LECTURE: NIKOLA DOBROVIĆ – 50 YEARS LATER
Lecturer: Aleksandar Kadijević
→ Cultural Centre of Belgrade, Art Gallery
Authoritative and charismatic, Architect Nikola Dobrović (Pečuj, 1897 – Belgrade, 1967), left an indelible mark on the visual culture of Central and South East Europe between the two world wars, as well as in the first decades of socialist Yugoslavia. He consistently advocated modernist principles through buildings, bidding projects, town planning, daily critical comments, program manifests, university teaching, as well as theoretical or historical treatises. He was also actively engaged in the issues of protection of architectural heritage. He constantly instructed the generations of architects and visual artists on the most advanced artistic aspirations. In historiographical reflections to date, the periodization of Dobrović’s work has been divided to the Prague, Dubrovnik and Belgrade periods.
A lot of detailed studies and articles that highlight different aspects of Dobrović’s creative biography (design, journalism, modernism, Mediterraneanism, spiritual modules, proportions) have been published about Dobrović in Serbia and abroad, while a monograph on the General Staff Headquarters from 2000 stands out among the works dedicated to individual achievements. There have been positive comments on his role in reviewed articles and handbooks on the wider genesis of recent Serbian architecture. In addition, he is regularly represented in the global lexicography through biographical units.
Despite considerable study of Dobrović’s opus, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of his death, it is essential to thoroughly reexamine his role in the recent Serbian and European architecture, and especially to look at ideas that he passionately advocated, including the criteria within the Department of Fine Arts and Music of the Serbian Acadamy of Sciences and Arts. In addition, his relationship with his contemporaries, opponents and governing officials deserves closer attention, which also applies to the established forms of the reception of his work, which cannot meet the interests of contemporary critical strategies. Dobrović's status in the cultural memory of the Balkan and Central European peoples is also an essential topic of his versatile revaluation.
Aleksandar Kadijević graduated in 1987 at the Department of Art History of the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade. He selected the history of Serbian and European architecture of the modern age as the major field of his scientific work. He defended his master’s thesis (1991) and doctorate dissertation (1995) in the main department. From 1989 to 2006, he was elected to all university titles, from assistant-trainee to a full-time professor on the course of Architecture History. From 1988 to 2017, in Serbia and abroad, he has published 310 papers, including twelve books (seven independent works and five as a co-author). He is a member of the Architecture Academy of Serbia.