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Gallery of the Regional Museum Jagodina

EXHIBITION DURATION: May 11 – June 11, 2023

Author of the exhibition: Jasmina Trajkov

Slobodan Štetić was born in 1958 in Jagodina. Graduated from the Graphic Department of the Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade. He deals with posters, photography, graphic design and painting. He is a full professor at the Faculty of Pedagogical Sciences in Jagodina, University of Kragujevac. He exhibited at hundreds of individual and group exhibitions of graphic design, photography, painting and illustration in many cities in the country and abroad: France, Poland, Finland, Germany, Ukraine, Canada, San Marino, Switzerland, Egypt, Taipei (Taiwan), Russia, Italy, Mexico, Croatia, Lithuania, China, Colombia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ecuador, Peru, Dubai, Korea, USA, Bolivia and others. He created more than 200 books, monographs and catalogs in the field of poetry, literature, science and art. He enriched several poetry books with his illustrations.



Slobodan Štetić is one of the most successful visual artists in Jagodina, who has gained recognition even outside the borders of our country. For almost half a century, he has been equally successful in graphic design, painting and photography. For the last two decades, he devoted himself to pedagogical work, and today he is a full professor at University of Kragujevac. He had his first and only solo exhibition in the Regional Museum in Jagodina in 1984. After almost four decades, we are pleased to renew our cooperation with this distinguished creator of ours. This exhibition presents his new paintings, which can be divided into three thematic units: still lifes, vedutes and abstract compositions.

The beginnings of his artistic work are of great importance because they are actually the source of the paintings that we present at this exhibition. Even in the first works, he established his thematic preoccupations, and what interested him as a painter was the depiction of everyday objects, mostly no longer in use. As such, these objects speak of the past time, and the sight of them evokes memories. Still lifes were an adequate subject matter, allowing this artist’s vision to be embodied in paintings. Over the decades, it developed together with the artist’s age and mastering the painting technique. Changes occured in the way the idea was realized, while the essence remained unaltered. These are variations on the theme related to the warmth of the colors, at the same time referring to the tradition of intimate painting.

The second subject matter in Štetić’s oeuvre is vedutas in which the main motif is a single-domed or multi-domed church in Venice or perhaps some “fantasy city”. Compositionally, these are more complex solutions, with rhythmic alternation of semicircular lines of domes and verticals of tambours, belfries and other architectural elements. In these paintings, the color dominates over the form and it is the color that changes from picture to picture. Starting from the apparent world, using the power, symbolism and rhetoric of colors, the artist transforms it into a specific visual manifestation of his inner experience and intimate view of the reality around him.

The third part of the exhibition is represented by abstract compositions, some of which are only partially removed from the representation of the visible, thus in this firework of colors we can still see a still life with vases of flowers. Completely in tune with the contemporary art scene, he does not see abstraction and figuration as necessary antitheses. The artist slightly departs from his starting point related to figural and mimetic, thus his representation of facts and appearances give way to expressive articulation through gesture and color. New abstract compositions rely on the heritage of gestural expression of abstract expressionism and the spiritual immediacy of lyrical abstractio; the artist demonstrates his individuality through dominance and flash of color that emits extraordinary life energy.

Accustomed to Slobodan Štetić as a graphic designer and aware of all the recognitions he received while creating in this domain, we have to conclude that he presents himself now as a painter with exactly the same quality. His artistic language is already formed and recognizable, he has completely mastered the basic artistic elements that form a painting, primarily by using color, and his painting creativity is completely in step with Serbian contemporary art scene, especially when it comes to abstract compositions.

Exhibition setting