Dušan Otašević

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Dušan Otašević (Душан Оташевић) (born 1940) is an artist.[1]

Otašević was born in Belgrade, Kingdom of Yugoslavia. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, Belgrade, in 1966. At first he was associated with "New Figuration" in Belgrade, turned to Pop-Art and produced sculptural objects. He currently lives in Belgrade.

Historians (e.g. Marina Martić) say that he appeared when the „Yugoslav model of socialist society“ was created, when „socialism with human face“,[citation needed] the self–management system and non–alignment were conceived, when the country opened to the West and western models of life–style and values became accessible to everyone, although not seen by everyone as seductive traps, when our art scene was marked by „socialist aestheticism“ – the institutionally, i.e. officially, supported modernist discourse + sensibility of (the still vital) Parisian Internationalism. Since his first encounters with the public – in the former Atelje 212, then in the Youth Cultural Club – Dušan Otašević has shown interest in everyday objects refracted through the optics of omnipresent irony, based on false sentimentality, the dominance of kitsch, political manipulations, consumer fevers ... He was named our most authentic pop–artist. He was one of our first artists who used quotations (in a postmodernist fashion) in his ever more complex reasoning and stratified realizations; the quotations were taken from myths and legends, history and art history, from philosophy, film and literature. However, he also created his own, personal myths in the moments when the whole nation began to live in/with the surrogates of unbearable or unrecognizable reality. His civic disobedience, although poignant, serious, full of criticism and refusal to accept that Man can be treated as an ignorant, unintelligent and impotent being, has always displayed boyish features, an illusion of naiveté with an innocent smile. With an utterly reduced language, with recognizable characteristics as tokens of time and with an unconventional artistic procedure (wood – plane – saw – chisel – glue ...), as proposed replacements for the traditional visual means, Dušan Otašević deliberates over different phenomena we are forced to live with: the still current totalitarian regime and militarism, the historic amnesia as the lot of Serbia, the classic visual disciplines in a phase of (reluctant) dissolution, the classical myths as inexhaustible sources of meaning, the omnipresent but invisible signs of alchemy. A huge range of committed concepts and a (seemingly) narrow range of artistic tools...

Solo exhibitions and participations (selection):

  • 1966 "New Figuration of Belgrade Circle", Gallery of the Cultural Centre, Belgrade.
  • 1967 Gallery in the House of the Rising Generation, Belgrade.
  • 1984 "Line", Gallery Sebastian, Belgrade.
  • 1990 "Ilija Dimić", Gallery Sebastian, Belgrade.
  • 1995 "Portrait", Gallery SANU, Belgrade.