Nikola Martinoski

Biography

Nikola Martinoski (1903 - 1973)

Nikola Martinoski (1903 – 1973)

Nikola Martinoski was born on August 18, 1903 in Krushevo as one of four children in the respectable and fairly rich family of Kosta and Anushka Martin (until 1930, his second name was Martin or sometimes Martini). That was the period of the Ilinden Uprising (August 2, 1903) which is now remembered as a heroic struggle of Macedonians against the five centuries of bondage under the Ottoman Empire.

In 1906 the Martin family moved to Skopje, where Kosta bought several houses and inns. This town was a small Turkish provincial place, in which, at that time, there were signs of economic, political and cultural life. Nikola Martinoski began his elementary education in the Romanian grammar school in Skopje (1910). During the period between the two Balkan Wars (1912,1913) and the First World War he was educated in Serbian and Bulgarian schools. From 1918 to 1920 Martinoski studied at the Serbian high school in Skopje where he showed his first interest in drawing. In 1919 in Skopje, together with Tomo Vladimirski, he had classes at the workshop of the painter Dimitar Andonov Papradishki. Martinoski and Vladimirski managed to learn many things about painting and there they were working on copies of some picture postcards in color (in oil and watercolor).

Although, after the death of Kosta Martin (1919), the financial situation of the family was not satisfactory, yet Nikola Martinoski managed to continue his education in Bucharest: from 1920 to 1927 he attended classes at the School of Fine Art. There he had courses in drawing, decorative art, painting (George Mirea and Kamil Resu), and sculpture (D. Paciurea). At the end of his studies in 1927, Martinoski was awarded with the first prize for painting in competition with his generation. In Bucharest Martinoski, was fairly interested in the cultural life of that time and was often in the company of his colleagues and professors.

After his studies in Bucharest, Martinoski stayed for a short time in Skopje where he immediately took part in the artistic life of the town which was on a rather low level until 1927. That year Dimitar Pandilov and Lazar Lichenoski had their individual exhibitions and one group exhibition in which Martinoski also participated.

The stay in Paris from 1927 to the end of 1928 is the most important moment and turning point in Martinoski’s development as an artist. There he attended the Academe de la Grande Chaumiere and the Academy Ranson. His professors were George Bissiere, M. Kissling, Adame de la Patteliere who helped Martinoski to improve his education and gave him a chance to know the characteristics of the Parisian School.

Martinoski came back to Skopje at the end of 1928. The political, social and cultural situation in Macedonia within the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was characterized by constant persecutions of progressive forces. The backwardness of the economic and social life in Macedonia (The big World economic crises and the Dictatorship of January, 1929 in Yugoslavia) had a particularly bad influence on culture and art. Still, for political reasons, the authorities who were trying to denationalize Macedonian nation allowed some particular scientific and cultural activities in Skopje. At that time, Skopje was the main town in the so-called Vardar regional unit. The development of fine arts in the thirties was fairly fast and many group and individual exhibitions of Macedonian and other artists were held.

Martinoski was one of the artists who had several shows in Skopje: except for the first one (1929), all the others (1930, 1931, 1935, 1936, 1938 and 1939) were organized by “Jefimija” (asso­ciation of friends of art). He also had few individual exhibitions in Belgrade (1931,1932) and Zagreb (1936,1937) and took part in many group exhibitions in Yugoslavia and abroad (Prague, Sofia, Salonika, Rome) especially as a member of the Belgrade fine arts group “Oblik”. Before the Second World War, Martinoski painted, drew, illustrated books. In 1933, 1935, 1936, 1937 he made several wall decorations. For a season (1939, 1940) he was a part-time set designer at the Skopje theatre.

He also wrote several articles on the artistic life in Skopje. Martinoski’s studio was a place where the Skopje intellectuals met. He was in the company of many outstanding personalities of the cultural life in Skopje of that time. Some of them followed his creative work and wrote criticism about it.

Nikola Martinoski in Skopje, 1940.

