Still Life with a Yellow Bird by Miodrag B. Protić, 1959.

The painting “Still Life with a Yellow Bird” is a monumental canvas with a wide, developed space that includes the rhythm of small, everyday immediate geometric shapes: a lamp, a vase with flowers, a cage with a bird, a plate with fruit. All the mentioned objects are subordinated to the composition, that is, to the strictly organized geometric conception of things.

In the second half of the 1950s, Protić created recognizable subject representations of still lifes and imaginary landscapes. The high and refined aesthetics of Protić’s painting owes as much to the composition as it does to the color. In the initial stages of the author’s work, the color is pure, strong and sonorous, while then it gradually fades into ever calmer sets of dark blue, dark green, gray and brown in numerous shades. It is noticeable that these are chromatic relations that do not rest on the established laws of color theory but arise from the author’s inclinations towards building unique compositions and assemblies. Protić started that construction and passionate painting very early, in his school days in Kraljevo, where he studied at the Lower and Higher Gymnasiums (1933–1941). Then he painted in the spirit of Cezanne most widely understood.

Miodrag B. Protić was an artist, theorist, critic and founder of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade. He graduated from the Faculty of Law in Belgrade in 1950. He studied painting at the Mladen Josić School of Painting, in the period 1943-1944 with Jovan Bijelić and Zora Petrović. He received further education in Paris, Italy (on several occasions) and the USA.

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