Academician Svetomir Arsić-Basara passed away

It is with great regret that the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts announces the passing of its full member Svetomir Arsić Basara (b. Sevce, 15 May 1928) aged 96, one of our most distinguished painters, on 10 May in Belgrade.

He completed the High School of Arts in Niš after the Second World War during which he participated in the National Liberation Movement. He graduated from the Department of Sculpture of the Academy of Applied Arts in 1958. In the same year, he took up the position of the art officer in the County Board of the Secretariat for Culture in Priština, where his contribution to the renewal and establishment of art life in the form of organization of collective and solo exhibitions of numerous artists would prove to be invaluable. He taught sculpture and art education methodology at the School of Teaching and Higher Pedagogical School.

Following the foundation of the Academy of Fine Arts in Priština in 1973, he started lecturing at the Department of Sculpture, which he would head until his retirement in 1995. He was the dean of the Academy twice.

He is a founder of the Art Colony in Dečani and he also initiated the Club of Artists of Kosovo and Metohija in 1958.

From 1983 until its abolition in 1992, he was a member of the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Kosovo.

He was elected a full member of SASA in 1994. In the Academy, he was a member of the Academy Board for the Study of Kosovo and Metohija (from 1996), the Board for the Dictionary of Fine Art Terms and the Managing Board of the Fund for Scientific Research of SASA.

His first work titled ‘A Girl’s Head’ was made in clay in 1950.  Since then, he held a series of solo exhibitions, and  was the author of multiple outstanding monuments. His opus developed from expressive works to associative abstraction; from the early 1980s, his creative work has been intrinsically linked to the fate of his people. It has become engaged, and focused on the spiritual and national being, which is particularly evident in the cycle of ‘(Un)merciful Angel’, sculptures ‘Mother Serbia’, ‘Sword in Christ’s Hand and others.

He wrote studies on sculptures, art reviews and short stories.

He was honoured with many awards such as the Award of the Association of Fine Artists of Serbia, 1969,  the Prize of the City of Priština, 1971, the 7th July Award, 1978, the Award of the Union of Fine Arts Associations of Yugoslavia, 1981, AVNOJ Prize, 1986, Vuk Award, 1998 and the Order of Brotherhood and Unity with Silver Wreath, etc

With his rich opus, he became one of the most significant creators in the history of contemporary Serbian sculpture.

His departure represents a great loss to the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts and overall Serbian society and culture.