Nikola Martinoski in Skopje, 1940.

During the Second World War under the German and Bulgarian fascist occupation (1941 – 1944), Martinoski lived in Skopje for the first two years. Then, he did not produce much. He was not employed and so he felt the hardship of the Bulgarian policy for the total spiritual and national suppression of the Macedonians. In 1942, Martinoski had one show in Skopje and took part in several group exhibitions in Skopje and Sofia. Then, in 1943, the artist withdrew to Krushevo. There, Martinoski continued to help the People’s Movement for Liberation and immediately after the liberation of the town in September 1944, he joined in various cultural and propaganda activities. After that, he was called to the General Headquarters of the Macedonian People’s War for Liberation and he was given orders to join his colleagues in Prilep. After the liberation of Skopje on November 13, 1944, Martinoski established the Art school (today the School of Applied Arts) and was its first director until 1949 when he became the director of the newly established Art Gallery. In 1945, Martinoski got married and got two sons. Martinoski was twice elected as a people’s representative in the Federal Parliament and he was the first president of the Macedonian Association of Fine Artists. His works were exhibited at the first postwar exhibitions in Yugoslavia and abroad. During this period Martinoski was engaged in the social life of Yugoslavia and he did not produce many works.

In the Fifties Martinoski had many shows on which he exhibited his drawings and paintings in the country (1953, 1954, 1958, 1959) and abroad (1954 in Paris, 1959 in Dijon etc). Martinoski was in touch with world trends in modern fine art because he frequently traveled abroad. In the Sixties Martinoski was very active: he had many shows in Skopje (1961, 1962, 1965, 1969, 1970) and Belgrade (1966). He also took part in many group exhibitions in Yugoslavia and abroad, among which the big Yugoslav exhibition in Paris should be pointed out in particular.

Nikola Martinoski and Josip Broz - Tito in Skopje.

Nikola Martinoski and Josip Broz – Tito in Skopje.

Until his death, Martinoski was the director of the Art Gallery in Skopje (today National Gallery of Macedonia). He was among the first members of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Skopje (1967). Martinoski received an award for his life – work in 1964 and the AVNOJ award in 1967. In 1968 Nikola Martinoskl’s Gallery in Krushevo was established with a dozen of his works.

Martinoski had the honor to be in the company of our most outstanding personalities from scientific, political and artistic spheres. He had many admirers and collectors in Yugoslavia and abroad. He was creatively active until his sudden death on February 7, 1973.

Work

THE BEGINNINGS

Skopje (Before 1920)

Nikola Martinoski’s interest in drawing first appeared during his school years in Skopje. His first professional knowledge was revealed in the workshop of Dimitar Andonov Papradishki. By 1920, Martinoski created his beginner’s works, mainly copies from postcards in color.

Bucharest (1920-1927)

In Bucharest (1920-1927) at the Fine Art School Martinoski acquired a considerable professional education. There he became acquainted with the Romanian art of that time, which apart from the official academic stance, was influenced by some more updated trends (especially influenced by the expressionism). During his years at the school, Martinoski created several works that were important for his development as an artist. He started with embellished portraits and finished with portraits created with balanced art expressions (“Portrait of a Romanian Gypsy”, “A Head of a Child” 1926). For his work “Nude Woman” from 1927 influenced by K. Resu, Martinoski got the first prize for painting at the end of his studies in the Fine Art School. This work has firm drawing, deepened and slightly graded color.

Paris (1927-1928)

Martinoski’s stay in Paris has particular significance for the development of his creative work. By the time Martinoski arrived in Paris, many modern trends in art had developed. Their joint influence, together with the contribution of many foreign artists, lead to the establishment of the so-called Parisian School. Martinoski, finding himself in such a complex creative environment, showed a particular interest in the painting of Modigliani and Soutine. He was also influenced by Kissling and Pascin. He became familiar with French, German and Flemish expressionism, with the art of Derain and Picasso. This influence is obvious in his “Paris period”, the few years that followed it and has an undisputable importance for the development of the Macedonian art in the 20th century altogether. In Paris, Martinoski took part in an exhibition of Yugoslav artists in 1928, with two landscapes, that are now untraceable for us. There, Martinoski created three oil paintings: “A Head of a Woman”, “A Nude Woman with a Hat” and “A Lady with a Cat”, with elements taken from the Paris examples. He also created the oil-painting “Chess-Players” which according to its style is close to the post-cubist expressionism. The masculine figures are massive with square and round expressive shapes of the bodies and heads.

