• Spatial Poetics: Milija Belic by Nina Zivancevic

    Date posted: June 4, 2013 Author: mauri
    Image courtesy of the artist
    Image courtesy of the artist

    Milija Belic is native to Serbia but has lived in Paris since the early 1980s. He’s a sculptor and painter whose geometric abstractions are endowed with a special lyrical quality that causes us to think of him as a poet among the sculptors. His expression is pure and oneiric, always on the track of the Russian constructivists whom he sees as his distant tribal relatives. Belic probably has a number of these artistic relatives, as he is also an Art Theoretician. Milija is a spiritual artist whose lively, colourful sculptures often remind us of Kasimir Malevich. Built in the round and often sticking to straight lines,  the work somehow manages to escape an architectural nature. The artist combines two modes of thinking; a structured one, which is mathematical and musical, and an illogical one, which comes to us in the form of pure poetry.

    Belic’s universe is quite ordained, but at its best escapes a pragmatic order. His triangles are usually playful and imposed on us in an upside-down manner. The sculptures are made out of light material such as plexiglas or plastic, wood, or even cardboard. For Belic, the most important thing for them is that the essence of their entire existence be identified as musical.

    The artist is the author of several books of art theory. What’s really being exhibited through his work is a certain philosophy of art which is not encumbering, as heavy theory can be, but is applied in a manner that is rather playful and accesible. It invites the spectator to challenge stale analytical views of space and numbers. It is as if Wittgenstein went out to his garden and started playing with his theoretical applications amongst the flowers.

    However, his painting is a bit different, as it belongs to a certain Surrealist orientation, a road that has been somewhat already explored in various directions and almost forgotten on the international scene since the late 1970s. Milija Belic has participated in many group shows and has gotten many awards for his art, but his first one-man show was delightfully staged at Galerie Monod in Paris by the end of 2012. It was an exhibition long in the making, and one fans of calculated poetics will not soon forget.

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