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AUTHOR'S BIOGRAPHY

1933

Alojz Ćurić was born in Mrkonjić Grad on 13 April, into a family of workers, to father Zvonko, a cobbler, and mother Elizabeta, a housewife.

 

1942

They moved to Banja Luka.

 

1948

Between ages 15 and 24, he did gymnastics and worked as a sports teacher, which led him to choose the job of children’s educator.

 

1952

He took up painting and entered the Teachers’ College in Banja Luka. He attended the first year in Professor Božo Nikolić’s class, and the second in Sarajevo[1], in Professor Radenko Mišević’s class. He became friends with Enver Štaljo, with whom he shared the same ambitions and sensitivity.

 

1953-1954

He was particularly keen on making illustations and drawings, which BiH youth magazines published as special supplements.

 

1954

He graduated from the Teachers’ College in Sarajevo. He enrolled in the Reserve Army Officers’ School in Zagreb; during schooling there, he visited museums and galleries.

 

1955

With the first exhibition of the Group of Four, which also included Dušan Simić, Bekir Misirlić and Enver Štaljo, he became active on Banja Luka’s art scene. The young artists published their Manifesto in the catalog accompanying the exhibition. Among other things, they say in it: ‘We strive to create as independantly as we can, and share one thing – we have nothing in common with anyone.’ All four of them had something in common: ‘...We do the same job, which is closely connected with the painting we do; we feel somewhat revolted by the legacy of the pictorial craft as understood in schools and the social function of art, and we are constantly in need of resources, which are a must for this kind of work.’ Dušan Simić was the spiritual guide of the group, at whose home they met and had long discussions on art, aesthetics and new experiments in art.

His early works were largely influenced by Lubarda, which the artist acknowledges: ‘Lubarda helped me go to Mrkonjić, look for and find my rocky ground.’

He found employment in Jovan Jovanović Zmaj Primary School in Banja Luka as an art teacher, where he taught the next 38 years. He was very enthusiastic about working with children and greatly enriched the teaching practice with fresh ideas, helping children to release their creative potential.

 

1956

The first exhibition of children’s works opened.

Together with Misirlić and Štaljo, Alojz Ćurić took part in organizing the exhibition dedicated to Petar Kočić; Ivo Andrić was one of the guests, and had only words of praise for the young artists.

 

1957

One of Alojz’s girl students won the gold medal in the Second International Exhibition of Children’s Artworks for Yugoslavia. After that, children started exhibiting in shows across the former Yugoslavia and abroad, winning many awards, acknowledgements and recognitions.

 

1958

The Vogošća Declaration was adopted, directing the future development of the course of art education.

 

1960

Exhibition of children’s works at Đuro Salaj Gallery in Belgrade. Prominent Belgrade artists commended his work (Tabaković, Gvozdenović, Bijelić...).

 

1961

Dušan Simić died, which put an end to the Group of Four. The remaining three painters continued to hold joint and solo exhibitions.

 

1962

Winner of the Visitors’ Award at the Second Autumn Salon in Banja Luka.

 

1961-1965

A special period in his work; he created a number of oil paintings, which show mills and pack-saddles.

 

1965

Alojz Ćurić was one of the 9 art teachers awarded by the Vojvodina Center for Art Education of Children and Youth in Novi Sad for his achievement in the exhibition of children’s art works.

Bogomil Karlovaris, a formally-trained painter, wrote on this occasion: ‘...First, let me mention Alojz Ćurić from Banja Luka, whose ability to inspire children, move their imagination, their creative energy, allows us to see children’s expression in a special way, as a mixture of spontaneity, traditional ethnic elements and contemporary art form...’

 

1968

Winner of the Purchase Award of the Sarajevo Art Gallery at the Fourth Autumn Salon in Banja Luka.

 

1969

After the disasterous earthquake hit Banja Luka in October, he made a series of drawings of the city in ruins.

 

1969-1970

He worked with the commission for the foundation of the Art Gallery.

 

1970

He married Enisa Osmančević, a Banja Luka poet.

Representative of Bosnia and Нerzegovina at the international exhibition of the works of art teachers and their students at the Pirelli Cultural Center in Milan. He exhibited eight paintings.

 

1972

His daughter Vedrana was born.

 

1978

Winner of the Diploma of Merit for Art Education in Yugoslavia.

 

1979

They won the Grand Prix at VI International Biennial of Children’s Fantasy Art.

He held the 1956-1979 retrospective show of art works at the House of Culture.

 

1980

He showed the painting Mill IVmade in 1962 at the exhibition ‘Yugoslav Painting of 1960’s in Belgrade. In the exhibition catalog Azra Begić writes this about the painting of Bosnia and Herzegovina: ‘...Alojz Ćurić’s work has visibly developed in the sense of the transformation of the real; his landscapes maintain an associative connection with reality, but they greatly depart from the description of a specific motif taken from nature, which is Lubarda’s influence to some extent.’...

 

1985

Winner of the Golden Plaque for an outstanding contribution to the development of culture in Banja Luka.

 

1992-1995

War in Bosnia.

He was dismissed from the school where he worked all his life.

 

2003

Winner of the April Award for a special contribution to the development of Banja Luka.

 

2007

He died in his apartment on 31 March.

 

He was a member of the Bosnia and Herzegovina's Fine Artists’ Association (ULUBiH)


 

[1] The College moved to Sarajevo.