THE FIRST SKOPJE PERIOD

From 1929 to 1944, Martinoski experienced a complex and heterogeneous creative development. It passed through several phases that are related to the artist’s life and they are authentic document of his humane characteristics.

The phase of expressionism (1929-1932)

This period is an important turning-point in Martinoski’s further artistic career. His role in the Macedonian fine art was established by the ways of his penetration into the trends of the world contemporary art and by his attempt to overcome the limits set down by the time and environment that he lived in. His first individual exhibition in Skopje was held in February, 1929. Apart from others, he exhibited the oil paintings “A Still Life”, “In the Market-place”, “Apple Pickers 1” and “Apple Pickers 2”. The critics noted that the artist had abandoned academic means of expression and that he had learned the techniques of impressionism, cubism and expressionism. In fact, Martinoski tended towards the geometrical simplification, decorativeness, restrained and fairly cold leveled color. In 1929, he also created “A Portrait of a Young Philosopher” which is a beginning of a new form of expression for Martinoski. Similar to this one is the oil painting “A Youth with a Fez” where the shape of the head is oval, the details of the face are “mannerist-like” underlined, the form of the body is “spindle shaped” and round. All these characteristics make him close to Modigliani’s style but at the same time they show the links between him and the art in the Macedonian medieval orthodox churches. In 1929, Martinoski painted several pictures with symbolic and metaphorical motifs, with emphasis on the artistic expression and sympathy for the people that belonged to the lower social and ethical state. That brought him closer to some of the artists of Parisian School (de la Patteliere, Soutine, Kissling, Rouault, Modigliani) and even closer to the German expressionism. These works of Martinoski’s were rather specific in Yugoslav art at the beginning of the thirties. They can be related only to the creative work of some members of the progressive Croatian group “Earth” established in 1929 (mainly with the work of Ignat Job). Many works of Martinoski from the beginning of the thirties present scenes of bohemic life of the city, vices, prostitution etc. Martinoski deforms, even makes caricatures in order to underline the brutality of the motifs he is working on using the experience of other artists (Lautrec, Grosz, Dix, Soutine). At the end of 1929 and the beginning of 1930, he created “Wet Nurse” and “A Composition-Mother with Child”. These are Martinoski’s first variations on this motif. They are ”rendered” with “loose” contours of the figures and a sort of expressionists-like tension. The oil painting “Cafe 1” (1930) evokes the interior of a cafe into a daring mixed-up and over filled composition. The forms of the feminine and masculine figures are delivered with nervous strokes, and notable cubist’s and expressionist’s inspiration. In 1930, Martinoski also created the oil painting “A Gypsy Girl with Plaits” and “The Portrait of Olga”. Especially in the later, the firm shapes and the strong contours, particularly emphasize the cubist structure of the paintings. In 1930, Martinoski created “The Figure of a Woman” in plaster cast and it is the only Martinoski’s preserved sculpture. With restrained expressiveness and pathos of the posture, the sculpture is closely related to the paintings of the same period. At the end of 1930, Martinoski painted two canvases with religious motifs: “The Son Eternally crucified” (destroyed) and “Under the crucifixion”. The later shows figures with firm, “rolling” drawing, which builds round forms with intrusive movements that are dramatically expressed. The faces are simplified, the colors are refined and clearly arranged. In 1931 Martinoski had two individual exhibitions and took part in several group exhibitions in Skopje and Belgrade. His works (portraits, figures, compositions, landscapes, still life’s) were considered as search for artistic individuality opposed to Parisian inspiration and expressionism. That year, he created two very interesting oil paintings: “A Landscape from Skopje” and “A Landscape from Soko Banja”, treated in a Soutine manner with a convulsive strokes and deformed shapes and surfaces. In 1931 he painted his “Self-portrait” where we can recognize a synthesis of the post-cubist style and Modigliani’s artistic approach. In the symbolic composition “A Family”, three figures (man, woman and child) are presented on a bare background in a cubist and expressionist manner, with particularly emphasized masses of shapes and simplified details on the faces. Many paintings with typical titles: “Miss Arreti”, 1931, “Vice” 1931/32”, “On the Bottom”, 1931 /32, “In the Cafe 2”, 1932 are showing nude women or dressed figures in a cafe or some other environment. The bodies are either cylindrically rounded or “broken” with cubist deformed shapes that resemble puppets or marionettes (they remind us of the works of Picasso, Grosz, Dix, Kissling). They also suggest Martinoski’s relation to the eastern medieval aesthetic that we can find in Macedonian orthodox churches. In the landscape “The Jewish Quarter in Skopje” (1932), the rather tight composition is presented by means of geometrical simplification of the details and a certain cubist treatment. By the end of this period, Martinoski created a lot of drawings which follow the development of his painting in the motifs (especially social ones) and the artistic treatment as well.

