ALEKSANDAR JOKSIMOVIĆ FASHION DRAWINGS
Exhibition author: Bojana Popović, Museum Adviser
Organizer: Museum of Applied Art
Aleksandar Joksimović (1933–2021), one of the most important fashion designers in Serbia/Yugoslavia, had one great passion: drawing. While sketching, he was partial to thinking about his next collection, and exhibiting his most successful drawings on the walls of his studio in the Centrotekstil building where he was employed (1964-1987), as well as taking photos of them and giving numerous newspaper and television interviews. This exceptional artwork has been preserved thanks to Joksimović’s close associate Milorad Miki Ignjić (1942–2017). Found in his legacy, they had been returned to the author, who believed that they had disappeared without a trace.
For this exhibition, author Bojana Popović has selected and arranged some seventy drawings that Joksimović had donated to the Museum of Applied Art just before his death (29 March 2021). This completed the already existing Joksimović’s oeuvre, thus creating an opportunity to explore and present to the public the artwork that most directly reflects his work method. His drawings best represent him as a creator who, by depicting a virtuoso fashion line and using graceful hues, had visually embodies his creative thought processes, rendering to them the lucidity necessary for their realization and the poeticism that sublimated his artistic nature and awakens in us the desire for beauty.
Due to the author’s uniqueness and the high aesthetic value of his drawings, the fashion designer had acquired a job in the fashion profession in 1959, soon becoming a well-known and celebrated artist. In the 1960s, at an age when the garment industry and fashion had a social significance due to its strong emancipatory potential and openness to all things different and new, Joksimović’s drawings, as a kind of indication of a “better life,” were much sought after. In print, they had several purposes: to provide overall fashion news, to offer answers to readers’ questions about clothing and to present the poetic essence of the author’s collections at the time. However, since photography became the dominant means of communication in fashion in the mid-1970s, Joksimović’s hand drawings were no longer present in the public domain after that. The rise of the Yugoslav fashion industry and the acceleration of production processes also influenced the overtaxed Joksimović to rarely have time to draw – except for the indispensable working sketches. Drawings, however, remained a constant companion of his designing process and the basic feature of his creative work.
Thus, with the “Aleksandar Joksimović Fashion Drawings” exhibition by Bojana Popović, we draw attention to his drawings as an extremely important aspect of the creative work of Aleksandar Joksimović.