The Horse Figure in Mersad Berber’s Works

24 February 2017

Mersad Berber (1940-2012), is one of the greatest and the most significant representatives of Bosnian-Herzegovinian and Yugoslav art in the second half of the 20th century. His vast body of expressive and unique works triggered the local art scene’s recognition into Europe as well as the international stage. Berber belongs to an exceptionally dynamic period of contemporary cultural history of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Mersad Berber

The Hitched-up Horse, 1978, Mixed media on paper, 164 x 196 cm.

He led a generation opening up the local scene internationally; at the same time, he was one of the few artists whose works were exhibited in the most prestigious museums and galleries of the world.

The central metaphor of most of Berber’s cycles is the motif of horse as one of the pivotal animals in the symbolic bestiary of different peoples and cultures. Yet, it was not, in Berber’s words, a grand horse, but the working packhorse of the mountains of Bosnia so deeply linked to all paths of life: hard labour and weddings, funerals and wars. The horse in whose expressive power, pain and imperfect beauty one may read the biography of his people.

"Mersad

The Ottoman Bosnia, 2002, Oil on canvas, 80 x 130 cm.

Mersad Berber: An Allegory of Bosnia exhibition took place at Pera Museum between 16 February - 07 May 2017.

Mersad Berber

Mersad Berber

Mersad Berber was born in Bosanski Petrovac, Kingdom of Yugoslavia, on January 1st. He was the first son of Muhammed Berber and Sadika Berber, a well-known weaver and embroiderer. A year later, the family moved to Banja Luka after the city had suffered damage from the World War II.

The Chronicle of Sarajevo

The Chronicle of Sarajevo

Inspired by the great European masters, from Renaissance to Art Nouveau, Berber’s works exemplify the deep, opaque whites of his journeys through the fairy tale landscapes of Bosnia to the dark, macabre burrows of Srebrenica.

Giacometti: Early Works

Giacometti: Early Works

Organized in collaboration with the Giacometti Foundation, Paris, the exhibition explores Giacometti’s prolific life, most of which the artist led in his studio in Montparnasse, through the works of his early period as well his late work, including one unfinished piece. Devoted to Giacometti’s early works, the first part of the exhibition demonstrates the influence of Giovanni Giacometti, the father of the artist and a Swiss Post-Impressionist painter himself, on Giacometti’s output during these years and his role in his son’s development.