From expressionism to realism (1933-1935)

By 1933, Martinoski’s works and exhibits announce the end of the period influenced by French and German expressionism but Martinoski was still interested in humanism and had sympathy for the people from the poorest social strata in Macedonia of that time (mainly the Gypsies). In 1933, in a private house, Martinoski painted his first two frescoes. One of them (“South Serbian Romance”) has been completely destroyed and the other one (“Shumadian Romance”) with its pastoral motif and treatment shows the artistic tendency to alter his artistic treatment, slightly rounded forms, gracious movements and delicate stylization of all details. Such tendencies (still close to Modigliani’s style) are notable in many feminine figures of that time. In the “Gypsy Holiday”, 1933, the scene is delivered with dynamic composition of several sitting figures and emphasizes ethnographical, social and psychological details. The treatment in this painting is almost realistic, while in some portraits (Rade Drainac and Mileta Tomovich) the drawing is expressive and presents almost ascetic characters. In 1934 Martinoski exhibited with “Oblik” group in Sophia and Prague. The Critics underlined Martinoski’s expressive art, its modernism blended with inspirations from Macedonian art tradition. In this transitional year, some of his works still retained expressionist characteristics. That is typical for his illustrations in Rastko Purich’s book “The backsides”. Here, the social motifs are presented in an expressionist manner that deforms and even caricatures the shapes, also notable in the oil painting “The Portrait of Rastko Purich”. In “Mother with a Child” from 1934, the dramatic and pathetic expressiveness is particularly emphasized and shows similarity to Soutine’s treatment. In some other feminine characters, the forms are delicately expressed, with a refinement typical for Kissling. This tendency continued in 1935 at Martinoski’s individual exhibition in Skopje, his expressionism was reduced, but his interest in social motifs remained, tending towards lyrical and poetic expression (in the oil paintings “Mother with Child”, “Madonna from Topaana”, “No Lover”, “Dervish Bektash” and many drawings). There are two landscapes from 1935 that are unquestionably few of the best Macedonian pre-war paintings. The 13 destroyed frescoes in the Ocean cafe are from 1935 also. These symbolic and erotic scenes were full of refined sensuality and elegantly shaped forms, close to some of Matisse’s works and to some of the German expressionists.

THE SECOND SKOPJE PERIOD

In 1936 Martinoski’s artistic personality had definitely matured. He would still look for his main motifs and models in the Gypsy quarters of Skopje, revealing the social reality of pre-war Macedonia.

