Jlija Bosilj

Type
Individual
Role
Artist
Identifier
BosiljJlija
Alternate names
Lija Basicevic
Lifespan
1895 – 1972
Functions, Occupations, and Activities
>Painter
Medium
Paint
Biography
lija Bašičević, later Ilija "Bosilj" Bašičević (Serbian Cyrillic: Илија Башичевић Босиљ; Šid, July 18, 1895 - May 14, 1972) was a painter; a classic of Serbian outsider art. Bašičević was born in Šid, which was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and is now in Serbia and died in 1972 in Šid. His parents were peasant farmers and he only received about four years of school before starting work on the farm. He left the country during both World War I to escape conscription and during World War II to avoid the Ustaše. He resisted collective farming and was periodically jailed on dubious charges by the political police. He began doing painting in 1957. His first major showing was at a Belgrade gallery in 1963, and was very controversial because of Bašičeviċ's political stance. The painter took the surname "Bosilj" as a pseudonym for the showings. From the 1960s to the 1980s, his work was popular in Europe, often showcased in Zagreb and Belgrade but also Amsterdam and Paris. He donated his collection of paintings as the legacy to his native town. He died in Šid in 1972. Ilija Bašičeviċ's son Dimitrije Bašičević was an art critic and became involved in a "naïve art" movement started by the USSR which rejected "decadent" modernism, and the father was inspired to paint. His son disapproved at first, because Ilija's work was not as precise or refined as the official Hlebene School's Reverse painting on glass techniques. Bašičeviċ's work is partially art brut and partially naïve art and most of his work is oil on canvas. Much of his work dealt with religion and folk legends and two-headed and two-faced creatures are a common theme. Unlike the traditional peasant style of his region, Bosilj created a flat two-dimensional world often inhabited by men and demons, snakes, fish, anthropomorphic creatures and spacemen. He gave many of his paintings to found an art museum in his home town in 1970. [Retrieved on 1/31/2018 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilija_Bašičević]