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Retrospective exhibition marking 40 years of artistic work

Džoja Ratković-Gavela
With Windmills", Illustrations, Drawings and Caricatures (1969-2010)

9 – 30 June, 2011
Opening night: Thursday, June 9th 2011 at 7pm
Exhibition will be opened by
academic Matija Bećković and Peter Bochskanl, former director of Wiener Journal and president of "Presseclubs Concordia", Vienna
During the opening ceremony:
there will be concert of soprano Tijana Vučković and soprano Ana Joksimović, with piano Danica Dujaković. Programme: Felix Mendelssohn and Isidor Bajić

Illustration for the title page of the book by Pavle Janković – Šole "Oblak u jastuku", Publishing Company "Dečje Novine", Gornji Milanovac, Belgrade, 1983, pen drawing and tempera, 22 x 19.5 cm
Illustration I found it for the Kolariću Paniću book by Ljubiša Đokić, "Vuk Karadžić" Belgrade, 1983, pen drawing and tempera, 26 x 38 cm
The four decades-long career of illustrator, drawer and painter Džoja Ratković-Gavela represents motif enough to organize her stand-alone exhibition, for the second time within the Salon of Contemporary Applied Art in Museum of Applied Art. The retrospective exhibition titled With Windmills features more than three hundred works from the opus of the artist who stands at the very top of Serbian illustration of the second half of 20th century. In the works represented at the exhibition, one can notice not only the indubitable quality of Džoja Ratković-Gavela's drawing, but also the diversity in treatment of certain subjects which have inspired the artist ever since 1969.
Illustration for the Kljucala kljuca, štucala štuca book by Božidar Timotijević, Belgrade, 1984, 60 x 30 cm, ownership of Božidar Timotijević

Džoja Ratković-Gavela was born in Mostar in 1940. Already as a student of Academy of Applied Arts in Belgrade, she began to work for Yugoslav publishing houses and newspapers. During 1970s and 1980s, she built a recognizable style of illustration dominated by refined drawing. In the beginning of 1990s, she set for Vienna, where she worked for Austrian, German and Swiss publishing houses and newspapers. The audience in Belgrade will be able to see the works created during this phase of her work for the first time at this exhibition. While at the 1972 exhibition in Museum of Applied Art featured the works done at the beginning of the young illustrator's career, at the current 2011 exhibition Džoja Ratković-Gavela presents the rounded-off opus created in two different European ambiences.

Illustration for Mali život na četiri šape book by Ljubiša Đokić, "Vuk Karadžić" Belgrade, 1983, pen drawing, 27 x 38 cm

The title of the exhibition With Windmills describes the conceptual connection of the author to the problems and dilemmas of Don Quixote, Sisyphus, or Hofmann, or of Kafka's personages. The compactness of the caricatures and illustrations done in small formats accentuates Džoja's drawing, thus putting more emphasis on unexpected situations in which actors in her works find themselves. They communicate with one another in a surreal blending of pictorial elements: wind, tongue, ear, windmills, feather – to mention only few among numerous motifs that Džoja Ratković-Gavela uses to express the restlessness that moves her and her actors alike. Džoja's artistic credo becomes visible in this kind of relationship between the personages. Her stroke is interwoven with characteristic humor which emerges from their curious aspect ratios. Irony and satire mix in the view of society that "does not see itself". The final product of this kind of action is uncompromising attitude that consistency is the main characteristic of artistic engagement. This is why Džoja Ratković-Gavela's art will continue to be highly appreciated in our as well as Austrian history of drawing and illustration.

Slobodan Jovanović, exhibition curator

Illustration for AUVA 1996 calendar, Vienna, 1995, print, ownership of AUVA
Illustration for the poem Rand-voll, book by Thomas Herzog Die Stimme der Sehnsucht, «Müllerverlag» Zürich, 1999 pen drawing, 28.5 x 19 cm

Džoja Ratković-Gavela was born in 1941 in Mostar. She studied at the Academy of Applied Art in Belgrade and has been Member of the ULUPUDS since 1967. From 1976 to 1991 she engaged as illustrator at the Radio and TV Belgrade. From 1991 until 2007 she had been working both in Belgrade and Vienna. She lives and works in Belgrade. Her works were represented at over 40 one-man exhibitions and at over 350 group events. The artist published her works in newspapers and magazines: Mladost, Student, Književne novine, Književna reč, Jež, Oko (Zagreb), Pavliha (Ljubljana), Oslobođenje (Sarajevo), Daily News and Musical Section of TV Beograd, NIN, Politika, Wiener Journal, Wiener Zeitung, Furche, Standard, Sonntagsblatt, Beauty, Industrie Magazine, Image, Wirschaftsmagazin, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Die Presse etc. She illustrated about 40 books published by publishing houses Vuk Karadžić, Prosveta, BIGZ, Matica Srpska, Narodna knjiga and Srpska književna zadruga.