Lyrical Realism (1936-1937)

The years up to the very beginning of the Second World War, Martinoski exhibited intensive artistic activity. In 1936 and 1937, he exhibited drawings in Zagreb together with the Croatian artist Tomislav Krizman. His refined lyrical and realistic works on social motifs were acclamated by the critics as “progressive art” (works that were close to the Belgrade group “Zivot” and the social art). At Martinoski’s exhibition in Skopje in 1936, the critics emphasized his interest in the social environment surrounding him, given with “extremely impressive artistic means” (written by Purich, Mesesnel, Dobrichanin). In this phase of lyrical realism, Martinoski delivered images of poorly dressed girls and boys, with sweet nostalgic faces, and nicely shaped bodies and heads (“Mustapha’s Love”, “The Gypsy Shirley Temple”, “Mustapha”, “Comrade Ramadan”). Beside the motif “Mother with Child”, most typical of Martinoski’s drawings are the illustrations in R. Purich’s book “Workers South”, portraits of resigned masculine and feminine figures with clear forms and without unnecessary details. In 1936, Martinoski painted the fresco “Pastoral” (or “Country Romance”) in a private house in Skopje. It is completed in his previously adopted style, with a decorative treatment of the composition, close to Modigliani. In 1937, Martinoski exhibited with “Oblik” in Rome, Skopje and Thessalonica. That’s the time when he painted “A Bride” influenced by Kissling, presented with sweet, delicately shaped face and relaxed body. In 1937, Martinoski did the “Pastoral” fresco or “A Dance”. That is a romantic and symbolic scene with half nude girls that are dancing in a bare landscape.

Social realism (1938-1941)

By 1941, in Martinoski’s works, a sort of social realism had developed, as a proof of sympathy for the poor and as a true reflection of life. On one occasion during his individual exhibition in 1938, Martinoski’s art was called as realistic and he was called a great Macedonian painter (written by N. Adjem). That year Martinoski produced several typical works: “A Beggar”, in rags and with a patch over the right eye, “The Little Armenian Emigrant”, “An Albanian” presenting young boys, sweet faces and careful treatment similar to “A Bride” from 1937. With his show in 1939, Martinoski continued to follow the way of expression typical for his social realism. Presenting mothers with children, boys and girls, he often gave special attention to some details in order to achieve impressions of suffering and pain. Apart from that, Martinoski still portrayed sweet characters of girls and boys, sometimes nude women and still life’s. By the beginning of the War in 1941, Martinoski’s creative work was influenced by the atmosphere of unavoidable danger. Thus, in the oil painting “Grandfather and Granddaughter” the characters are portrayed with the bitterness of a hard and unhappy life. Moreover, in several mothers and children and wet nurses, the social and psychological moments are naturalistically emphasized. Martinoski achieves more impressive results in some presentations of half-nude girls and numerous portraits of children or boys. At that time he also painted some still lifes which are among his best achievements of this kind.

THE WAR PERIOD (1941-1944)

During the war Martinoski’s creative work developed under complex conditions and he limited his art production. These painting and drawings were still realistic. Thus, in the canvas “Christmas Carolers” (1941), poorly dressed girls are presented in a winter landscape, following the spirit of the pre-war social art, with strained drawing, typical deformations and dark and cold colors. During these years, at first in Skopje and later in Krushevo, Martinoski portrayed some characters of boys and girls, portraits of relatives and friends. Here we can see how he routinely follows the treatment used at the end of his pre-war period. After the liberation of Krushevo (September 1944), Martinoski accepted some new commitments from the Headquarters of the People’s War for Liberation of Macedonia in Prilep, especially in agitation and propaganda. In those months, Martinoski developed works which were thematically related to the People’s War for Liberation. In the year of 1944, he made a realistic oil painting with a portrait called “Partisan” and a series of drawings on motifs from the partisans’ life and struggle. With a fine, firm line he showed typical personalities and situations, monumental and proud characters.

