Velickovic, the art of motion

On 05 March 2020, by Sophie Reyssat

Humanity painted by Vladimir Velickovic is always running, as if to escape its destiny.

Vladimir Velickovic (1935-2019), Trois états du saut, 1975, oil on canvas, triptych signed, dated and titled on the back of each part, 198 x 438 cm (together), 198 x 146 cm (each canvas).

Man runs, but Vladimir Velickovic stopped the watch to better observe how his body moved. The human figure in motion, as it is written at the top of the first painting, keeps moving on two other panels, jumping and falling. The Yugoslav-born artist started exorcising the memory of the atrocities he witnessed during the Second World War at a very young age. From the very beginning in the 1960s, his works featured badly wounded or running people. In the 1970s, his animated bodies led him to take an interest in the breaking down of the movement of horses pioneered by the inventor of chronophotography, Étienne-Jules Marey, and Eadweard Muybridge. The latter’s work, published in 1887 in the collection Animal Locomotion, marked a turning point in the depiction of movement. Science may have caught up with painting, but art remains an interpretation of reality. "Photography has given me a lot of information about the body,” Velickovic said in a 1986 interview. “I've looked at medical books. Yet the accuracy of anatomy isn’t what I’m after, but its visual and graphic aspect". This triptych thus raises existential questions. Velickovic put his brushes down for good in 2019, but the vital energy that always ran through his work will remain. It will be exhibited at the Hélène & Édouard Leclerc Fund for Culture in Landerneau until 26 April.



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