IN THE HONOUR OF WATERCOLOR

Ladies and Gentlemen, respectful colleagues and friends, my pleasant duty and great honor is to greet all of you who came to the promotion of the gallery dedicated to watercolor, which is a workshop of Pera Acimovic. My gratitude is even bigger having in mind that you stepped out of vicious circle of “two” when it comes to Belgrade cultural events and came to this unexpected place and for unexpected occasion – opening of the gallery with permanent and clear program determination to exhibit watercolors and present the authors who work in this ancient painting technique. Such unexpected things contrary to our truly unexpected reality, show up as the most pleasant surprises, just as a sudden encounter with the flowers we didn't plant where we should but it sprouted by itself anyway bringing us joy. All merits for such a surprise go to our host much respected Pera Acimovic and to his lone individual accomplishment and I can freelz add to his brave act. This calm, cultivated man with serene and pleasant appearance could really be compared to growing wild plant in the world of culture. The history of his lasting competition with “tricky years” in military service is the history of his gradual discovering of the calm port of the art and final decision to search for the purpose of the life within its wing at the same time. He was like some kind of watchfully movies extra and that road wasn't traveled easily until he perfected the skill of period furniture restoration and equipping the paintings, traveling all around Europe from that reason. By revealing this I don't want to reduce my praise. Aside professional mastery he developed a sense for painting by the time as well as steadily cherished friendships with authoritative painters and art historians. The joy of being sociable far more than need to form the collection influenced his today's act. Determination when it comes to the gallery's profile is still his only, arising from his deep personal favor toward watercolor. It seems that favor showed up when he realized that watercolor as a painting discipline shares the destiny of old artistic crafts. His Bosnian soul couldn't reconcile with disappearance of filigree, old silk, rug industry, engravings, old architecture and the smell of yellow quinces from the cupboards. All that he liked was slowly becoming the past.

The glow of that personal romantic nostalgia he felt the most looking at watercolors but above all he was tortured by comprehension how much skill, pure artiness and subtle feelings it takes for watercolors to be made and yet they stand more and more modestly next to other, new art branches, as some kind of anachronism in painting. This gallery is a sign of devotion and noble resistance to disappearance. Bringing of such virtues is the best guardian of its longevity and eternal feature 'cause what is done by nobility can't be forgotten. Pera's little gallery seems to me as a painted chapel given to us all as a gift for our hopes and salutary prayers. Prayers of holy fathers go like this: “Don't judge us Lord by our weakness but by our love”. This line is in the foundation of this patronization. In this moment I pray for this place to be place of exalted feelings and light, always full of gifted painters like those whose works we can enjoy today and finally I pray that there will be more gifted visitors and friends than painters. As an exhibitor I thank you for not taking me into account when it comes to this appraisal.

Belgrade, 1996 Jan, 17th Dragomir Todorovic





Ladies and Gentlemen, respected authors and art historians, dear friends and watercolor devotees,

Writing these lines I found it appropriate to explain one of my main life principles.
Everything I do I try to do with a pleasure. Sometimes it's easy sometimes there are resistance and obstacles. Part of the pleasure, however, lies in the challenge to overcome the obstacles.

My thoughts go back in one cold winter dusk in Belgrade on January 17th 1996 when my wise and much respected friend Dragomir Todorovic said on the occasion of the opening of A gallery: : ... as the most pleasant surprises, just as a sudden encounter with the flowers we didn't plant where we should but it sprouted by itself anyway bringing us joy ...

That's the A gallery, the gallery with permanent and clear determination. By opening this gallery I wanted to treat myself with old-fashioned enjoyment in painting and watercolor which used to be a subject for itself in our respected faculties. Maybe there is no other painting discipline with so many poured colors. And maybe there is no other painting discipline where beauty of the paintings is conjured up in such a dignified way. Only drawings could be compared to this hard and demanding discipline – all the rest is left behind.

Dear readers, A gallery stubbornly persist in its intention not to give in to modern painting disciplines. All these harsh years it remained as a water drop and natural pigment. The last ten years “A” gallery, living its daily life of a gallery, succeeded to achieve its the most important undertaking – exhibition “Visit to Holly Mountain”, dedicated to 800 years of our nation spirituality. Visiting many places of our country and abroad, the war stopped it in the city of Leskovac.

Beside this pearl, A gallery has organized five others independent exhibitions of our eminent watercolorists:

  • Creations from monk's cells in Ravanica by Dragomir Todorovic
  • Memories by Silva Vujovic
  • Distillates of Reality by Endre Penovac
  • I Have an Inkling of by Djurdja Vilagos
  • The Moment by Djorde Petrovic

In cooperation with “Isidora Sekulic” library which is very dear to us, we organized two group exhibitions of domestic painters: New Year's Exhibition and exhibition Isidora's days within the exhibition space of the library's department in Senjak.

All this is achieved thanks to devotion and effort of my wonderful family and me, my wife Milka, sons Igor and Pedja and their families too.

Humble but nevertheless fruitfull existence of gallery wouldn't be complete without full and generous help of beloved the Babics from Banja Luka and all friends from all walks of life and painters who are collaborators of the gallery. We owe to all of them the deepest gratitude.

As the world belongs to young I wish to my younger son Peda lighter and much more fruitful engagement in this elevated job. To stay faithful to watercolor, to keep searching for new, young watercolorists, to listen to art historians' pieces of advice carefully, as well as opinions of all people with spirit and wisdom.

I wish him to keep persistence and desire to spread the glory and beauty of watercolor through this and some other areas.

I wish that gallery stay a stimulus for his curiosities in the future.

WATERCOLOR IS A RUNNING WATER

Belgrade, spring 2006. Pero Acimovic