SOCIALIST REALISM

Martinoski’s post-war creative work developed in several phases with the dynamic historical changes in Macedonia and some changes in the personal life of the artist as well. The first phase is influenced by socialist realism and lasted until 1950. Martinoski continued to follow the course taken in his previous creative work. That was a realistic art expression with changes caused by the new creative situation of that period. In 1945, the critics pointed out Martinoski’s masterly skill, but still expected him to match his art to the principles of socialistic realism, which is a clear thematic commitment (motifs from the People’s War for Liberation, the restoration and the building up of the country). All that in some way meant realistic treatment with no freedom of artistic expression. At the beginning of this period, Martinoski continued to paint on familiar motifs that are obvious in the oil paintings “Mother with a Child”, ”Dime the Schoolboy”, “A Pregnant Woman”. In 1946, he created paintings with idyllic and pastoral motifs, scenes presenting boys and girls are treated in a different way, with nervous strokes, without thoroughness and refinement. Martinoski’s drawings of this period have the same value as his previous works in this discipline. In 1947, he adapted his theme and style to the aesthetics of social realism. In that year, he made the oil painting “The Outstanding Worker”, treated realistically with “massive and open drawing” and intrusive colors. In some tempera paintings and drawings of 1947, Martinoski presented motifs from some voluntary mass labor projects and the People’s War for Liberation. His creative work in 1948 and 1949 is still close to this thematic preoccupation. He also produced works on themes from recent history painted routinely and without creative depth, such as the oil paintings “Ilinden”, “Portrait of Goce Delchev” and several oil paintings on current political motifs “The Congress of the Macedonian Communist Party” etc. In 1949, he produced a series of tempera paintings on motifs of partisan columns, carrying of the injured etc. They are more like sketches treated superficially, with unattractive and not differentiated colors. Martinoski’s works (especially a few portraits) of 1950 showed that he was gradually changing his orientation, but still remained within the framework of realistic art. Thus, in the “Self-portrait” (1949/50) he presented the physiognomic and psychological features of his character with cold colors used with care and freedom. Martinoski’s drawings of this period present individual figures or group compositions treated with certain and skillful commitment.

ATTEMPTS AT RESTORATION

For Martinoski, the period from 1951 to 1960 consisted of attempts to restore his art. In the previous period Martinoski’s creative work had become considerably less valuable. In the Fifties, however, there were possibilities in Yugoslavia for gradual application of the principle of freedom in art. In those years, Martinoski had several individual exhibitions and one retrospective exhibition. He also took part in many group exhibitions in Yugoslavia and abroad. His interest in the contemporary art abroad and in the process of the modernization of Macedonian art, influenced his personality and his creative work which led to several attempts to restore his individual system of expression.

Characters and scenes from the everyday life (1951-1961)

One of the themes that Martinoski widely exploited in this period were scenes from the everyday life, rendered with many folkloric characteristics. He presented feminine and masculine figures in folk dresses, treated schematically and without any strong ambition. One of the most interesting is the oil painting “Teshkoto” (1952/54). Martinoski produced many pictures that were showing “motifs from Krushevo” with realistic or expressionism-like treatment (“Reception days”, “Weddings”, “Celebrations”). These scenes with many figures in folk or modern dress have the houses in Krushevo with all their typical details as their background. The artist shows sympathy for these people and the environment, but very often we can also see mild irony in his expression.

In the Fifties, Martinoski worked on many drawings and several paintings in a style that Yugoslavian critic’s called “symbolic expressionism”. These works express Martinoski’s committed approach towards various philosophical, ethical and social problems of his time, his sympathy for people, his erotic visions etc. In the paintings and drawings that belong to this period we can see many similarities to some of the works of Grosz, Pascin, Chagall and the German expressionists. In some of them the style is clearly related to the Byzantine art and there are others that contain elements of artistic expressions typical for symbolists and surrealists (“Nightmare”, “Man and evil”, “Evil garland” etc). From 1952 until 1960 Martinoski created some works containing various forms of “erotica” that deserve our special attention. Many of his masterpieces from this period can be recognized by Martinoski’s daring artistic innovations and his unique ways of expression (“Victory”, 1952, “The Evil Garland”, 1952, “The Problems of Civilization”, 1953, “The Military Game”, 1953 etc). These works were exhibited in Belgrade, Zagreb, Ljubljana and Paris and they represented very special and important contribution to the development of Yugoslavian art at that time. Some of the oil paintings exhibited in the USA (1954-1955) also belong to Martinoski’s period of “symbolic expressionism”. Those paintings are full of sensual and idyllic atmosphere, freedom of fantasy (Grosz, Nolde, Munch) and many surrealistic elements (Chagall). These strains will remain present in Martinoski’s works after 1960.

