This publication offers a unique opportunity to discover the work of Olga Jevrić, a remarkable Serbian artist whose long and distinguished career established her as the most significant modernist sculptor from former Yugoslavia. Despite gaining widespread acclaim from her contemporaries both in Europe and the USA, economic, social and geopolitical upheavals meant that her work has been little seen outside Serbia in the last four decades. As a witness to the Second World War and its aftermath, Jevrić sought to give voice to the spiritual roots, cultural foundation and social conditions of the war-torn environment in which her work developed. Through her materials – primarily a mixture of cement, iron oxide, rods and nails – she created distinctive forms that communicate the relationship between matter and void; weight and weightlessness; containment and release. Though many of her works are modest in scale, they have an immensely powerful presence.
This collection of texts and images provides a range of perspectives on Jevrić’s work. A thorough contextual overview of the artist is given by acclaimed Serbian art historian Ješa Denegri, followed by an introduction by Fedja Klikovac, including personal reminiscences of encountering her and her work. Two of Britain’s most celebrated sculptors also offer responses to Jevrić’s work: Richard Deacon recounts how deeply struck he was by her work while on visits to Belgrade, while a text by Phyllida Barlow in the form of a prose-poem draws the reader into the artist’s world of creative expression. The book closes with a philosophical reading of Jevrić’s work by artist Joan Key.