Boza Ilic pripada istaknutim jugoslovenskim slikarima druge polovine XX veka. Akademiju likovnih umetnosti zavrsio je u klasi velikog slikara i pedagoga Mila Milunovica. Njegovo ime je vezano za posleratno srpsko slikarstvo, kada mu oko 1947. likovni kriticari i teoreticari toga vremena samovoljno dodeljuju idejno-politicke kvalitete i proglasavaju ga vodecim predstavnikom socijalistickog realizma. Obzirom da je jos u detinjstvu u potpunosti izgubio sluh, nije imao mogucnosti (a ni interesovanja ) za ucesce u politickim diskusijama ili bilo kakvim raspravama, pa bi se moglo reci, da on nije razumeo ni to svoje mesto ni tezinu uloge koja mu je bila dodeljena.
Ali, za Ilica nastupa period vrtoglavog uspona uz publicitet kakav ce imati malo koji slikar kasnije. Dok su ga "gradili i rusili" kao umetnika, dok su se velikom brzinom smenjivali likovni pravci, stilovi i likovna poetika, Boza Ilic je stvarao onako kako mu je nalagao njegov veliki talenat, emotivni potencijal i likovni senzibilitet, osecajuci se prirodno u vremenu kome je pripadao. Pedesetih godina, sa promenom politicke i umetnicke klime kada socrealizam postaje nesto nazadno i prevazidjeno u svakom pogledu, Ilic biva iznenada gurnut na margine likovnih dogadjanja, do bezmalo, potpunog zaborava. Posle velike slave i popularnosti koju je uzivao, a onda grubog potiskivanja iz javnosti ostavsi sam u svojoj potpunoj tisini, potrazio je utociste u sebi, drzeci se uvek prave strane slikarstva. Stvara kako najbolje zna i oseca, uspevsi da ocuva svoj licni i umetnicki udentitet daleko od svih bura nase politicke i umetnicke stvarnosti. Siromastvo, koje donosi ime na "crnoj listi", nateralo je proverenog majstora velike kompozicije, da monumentalna platna merena kvadratnim metrima, zameni sa mnogo manjim po dimenzijama, ali ne i po eruptivnoj snazi koja je izbijala iz njih. Stvaralacki onemogucen i ljudski unizen, vise od dvadeset godina prima socijalnu pomoc. Da bi imao da izdrzava porodicu pravi violine (na kojima i danas sviraju eminentni jugoslovenski umetnici) iako on sam nikada nije mogao da ih cuje.
Celokupno Ilicevo stvaralastvo podeljeno je na dva perioda . Prvi do 1950. iz koga nam je ostalo nekoliko monumentalnih kompozicija, snazno obojene romanticarskim nadahnucem, da nam svedoce o davnim vremenima velikih nadanja i ponesenosti, vidjenih slikarskom paletom ovog umetnika. Drugi period obuhvata razdoblje od 1950. do kraja zivota i umetnicke odiseje. Njegova platna iz ovog perioda obelezena su ??? Ilic svoj realisticki odnos prema svetu, u ovom drugom periodu, obogacuje izuzetno gipkom socnoscu i savremenom senzibilnoscu, objedinjavajuci u sebi, s jedne strane, cistu boju ???, i, s druge, brutalni postupak ekspresionista. Umro je 15.jula 1993. god. ostavivsi za sobom (kao rezultat svoje ogromne slikarske produktivnosti) veliki broj slika rasutih po mnogim jugoslovenskim i svetskim galerijama i muzejima, privatnim zbirkama i domovima svojih prijatelja. Ta njegova platna ce zauvek potvrdjivati veru u jedan posten i iskren odnos prema umetnosti kojom se bavio, ne uvazavajuci bilo koje privremene ??? kada je rec o slobodi slikanja istrajavajuci u izolaciji i "namernom zaboravu", ali drzeci se cvrsto svojih umetnickih shvatanja i dajuci nesebicno sebe i svoj veliki talenat umetnosti, cime je dokazao da je u jugoslovenskom slikarstvu skoro pola veka stvarao jedan obdaren, silovit, cestit-veliki slikar.
24.11.1996. Slavica Stevanovic
By Mica Popovic
The Monographs "Boza Ilic" is valuable and courageous undertaking made by Slavica Stevanovic, historian of Art. We could claim so, not only for reason that Boza Ilic had been one of the most praised (perhaps even the most praised), and afterwards the most denied (perhaps even the most denied) artist of Twenty century's second half in Yugoslav Art of painting, but for reason his artistry could hardly be approached without apriori hostility or apriori affinity. Slavica Stevanovic skilfully avoided both traps and accomplished her Monographs with all virtues of an excellent historian of Art and, at the same time, acting as a genuine humanist. "Her" Boza Ilic is valuable and tragic figure of Yugoslav post war history, where are almost unsolvable intertwined mistakes and enthusiasm, goodwill and our typical homeland malicious joy.