Portraits and figures (1951-1960)

This is the time when many “Mothers with children” and “Wet nurses” were painted with obvious gradual changes in the treatment. “Self-portrait with Paintbrushes” from 1957 and “Self-portrait” from 1960 are among his greatest artistic achievements that belong to this period. In the first one we can clearly see some mildly caricatured details. In this period Martinoski produced works on motifs that present the life of the Gypsies in Skopje. The unattractive, superficial treatment of the characters of all ages and professions is related to many of Martinoski’s pre-war works on some social motifs. We would like to point out the monumental figure of a youth in the painting “Ramadan” from 1952-1953. Martinoski also produced many portraits that are similar to the faces from his “motifs from Krushevo”. Apart from those related to the symbolic expressionism, he created some drawings with clear and realistic characteristics. In this period, Martinoski made many illustrations for various publications which are stylistically close to his complete creative work in his drawings.

SEARCHING FOR CONTINUITY

Martinoski’s creative work that followed contained very few innovations. It represented search for continuity and synthesis of all types of artistic expressions with which he experimented in the previous decades.

The types of erotica in Martinoski’s creative work (1961-1973)

The eroticism in Martinoski’s creative work is generally related to his expressionistic style. Many oil paintings on canvas and glass from 1961 to 1973 present symbolic and poetical scenes, where the shapes are intrusively lengthened and sometimes they are transformed into “spindle-shaped” and “insects-like” images (“A Moon” from 1961, “Romance” from 1964, “Spring Exaltation” from 1965). Numerous drawings from 1961 to 1973 are produced with a similar aesthetic and stylistic treatment. In some of Martinoski’s works the erotic fantasy can be found in “mythological” scenes. They are transformed into turbulent, images, with elements of sadism and violence (“Satyrs and Women” from 1967, “Gentlemen and Nymphs” from 1966). In the series of works on the motifs from bohemic life, the oil painting on glass “Guitars” from 1965-1966 should be pointed out as an example of a strong relation between Martinoski and German expressionists. It confirms Martinoski’s link with some of de Kooning’s works also. In several “weddings” (oil paintings on canvas or glass, tempera paintings and drawings) Martinoski’s erotic obsession is present in the figures of “the brides”. They are presented with nude breasts and provocative behavior (1966-1972).

The Skopje earthquake as inspiration (1963-1967)

On 26 of July, 1963 there had been an earthquake that destroyed two thirds of the city of Skopje. In the following year Martinoski produced a series of drawings in which he presented this tragedy. In these works we can find pathetic or dramatic expression, done with colored chalks, pencil or felt-tip pen.

Scenes from everyday life (1963-1973)

In various scenes from everyday life, after 1963 Martinoski presented many “Weddings”, “Card-players”, “Chess-players”, “Concerts”, “Musicians” etc. The artistic expression in these paintings very often can be related to some of the works of Marc Chagall and Mane Katz.

Martinoski’s works that belong to his last phase include many portraits, still lifes, mothers with their babies, free compositions etc. Stylistically most of them are related with his previous works.

Martinoski’s historical contribution has invaluable significance for the cultural life of the Macedonians in the 20th century. He became the first artist who managed to unite the European modern art tendencies with the rich Macedonian cultural heritage. Martinoski’s achievements are built in the basis of both Macedonian and Yugoslav modern art.

 

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