The painting exhibition by Milena Pavlović - Barili

The local convocation “The Well of Homolje” in 2018 included numerous exhibitions, among which is a noteworthy painting exhibition by Milena Pavlović - Barili, one of the most important representatives of the European artistic avant-garde of the 4th decade of the 20th century.

Milena Pavlović - Barili, due to her miraculous talent and extraordinary painting sensibility, has become extremely important in regards to the European art of the 4th decade of the 20th century. Milena’s artistic creation is a synthesis of painting and poetry.

Barili was born in Požarevac on the 5th of November in 1909, as the only child of the educated Danica Pavlović - Barili from Požarevac and Bruno Barili, an Italian composer, a music critic, and a travel writer. Her life was short and unusual, filled with dreaming, work, and restlessness. Miena’s life was hallmarked by her homeland Požarevac, Belgrade, Munich, Rome, Paris, and finally New York. She spent most of her childhood in Požarevac where she took her first drawing lessons from Professor Josip Vučetić. In Belgrade, she applied to the Art School (1922 – 1926) where her teachers were Beta Vukanović, Ljubomir Ivanović, and Dragi Stojanović. Later, she applied to the Art Academy in Munich (1926 – 1928) where she had German professors, namely, Hugo von Habermann and Franz von Stuck. The beginning of Milena’s painting career was related to academic learning, people, and the surrounding nature, but also movie stars. Parallel to the painting, she was engaged in fashion creation and illustration.

Milena’s most significant artistic creation was created outside the borders of Serbia. She traveled throughout Europe visiting museums and galleries. Shortly before WWII, namely in August 1939, she left for New York in order to attend the great exhibition of Surrealists. Besides working on pure art, Milena was engaged in commercial design in the USA, mainly as the illustrator of the most prestigious American fashion magazines: Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Charm, Glamour, etc. Back then she also worked on the design for “Revlon” cosmetics and “Escape Mary Dunhill” perfume. She cooperated with the composer Gian Carlo Menotti, namely, she made sketches of the costumes for his ballet “Sebastian”.

Milena died on the 6th of May in 1945, in New York. The urn with her mortal remains was transferred to Rome in 1947, where she was buried in the cemetery “Cimitero acattolico degli stranieri”. There were also, only later, buried her father Bruno (in 1952) and her mother Danica (in 1965). Milena left a significant artistic opus and with the help of her mother Danica, the gallery of Milena Pavlović - Barili was opened in her birth house in Požarevac, on the 24th of June in 1962.


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