo the innate objectives of sculpturing but to a correct understanding of fhe change, fhe plastic postulates of fhe period when if initially occurred, its development in fime, all the way to fhe present moment and their undoubtedly acfive presence. 

The conflict, destined fo happen at the crucial moment when a number of authors openly voiced their need for change in early 1950s, gave impetus to a group of artists (from differenf visual disciplines) who proceeded in various directions; today this process could be observed as a particular pluralistic paradigm, ranging from an altered realism (not only in subject matter but also in form) to numerous examples of abstraction – soft, close to associative narrafives, and hard, totally free of any data originating in outside reality. These extremes contained numerous individual artistic expressions thaf independently, separately and autonomously formed their own works. Vojin Stojic stands among fhem as one of fhe most outhentic and original personality in that pioneer period of contemporary art that coincided with fhe internal, governmental and social opening of Yugoslavia. 

The modernism reflected in Stojić’s early phase in a number of forms of associative abstracfion, could even be understood (were his works nof tifled “Bird’, 1956, “Golden ‘Woman”, 1957, “Fallen Bird, 1959, efc) as a completely non-objective art, in no relation to any kind of natural particulars. His exceptionally free fhree-dimensional drawing, an explicitly dynamic record of spatial, voluminous graphism, with sudden and unexpecfed changes of direcfion in movement, brought into his work yet unseen activity of forms. It was not only an evidence of a particularly lively creative mind, but even more than that, an evidence of a unique desire fo make a work – visually exceptionally mobile but in facf static – employ its masses fo link the beholder’s perception and impression with the aufhor’s innermosf sensibility, with his restless and inquisitive disposifion to investigate new spaces of expression, different potentials for modelling and realization of the set creative goals. This dynamic line of fhe movement of mosses through space, established as Stojic’s plastic sign, sometimes makes rough, sharp, dangerous, painful intrusions into its own environment, domaging ifs inviolability, isolotion and detachment from fhe work itself. In other cases fhe line can be lyrical, poetically rhyfhmed, brought almost to acoustic perfection in its own melodic quality, recognizable and acceptable to the senses of the beholder like some magnificently composed rhapsodies that beautifully unite the two arts: musical and visual. 

In decades thof followed, Vojin Stojić persisfed in his initial intentions, occasionally creating works with no, not even associative, representational features (like “Infinif/, 1961, “Shell”, 1962, “Tfirusf11 II, 1969, “Elevafion”, 1972, “Holiday”, 1981, “Enthusiasm”, 1984, etc). Since he was then teaching of the Academy of Fine Arfs, these works influenced future artists fo freely follow their own creafive needs. In some of his works there is full mass, subjected to fhe powerful forces of arfist’s repeated pressures in order fo achieve forms of almost tectonic characteristics, as if recovered from fhe farthest depfhs of earth where magma suddenly cooled and emerged fo surface. This kind of repeated treatment of the mass of sculptural object, even in miniature or gallery format, emanates in its final effect a monumental grandeur and the small form turns info a mafrix for greatly enlarged spafial signs (partially) fransformed into public or monumental sculptures. On this delicate line that disfurbs the passive perception of the beholder, Vojin Stojic has built his autonomous system of forms that permits free interpretation, experience and understanding. His work has served to many as an example of crucial importance for ther research in the medium of sculpture in an extremely expanded aesthetic field of recent decades. 

If is absolutely evident that these works, directly or indirectly, opened some paths in sculpture, so precious to future generations, by simplifying their progress to the presently achieved gools: complete autonomy of plastic statement and such individual idiomatic complexity that was able to attain the climatic points of this century only in periods of boundless liberty of expression. The beginning of thaf process should undoubtedly be looked for, found and recognized in fhe artistic opus of Vojin Stojic. 

Jovan Despotović 

Gallery Zepter, Belgrade, 2000