Reading this Monographs, I had a feeling as if I had read film screenplay for an exciting and melancholic drama on Serbian man, condemned to too strong love and too fast oblivion. It seems to me as if such film could have been precious curriculum for all students enroled in Art schools in our country, strengthening them intellectually in order to better perceive and anticipate their careers, and to experience their own rises and falls more easily and more painlessly. When we sum up our national immaturity, beginning of economic disaster, end of which could not be foreseen, and irrationality of painter's profession and fate-our students watching such imagined film, would have start out to the road of Art, carrying baggage which could have been useful, perhaps even salutary.
In the first part of Monographs emerged from oblivion tragi-comic situations at the end of Second World War. And our confused artist participants. It is coming into being clear that Boza Ilic had not been predetermined for rational choice, and he had not had conditions to get accustomed to newly created situation. Instead of intellectual pre- qualifications, he only had emotional potentials as well as, pure and bare fine arts' sensitivity which had been used and misused by cruel individuals in this cruel epoch for reaching non-artistic purposes and aims.
Slavica Stevanovic had analysed a few Boza Ilic's paintings made in that period of time. I suppose that her analyses of some of this paintings are actually small masterpieces, especially insight in excellent painting named "Vjazma". Slavica Stevanovic understood and defended assumption that destiny of this painting is identical with painter's destiny: celebrated and despised, thrown out and almost molested, and afterwards discovered (in literally and personal sense of the word), "Vjazma" shall be remembered in the History and in the History of Yugoslav Art. In addition to fine art's qualities, that painting is an expression of our national sentimentality, solely immoderate cosmopolites ashamed of.
In one statement for the newspapers, Boza Ilic complained for most of his works had been classified into domain of Socialist-realism, and those ones belonging to his last phase into domain of Expressionism. I would agree with Slavica Stevanovic's observation that Boza Ilic's Socialist- realism had been, in fact, Socialist romanticism and entry: Expressionism could, with no significant failure, be used for describing Boza's art of painting in the last creative period. In connection with Boza's last period of creativity, Slavica Stevanovic, with no doubt, had certain difficulties. Although she explained entire Boza's works by means of "Expressionism", and so satisfied Boza's complains and objective state of facts, difficulties emerged in evaluating of this painter's creative period. However, even there she has found expressions, adequate as well as neutral: strength and emotion.
(Part of Review by Mica Popovic)
INSTEAD OF PROLOGUE
That was way back in 1994., along with Boza Ilic's Retrospective Exhibition of paintings, organized at the National Museum in Belgrade, it had been planned issuing of Monographs on this unusual painter of ours. However, on account of money shortage, expected plan had not been carried out. Looking forward to present life and works of this Serbian artist to the public opinion and considering this attempt as great debt towards him, I put an additional effort the Monographs would have be published.
The very first opportunity to see Boza Ilic's paintings I had in May, 1990. at the Gallery of "ULUS", where Ilic exhibited paintings after a few decades being absent in Belgrade painter events. Also, on this occasion I found out that Boza Ilic's name exists in our culture of paintings. Exhibited portraits, landscapes, paintings of nudes and monumental work "Soiling of terrain in New Belgrade", made an impression towards me which could be described as powerful, pure energy. This impression provoked a quantity of questions which had not been answered at this moment.
After the first encounter with Boza Ilic, I was sure that I had been standing in front of a great artist and great man. Following meetings with him differentiated events and persons decisively influenced Boza Ilic's life, his creativity and his suffering.
Publishing this Monographs was the way to present variety of Ilic's works, which exceeded severe limits of post war Socialistic-realism, according to its restrains, his works, even nowadays, are classified. Boza Ilic, tragical figure in our newest history, certainly merits an outstanding place in Serbian and Europe culture.
I hope, this Monographs would enable significantly more informative and more indented insight in Boza Ilic's paintings. Also, this Monographs should contribute enriching of cultural inheritance of ours. It is motive for repeated perceiving and evaluating of Ilic's work in the History of Art, released of discrediting, easily made judgments.
Preparing this Monographs had been supported by connoisseurs and admirers of Boza Ilic's work, as well as by many people who showed understanding, goodwill and patience.