Exhibition of paintings by a victim of Novi Sad Raid
The exhibition of painting by Nikola Mihajlović, a victim of Novi Sad Raid, was opened in the Youth Forum of the Cultural Centre of Novi Sad within the ‘Freezing Silence Speaks’ programme. The exhibition was opened by the director of the Cultural Centre, Dr Andrej Fajgelj, and artist’s cousin and witness of the Raid, Mr Gavrilo Malenčić, was also present. After the opening speeches, senior curator and historian Čedomir Janičić personally showed the exhibition to the visitors.
The exhibition by the artist who perished in Novi Sad Raid is one of the opportunities to remember what culture was like in Novi Sad between the two wars. Visitors that came to the opening could see rare paintings that remain from this great artist and which represent his development in war painting.
Director of the Cultural Centre, Dr Andrej Fajgelj, said that this is one of numerous events with which this institution tries to fill the void in hearts of those who survived and who lost their loved ones in Novi Sad Raid.
– We fail to respect ourselves and victims and to ensure that sufferings that repeated several times in the past do not happen again in this century. Paintings that we can see remind us that suffering did not skip people who were artists, rich and educated. None of this could save them. It is very important to remember them, so that similar thing would not happen to us and our children – said Mr Fajgelj, adding that these paintings also show victims that must not be forgotten.
Nikola Mihajlović was born in Novi Sad and was a Serbian painter in late 19th and early 20th centuries that belonged to the modern art movement. At the beginning of the Great War he volunteered and went to war, and despite all misfortunes that happened he managed to paint, thus obtaining the epithet ‘war painter’. Unfortunately, there are few paintings that remain from this painter, because most of them were lost after the World War II. Paintings that visitors had a chance to see are in private ownership of the Malenčić family. Among exhibited paintings, there are portraits of his nephews Rodoljub and Gavrilo Malenčić, who disappeared immediately before Novi Sad Raid.
A cousin and one of the surviving witnesses of Novi Sad Raid, Gavrilo Malenčić, described what happend on that faitful day and how he survived by chance.
– I was a boy of only six and that day is vivid in my memory. Painter and my cousin Nikola Mihajlović lived within our house, and while our mother tried to save us by appealing to her Hungarian heritage, they had already taken my cousin and his family from the other house. We have not seen each other since that day – told Mr Malenčić, adding that a month after the Raid he went out of the house and that he could still see marks of that horrific act in snow.