People who made Palic history - Ana Beslic, the first sculptor of Subotica

„In sculpture making, one should avoid telling stories. That’s what words are for. I think that the story should not be implanted in stone, wood or bronze,  it should be left to the freely made form of one stone, wood or bronze, to speak its own language, its own story … “

Quote: Ana Beslic for „TV Novosti“ in 1980. (source: Yugopapir.com)

Photo: Ana Beslic during the 1960’s

Ana Beslic was born on the 16th of March, 1912, in the „Sara Pustara“ farmhouse near Bajmok (north Backa region). She finished elementary school in Bajmok, and continued her education in Zagreb, Graz and Vienna. At the age of 18, she first comes into contact with clay that her father used to bring from the Danube river. Her first sculpture was a portrait of her father, and was lost during World War two.

She moved to Belgrade in 1937, and began her studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in 1939, but was forced to pause due to the war.  After the war, she graduated in 1947 at the sculpture department of the Belgrade Academy of Fine Arts.  Two years later she becomes an associate at professor Toma Rosandic’s  studio.

Ana Beslic had her first solo exhibition in 1954 in Subotica, together with Djordje Bosan. She was a participant of multiple art colonies and symposia, and many exhibitions of Yugoslav artists abroad. She gained the position of a modernist sculptor, in an almost exclusively male artist’s call, following her spontaneous and elegant path. Over the years, she created both monumental and sculptural works of art, that differ from other great monuments of that kind.

Along with Jovan Soldatovic, Ratimir Stojadinovic, Aleksandar Zarin, Misa Popovic, Jovan Kratohvil, Milos Saric and Olga Jancic, she was a member of a an artist group called Prostor 8 (1957-1958), who attempted to prove the multiple meaning of sculptures within architectural entities and city parks. After her studies in Germany (1967), Ana Beslic starts creating art using new materials – polyester.

Four periods of her creative cycle can be identified : education (until 1954), associative form (1954-1962), transitional period (1962 – 1966), and period of sphere (from 1966).

Photo: Sculpture 2a, 1973. Painted fiberglass, Subotica City Museum

She performed many well-known memorials and sculptures both outdoors and interior in many places of former Yugoslavia, and abroad. She won major awards and recognition: The October Salon award (Belgrade, 1973), October Award of the City of Belgrade (1979), Dr Ferenc Bodrogari award (Subotica, 1983), etc. Ana Beslic’s sculptures can be found in the collections both in the country and abroad. Her legacy consisting of twenty  sculptures are being preserved at Subotica City Museum since 1983.

Photo: sculpture „Birds“ as part of the fountain from 1913

In addition to the sculpture „Birds“ in the heart of the fountain from 1913, Ana Beslic donated two more beautiful sculptures to Palic that still enrich the area around the lake. The 1957 „Wings“, which was moved from the original place during 1981 to the Cape of Poetic Hope, and „Talija“ – the first sculpture in open space that has adorned the Summer Stage since 1951.

Photo: „Wings“ sculpture, Cape of Poetic Hope

Photo: sculpture „Talia“, Summer stage

Ana Beslic died in Belgrade, on the 26th of January, 2008. This talented and unique sculptor will be remembered for many years to come.