The Serbian iconographer and fresco painter Sasa Savic, about whom the local Time Out Magazine in an issue on Foreign Artists – Cypriot Art has stated that ‘he has come to be regarded as one of the best icon painters on the island’, has completed a new fresco in Panagia Pantanassa church in Paphos. This being one of the many fresco projects that he has been commissioned to undertake in recent years, among which is in the St. Demetrios church, as well as in St. Cosma and Damianos church in Kato Pafos. The increase in demand for his expertise in the fresco technique speaks much about his use of innovative and traditional techniques, which has placed him at the forefront of contemporary fresco painting.
Fresco has a lasting effect, not just because of its time defying mineral qualities, but because fresco art appeals to any class of people. Especially since, frescoes happen to illustrate the most sacred cultural features of any civilization, and they are created for everyone to appreciate. While they may not require a broader education to understand and analyse their implication, viewing a fresco in progress does nevertheless show how labour intensive and painstaking it really it is to be made.
Sasa Savic’s frescoes are a paradigm of brilliant modern frescoes that depict religious figures and heroic ideals. But not just, the mere size, art, and his use of water-based pigments that range from red, yellow, purple, to intense hues of greens and blues, as well as the stark white of fine marble, give a larger than life enveloping feeling, as one gazes at them. And looking inside the plaster as he paints, it is also interesting to see how the water soaks in and manoeuvres the pigments. While his fresco nourishes the hearts and spirits of those privileged enough to stand under its magnificence, the chemical process continues within the wall, recurrently emerging the visual harmony and radiance of the work.
Working under adverse conditions and steadfast on top of the scaffolds, to execute his frescoes, Sasa Savic aims very high, and makes every effort to define essence.
1975: Elementary and Grammar school finished in Belgrade and also Graduated in English language from the Institute for Foreign Languages
1975-1979: Studies Economic sciences at the Faculty for Economics, University of Belgrade
1979-1984: Studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade, Department of Painting (class of prof. Z. Turinski). Graduated with B.A. degree in 1984
1984-1986 Postgraduate studies completed at the Academy of Fine Arts with Master of Arts Degree in Painting
1990 Norwegian Government Scholarship awarded. Studies the art of Edvard Munch in Oslo and Bergen. Places of study: Munch Museum, National Gallery, Rasmus Meyers Collection, Westlandets Kunstakademi.
1980: Stage scenography set for the group Atomic Shelter for their concerts in Belgrade and Ljubljana (with Bosko Obradovic and Goran Desancic)
1998: Participated in an international art project “The Sphere” in Akamas region of Cyprus (with: Elizabeth Doering, Rinos Stefani and Susan Vargas)
2000: Took part in the international art project Sea@net in Akamas, National Park of Cyprus (with: Elizabeth Doering, Rinos Stefani and Susan Vargas).
Artist in Residence
1987: Denmark, exploring Scandinavian Art. At the University of Aarhus, gave a lecture on Yugoslav Contemporary Art
1991: Israel, Artist in residence at the Center for Creative Arts In Ma’alot, Galilee. Lecture on Byzantine icon and fresco painting techniques.
1999: U.S.A. Upon invitation by Georgia College & State University, as Artist in residence, was teaching Byzantine Icon Painting Fresco painting
1988-1990: Monastery of Grabovac, near Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Byzantine wall paintings (fresco-secco).
1991: Parish Church in Obarska, Bosnia. Byzantine wall paintings in fresco-secco technique.
1992: Greek Orthodox Monastery in Kana of Galilee, Israel (famous for Wedding in Kana and wine miracle). Commissioned to paint frescoes in a true fresco technique.
2000-2001: Church of Panagia Therapeftria, General Hospital of Pafos, Cyprus. Fresco-secco.
2005-2008: St. Cosma and Damianos church, Kato Pafos, Cyprus. Byzantine Wall paintings. Fresco-secco
2006-2007: St. Demetrios church, Kato Pafos, Cyprus. Byzantine Wall paintings. Fresco-secco
2008-2009: Church of Panagia Pantanassa, Pafos, Cyprus Byzantine Wall paintings. Fresco-secco
1993-1997: Sixty-five icons painted for the iconostasis of the Church of St. Spyridon, Geroskipou, Pafos, Cyprus.
1996-1999: Seven large-scale icons commissioned to paint for the Synodicon at Holy Mitropolis of Paphos (for the occasion of 1950 years of Christianity in Cyprus)
2001: Crucifixion large Cross-shaped icon painted for the Church of St Lazarus, Larnaka, Cyprus
2002: Commissioned to paint a number of icons for the Center for Cultural Heritage of Cyprus, Nicosia Virgin Mary, an icon with the scenes from the life of Mather of God, painted for the Church of St Spyridon, Geroskipou, Pafos, Cyprus
2003: St. Spyridon, large-scale icon with the scenes of his miracles. Commissioned for the church of St Spyridon, Geroskipou
2004: Virgin Mary, an icon with the scenes from the life of Virgin Mary, painted for St. Cosma and Damianos church, Kato Pafos, Cyprus.
Selected group Exhibitions
1984: Perspektive XII, Gallery next to the Theatre, Belgrade XXV October saloon, UP Cvijeta Zuzoric, Belgrade
1985: New members of ULUS, Belgrade Autumn saloon, Gallery SG, Belgrade
1987: VI Exhibition of Yugoslav portrait, Tuzla Masters of the 80’, Gallery JNA, Belgrade
1997: I Fine Arts Festival, International Fair, Nicosia
2001: “Within-Without”, Street Gallery, Pafos Christmas show of E.KA.TE, Gallery Kyklos, Pafos
2002: Third Millennium, Famagousta Gate, Nicosia E.KA.TE show, Gallery Kyklos, Pafos
2003: Anti war show, Pafos harbour
1986: M.A. exhibition, Academy of Fine Arts, Belgrade
1999: Solo at Pygmalion, Pafos
1982-1986: Establishes the Art Magazine “FLU”, published by AFA, Belgrade. First Editor-in-Chief
Paintings, icons and drawings are now in various private collections in Greece, Cyprus, Germany, England, France, Belgium, Netherlands, USA, Norway, Denmark, Israel and former Yugoslavian countries
1985 Member of UNESCO.
Member of ULUS, Serbian Association of Fine Arts 1995
Member of E.KA.TE, Cyprus Chamber of Fine Arts