Ljubodrag “Jale” Jankovic was born in 1932 in Pirot, Serbia. From 1947 to 1951, he attended the Applied Arts High School, in the graphics department. He graduated from the Academy for Applied Arts in Belgrade in 1954, majoring in painting, and later worked there as a professor.
Apart from 40 individual exhibitions, Jankovic has participated in many group exhibitions in Serbia and abroad. His works are a part of many private and public collections, featured in the National Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade, and also in many municipal museums and galleries in Serbia.
He has been a member of the Association of Fine and Applied Arts since 1957 and of the Association of Fine Arts since 1961. He has won many awards, including the Honorary Award of the Association of Fine and Applied Arts in 1997.
With his style and originality, this great name of the Serbian painting scene has found a special place amongst the painters of older generations. For many years, Jankovic has been taking us to the world of surrealism with his unusual figures and unreal atmosphere, which he adopted early in his career and continued to develop and improve.
The central place and the eternal theme of Jale’s art is the human figure – the female figure to be precise. Female nudes painted over and over again manage to keep their beauty and remain a constant part of the artist’s urgency to celebrate life, it’s blooming and opulence. Through these sitting, dancing or lying figures, he elaborates on the strength and stability of the woman and the mother. They are persons without identity, more like symbols that bring us back to the representations of women that our ancestors had.
The often overemphasized female shapes, symbols of femininity, are the embodiment of birth and human existence. We see in them the Venus of Willendorf and other origins of art. The robustness of Jale’s Venuses is the robustness of stone figures just standing where they are, they cannot be disturbed or upset.
His other theme – still life – is the artist’s celebration of the opulence and richness of the world surrounding him. The paintings of apples, gourds, pears and other round fruit are skilfully combined with long-shaped pots and jugs. The luxury in his compositions is the luxury of the gifts nature gives us every autumn.
As an artist with long and fruitful experience, he knew how to choose a special colour spectrum for his figures and still nature – warm gold and brown tones, colours of the sun and the earth. Red, orange, ochre and brown are discretely contested with occasional bluish and green tones that emphasize the shapes and the light. The objects and figures are shaped with gentle, harmonic brush strokes in various colour layers. The drawing is precise, but not harsh, and in perfect balance with the bright colours he uses.
The entire work of Ljubodrag Jankovic has been carefully and constantly built up, so it represents a whole new world of beauty and splendour, a world of the artist’s fantasy and intimate impression that he generously shares with his admirers.