Milivoj Uzelac (1897 – 1977)
Milivoj Uzelac was born in Mostar, Bosnia (then part of Austria-Hungary), in 1897. Uzelac’s father died in 1911 and his mother took the family to live in Zagreb, where he attended a private art school run by artist Tomislav Krizman. At sixteen he passed the entrance exam to become a pupil at Zagreb’s College for Arts and Crafts, where he spent two years studying.
By 1921, although he had his own studio in Zagreb, he spent part of that year in Montparnasse, Paris, moving permanently to Paris in 1923. He absorbed the current ideas of Classicism and Cubism and quickly found success selling his work and receiving commissions. He exhibited at the Salon d’Autome and had a succession of one man exhibitions in Paris. Milivoj Uzelac’s style of painting changed from being influenced by Art Nouveau, Symbolism, and Expressionism during his time in Zagreb, to a lighter palette influenced by Neo Cubism, Matisse and Derain in a wide variety of materials, on his move to Paris. He created many decorative panels for private houses and public spaces, stage sets, posters, illustrations and ceramics.
Having married his model Rosemarie de la Rayere in 1930, they increasingly spent time in the South of France, moving permanently to Cotignac in Provence in 1963.
Milivoj Uzelac died in 1977. A retrospective exhibition was held in Zagreb at the Modern Pavilion in 1971, and at the Art Pavilion also in Zagreb on his death in 1977.