Illustration for «Neue Zürcher Zeitung» daily, Zürich, 1997 pen drawing, 28 x 38 cm
1968 The Atelier 212 Gallery, Belgrade
1969 Youth Centre Gallery of Belgrade
1970 Exhibition of illustrations for BITEF catalogues, The Atelier 212 Gallery, Belgrade
1972 At the Crossroads, Salon of the Museum of Applied Art, Belgrade
1974 Exhibition of drawings, Art Gallery, Sarajevo – branch office Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
1977 Gallery of the Cultural Centre, Belgrade
1979 Shadows, Schaller Gallery, Stuttgart
1984 Drawings for Children's Books, Gallery "Grafički kolektiv", Belgrade
1987 Exhibition of Drawings and Illustrations, Gallery of "Školska knjiga" Zagreb
1991 Exhibition of Drawings, Auersperg Palace, Vienna
1992 Exhibition of Cartoons, Press Concordia Club, Vienna
1993 Strudelhof Gallery, Vienna
1995 Music in Drawings and Paintings, Marble Hall of State Opera, Vienna
1996 Exhibition of Drawings, Alfa Gallery, with Dušan Gavela, Vienna
1997 Gallery of the Cultural Centre in Feldkirchen
1999 Exhibition of Water Colours, Art&Dec Gallery, Vienna
2002 Exhibition of Water Colours and Drawings, Hofburg Palace, within the frames of the European Congress "Lungs Cancer", with Dušan Gavela, Vienna
2003 Notes from Tuscany, Greece and Austria, exhibition of water colours, Studio Wolf Gallery, Vienna
2003 Exhibition of Cartoons and Drawings, Press Concordia Club, Vienna
2004 Exhibition of Drawings, Haos Gallery, Belgrade
2007 Ballet, exhibition of paintings, with Jelena Gavela, within the frames of the World Dance Day, National Theatre, Belgrade
2010 From a Sketch to a Painting, "New Moment" Gallery, Belgrade
1966 Yugoslav Painting, Ranelagh Gallery, Paris
1967 Biennial of Comic Drawings, Tolentino, Italy
1968-1970 Salon of International Cartoons, Montreal
1968-1972 International Festival of the Humour, Bordighera, Italy
1970 Kerempuh ’70, Zagreb
1971 Karikatura Skoplje 1971, Skoplje
1974 Exhibition of Yugoslav Applied Art, Düsseldorf
1970-1991 May Salon, October Salon, “Golden Pen”, Belgrade
1977 Cartoons ’77, Berlin
1978 Biennial of Drawings, Rijeka
1979 National Museum, Belgrade
1982 GEDOK, Berlin
1983 Biennial of Illustrations, Bratislava
1983 “George Pompidou” Centre, Paris
1983-1984 Illustration of poems by Jovan Jovanović Zmaj from the first editions until present times, Museum of Applied Art, Belgrade; Novi Sad, Čačak, Šabac, Niš, Pirot
1984-1991 Golden Smile, exhibition of cartoonists of the magazine Jež
2003-2010 Golden Smile, Golden Pen, Belgrade
2009 Vinča, Cultural Centre Gallery, Belgrade
2010 Exhibition of the Zlatibor Colony 2008, RTS Gallery, Belgrade
2010 Nikola Tesla Caricatures Exhibition, Nikola Tesla Museum, Belgrade
2010 International Exhibition Inventiveness, Little Gallery of SASA, Belgrade
2010 Exhibition of portraits, Cultural Centre Palilula, Belgrade
2011 Exhibition of the Greek Colony Perdica,”Helena” Gallery, Belgrade 2011 Biennial of Water Colours, Gallery of the Students’ Cultural Centre, New Belgrade
1970 "Pavliha", Budva
1971 "Golden Pen", "Večernje novosti", Belgrade
1972 "Golden Pen" Prosveta, Belgrade
1972 Award with acquisition of the Museum of Applied Art, Belgrade
1974 Award of the journal "Mladost", Belgrade
1975 Award with acquisition of the Republic Culture Association of Serbia for the exhibition "Golden Pen '75", Belgrade
1976 Golden plaque by ULUPUDS at "Golden Pen '76", Belgrade
1983 "Ivo Petković" award at "Golden Pen", Belgrade
1985 First prize "Golden Pen of Belgrade", Belgrade
1986 First Prize, Biennial of Illustration, Sarajevo
1988 Second Prize, Biennial of Illustration, Sarajevo
2000 Second prize for caricature at the European Cartoons Biennial, Feldkirchen
2002 Second prize for caricature at the European Cartoons Biennial, Feldkirchen
2009 Award for the position of the eminent artist of ULUPUDS
2009 Life Time Achievement Award of ULUPUDS
2010 Second prize at the exhibition inspired by Tesla, Belgrade
2010 First prize for portrait, Cultural Centre Palilula, Belgrade
2011 Award at the Biennial of Water Colours, Students Cultural Centre, New Belgrade
Illustration for «Wiener Zeitung» daily, Vienna, 1996, pen drawing, 28.5 x 19 cm
Illustration The Bird for the monthly «Wiener Journal», Vienna, 2001, pen drawing, 18 x 18 cm
Exhibition curator: Slobodan Jovanović, Curator, Department of Contemporary Applied Arts