12th November - 5th December 2009


Dobrosav Bob Živković

The Creative Centre Publishing House published over three hundred books by national writers until now and about sixty artists had been commissioned to illustrate them. Although these artists work for different kinds of media and different kinds of books for children of various ages, their creative approach has developed into recognizable style when the production of the Creative Centre is considered. The illustrators of the Creative Centre foster a style close to the caricature and the credit for his goes to professors Dušan Petričić and Rastko Ćirić and their significant influence exerted on generations of Serbian illustrators studying at the Faculty of Applied Art and Design in Belgrade. Therefore it was not a random choice of the Museum of Applied Art in Belgrade that the exhibition “Illustrators of the Creative Centre” followed the exhibitions representing creative work of these two leading figures of Serbian art and the exhibition of illustrators of “Politikin zabavnik”.

Dobrosav Bob Živković was the first illustrator working for the Creative Centre. During the past two decades of cooperation his witty illustrations became hallmark of the style the Creative Centre fostered. His bright colours, caricatured figures, attention paid to each and every detail and specific sense of humour represent the essential characteristics of these illustrations. In the beginning, Bob was drawing illustrations for animal picture books based on stories of Simeon Marinković, the founder of the Creative Centre, and his contribution includes illustrations for almost one hundred books published by the Creative Centre. His illustrations for the edition”Straight from the Shoulder” are an example of the creative relation of our writers and illustrators. The book “Sex for the Beginners” by Jasminka Petrović ranks among the most often translated books issued by the Creative Centre.

Dobrosav Bob Živković

From the moment it was established the Creative Centre publishing house issued books of various profiles aimed for children of different ages. Picture books are designed for the youngest and the illustrators fostering pictorial structure of their works have an open field for their imagination. Books for children and teenagers, primary school textbooks, books for parents, educators, pupils and teachers, they are all published by the Centre. For the textbooks certain norms of presentation are applied and the illustrators abide by these rules. On the other hand, it is the intention of the Creative Centre that its textbooks instigate children’s creative thinking and desire for exploring. The Creative Centre was awarded by the 2007 Munich Book Fair in Frankfort for the textbook “Music Education for the Primary School Third Forms”. By his skilful drawings for the book Bora Kuzmanović achieved visual equaling to the contents of the text. The reading book for preschool children and primary school pupils “Apple in a Basket” was illustrated by Snežana Kubinec. Vivacious drawings of her pictorial designs offer different approach to different topics and her daring colorism makes these illustrations so special among other picture books production for the youngest. The reading book “Apple in a Basket” gained the title of the best children book at the Belgrade Book Fair in 2002. The book “Give me Wings for a Round” after the text of Vladimir Andrić was a joint venture of Milan Pavlović, Ivica Stevanović and Kosta Mladenović. Three illustrators, each of them having a different formal approach and active in different media, had produced a book which combined different creative approach in caricatured illustration. “Give me Wings for a Round” was proclaimed the best book for children at the 2006 Belgrade Book Fair.

Ivica Stevanović

The award of the Belgrade Book Fair as well as other awards speaks for the constant level of quality of the activities of the Creative Centre. Only those illustrators would be commissioned who were able to offer innovative approach to the given text or new visual designs for the old texts of Dušan Radović, Branko Ćopić, Hans Christian Andersen and other well-known children writers. Some of the illustrators would offer a painting response, others graphic, or photo-realistic ones, but the majority would react with caricatures. In this way the Creative Centre continues to fulfill its mission and develop in children their ability for creative thinking and the urge for exploring. Illustrations for their editions are in fact a small encyclopaedia of contemporary Serbian illustrations for children, their parents and teachers.

Slobodan Jovanović
Curator at the Museum of Applied Art

Milan Pavlović

Tihomir Čelanović

Vesna Balkanski

Suzana Kubinec
Curatorof the exhibition: Slobodan Jovanović, Curator at the Museum of Applied Art, Department of Contemporary Applied Arts