The Legacy of Petar Lubarda
The Inheritance of a Man Who Changed the Fate of Yugoslav Painting in the Second Half of the 20th Century and Who Used to Defeated Dali and Picasso at Biennale Competitions!
The legacy of Petar Lubarda is a representative collection that the artist bequeathed to the city of Belgrade. It is located in Iliciceva Street no. 1, in a villa assigned to the artist to be used until the rest of his days. The institution belongs to the Heritage House from Belgrade since 2007, and from 2008 to 2011, extensive restoration and conservation works were carried out, followed by opening the collection to the public.
Petar Lubarda was born on the 27th of July, near Cetinje, and died in 1974 in Belgrade. He was a modernist painter who had more than 50 solos and over 350 collective exhibitions in a lifetime. The artist often worked on his large-format paintings for more than 16 hours a day, interrupting only for short-term meals. During the Second World War, he led domestic painting into a new phase with his coloristic expressionism, in which forms are barely recognizable, and lather on transitioned to abstraction, which had a great influence on the entire Yugoslav painting of the second half of the 20th century. The fact that the world also recognized his talent is evidenced by his defeating Dali and Picasso at the biennale in Sao Paolo in 1953/54 and Picasso once again in the competition in Japan.
The villa in Dedinje, where the collection is located today, was built in 1927 according to the project of the architect Veljko Milosevic. In 1957 Petar and his wife Vera moved in, and previously they lived in a small apartment with an even smaller studio in Draže Pavlovića Street. Since the envoys of foreign delegations passing through Yugoslavia wanted to visit his atelier, it was ordered the artist to be moved as a matter of urgency. The furniture was transferred in 24 hours, and in an effort to create the impression that the artist has been creating in that place for a long time, the floors were sprinkled with colors that evoked a creative mess.
The legacy of Petra Lubarda consists of several sections: gallery space, workshop, storehouse, a hall for projections, and a place for itinerant exhibitions. The collection consists of almost 300 drawings and graphics, 24 paintings, the artist’s equipment, furniture, and fragments of his library. The entrance door to the atelier on the ground floor is very attractive to visitors since it is decorated with engraved Petar’s drawings.
The first floor of the house was reserved for the private rooms that today serve as the exhibition space. Petar’s awards, family photos, a palette, an easel, and a favorite armchair can be found there. Some of the artist’s most successful works are displayed on this floor: The Lonely Rider, Lament for a Poet (dedicated to Njegos), Emperor Trajan, and The Battle of Kosovo, for which he made several preparatory sketches and drawings, ending up with several final versions of this theme in his opus. Emperor Trajan was created on the basis of a folk tale about an emperor who had goat ears and hid a secret by killing his barbers. Petar presented his wife with the painting for the 26th marriage anniversary.
Besides the fact that it is possible to watch a documentary about Petar Lubarda in the Legacy, the institution also organizes lectures, projections, and congresses.