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Bogdan Bogdanović

(BOG-dahn bog-DAHN-ah-vich)

Birthplace: Belgrade, Serbia

Heritage: Serbian

Date born: August 20th, 1922

Date deceased: June 18th, 2010

Education: Univ. of Belgrade (grad. 1950)

(Богдан Богдановић)

Biography

Bogdan Bogdanović was an acclaimed designer, teacher, writer, urbanist and architect who is renowned for the dozens of anti-fascist sculptural monuments he created across the Balkans from the 1950s to the late 1980s. He is considered one of the greatest Serbian architects of the 20th century. Raised in a progressive household by parents who were writers and intellectuals, Bogdanović was exposed to socially conscious art and activism at an early age, especially as his father, Milan, was director of the National Theatre of Serbia. At the onset of the National Liberation War (WWII), Bogdanović joined the Communist Party and enlisted as a Partisan soldier. While serving, he was seriously wounded while fighting in Bosnia, but he soon recovered.

 

After the war he studied architecture at the University of Belgrade where he later went on to teach and act as dean of the Faculty of Architecture. In the early 1950s, Josip Tito, President of Yugoslavia, became very impressed by his works. As a consequence, over the next four decades, Bogdanović was commissioned to design over 20 commemorative memorial complexes across Yugoslavia honoring WWII Partisan victories and Axis atrocities. Many of these monuments stand not only as some of Bogdanović's most memorable and recognized works, but were also some of the most significant and celebrated monumental sculptures in all Yugoslavia. Bogdanović was so well respected across Serbia, he was elected to serve as the mayor of Belgrade in 1982, a position which he held until 1986. In addition, Bogdanović was keen on reaching out to students and young architects with his unique approach to architecture, design and urban planning. For example, for 15 years he ran a summer program for students (starting in 1976) called the Village School for the Philosophy of Architecture, which he ran out of a small old schoolhouse in the the small rural Šumadija settlement of Mali Popović, Serbia. Bogdanović's teaching approach here was quite unorthodox compared to his contemporaries, with the curriculum described in the following terms by this CZKD article (translated here into English):

"Bogdan Bogdanovic's radical approach was even more pronounced here in the Village School, where the group gathered on weekends during the summer semester and created a fictitious civilization through myths as the basis for the creation of a city. Perhaps seemingly harmless, this creative play radically emphasized the unbroken link between culture and the built environment and the city as a cultural phenomenon."

After the fall of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, Bogdanović found the nationalistic direction that Serbia was taking distasteful, even going as far as openly criticizing Slobodan Milošević, which resulted in the artist receiving death threats and being the target of political smear campaigns by Serbian state media. As a result, Bogdanović went into self-imposed exile to Paris in 1993, then later relocating to Vienna. During this post-Yugoslav era, many of the spomenik complexes Bogdanović created fell into disrepair and destruction, which devastated him greatly. After the fall of Milošević, he returned briefly to Belgrade, but soon left the city again, criticizing it for becoming "overwhelming, scary, cruel and mono-national". He lived in Vienna for the rest of his days, where he died in hospital of a heart attack in 2010.

Works by this Designer:

This is a listing of a number of memorials, monuments, cultural centers and other notable Yugoslav-era civic works by Bogdan Bogdanović. Those sites listed in the upper part of this section have profile pages, while those listed in the lower part do not yet have completed profile pages. This list also includes non-Yugoslav projects that Bogdanović created, as well as his unrealized works for which models only exist for. This list is not exhaustive and will be added to over time.

Yugoslav Works with profile pages:

Click photos to go to page

Bihać, BiH

Name: Garavice Memorial Park

Year: completed 1981

Kruševac, SRB

Name: Slobodište Memorial Complex

Year: completed 1965

Novi Travnik, BiH

Name: The Smrike Necropolis

Year: completed 1975

Štip, MK

Name: The Partisan's Necropolis

Year: completed 1974

Bela Crkva, SRB

Name: Monument to the Start of the Uprising

Year: completed 1971

Vlasotince, SRB

Name: Mon. to the Revolutionary Struggle

Year: completed 1975

Čačak, SRB

Name: Mausoleum of Struggle & Victory

Year: completed 1980

Mitrovica, RKS

Name: Monument to Fallen Miners

Year: completed 1973

Popina, SRB

Name: Popina Memorial Park

Year: completed 1981

Vukovar, HR

Name: Dudik Memorial Park

Year: completed 1980

Leskovac, SRB

Name: Monument to the Revolution

Year: completed 1971

Leskovac, SRB

IMG_8546_1600x1067.jpg

Name: Arapova Dolina Memorial

Year: completed 1973

Jasenovac, HR

Name: The Flower Monument

Year: completed 1966

Mostar, BiH

Name: Partisan Memorial Cemetery

Year: completed 1965

Prilep, MK

Name: Burial Mound of the Unbeaten

Year: completed 1961

Berane, ME

Name: Jasikovac Hill Monument

Year: completed 1977

Sremska Mitrovica, SRB

Name: Memorial Necropolis

Year: completed 1960

Avala, SRB

ALF04-Ristic-01Jaroslav Cerni-2.jpg

Name: Housing for 'Jaroslav Černi' Institute

Year: completed 1954

Yugoslav Works without profile pages:

Knjaževac, SRB

Name: Mon. to History of the Freedom Fight

Year: completed 1971

Location: N43°33'59.5", E22°15'14.5"

Labin, HR

Name: Altar of Adonis at Dubrova Sculp. Park

Year: completed 1974

Location: N45°06'55.7", E14°06'59.7"

Aranđelovac, SRB

Name: Tomb of Dušan Petrović Šane

Year: completed 1980

Location: N44°17'17.5", E20°36'05.1"

Belgrade, SRB

Name: Mon. to WWII Jewish Fighters & Victims

Year: completed 1952

Location: N44°48'42.4", E20°29'07.5"

Klis, HR

Name: Guardian of Freedom Monument

Year: completed 1987, expunged 1995

Location: N43°33'36.9", E16°31'21.3"

Belgrade, SRB

Name: Alley of Shot Patriots at New Cemetery

Year: completed 1959, w/ Svetislav Ličina

Location: N44°48'28.4", E20°29'14.6"

Mali Popović, SRB

Name: Mural at old Village School

Year: completed somewhere btwn 1976-1990

Location: exact location not known

Unrealized Memorial Projects

This section contains a listing of design proposals for various memorial projects that were submitted to competitions for consideration, but were ultimately NOT the final proposals chosen by the selection juries for the memorial projects they were submitted for. Below each photo is detailed the monument project it was submitted for, as well as the year it was submitted in.

Belgrade, SRB

Name: Concept for Jajinci Memorial Park

Year: proposed 1978, w/ D. Pavolić & others

Mitrovica, RKS

Name: Concept for Mon. to Fallen Miners

Year: proposed 1960s