Momčilo MilovanovićSculptor, soldier, prisoner—all before the age of 30.

Momčilo MilovanovićSculptor, soldier, prisoner—all before the age of 30.

Totemic is the first word that comes to mind when contemplating the oeuvre of the late Serbian sculptor Momčilo Milovanović. This impression, instantaneous as it may be, is anything but superficial, and Milovanović’s extraordinary life provides vital clues to the genius of his often towering works.

Milovanović was born in 1921 in the small town of Smederevska Palanka in eastern Serbia, then part of Yugoslavia. Although the town wasn’t far from the capital, Belgrade, Milovanović spent his youth in the countryside, where he developed the relationship with nature that would have a profound effect on his later work. As a teenager, he moved to Belgrade with his father and uncles, helping out with the family business after having dropped out of secondary school. In 1941, Yugoslavia w...

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