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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 14 | volume III | April-May, 2000



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 14April-May, 2000
Gallery Reviews

The Painter Lazar Ličenoski

On L. Ličenoski’s retrospective exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art, Skopje, October, 1998

p. 1
Viktorija Vaseva Dimeska

    Lazar Ličenoski was born in March (28.03.1901) “on naked ground, by the fire, in ash, on a straw mat. I was growing on a bare stone and on a country muckheap located ten meters from our house”. His father, Philip, came from a respectable family of builders where, apart from icon-painting and carving, the third Galičnik trade – building, was transferred from father onto son, on entire generations, who built a large number of churches, part of them in Romania, like Matej – Mote Velov Ličenoski, who “constructed the largest church spire.” When his mother Magda “… slipped on ice, was deadly injured, and died young at the age of twenty two…” Lazar and his sister Stojana were raised and bred by his Aunt Rosa.

The construction work took Philip to the area of Prizren, whereas Lazar remained in Galičnik, to live the day-labour life, and with his small hands of a child to toil in the service of the herdsmen and to obey their commands, so as “… not to eat bread for nothing.” This primitive life of a day-labourer, not a little harder than the domestic life, at least warmed his soul with “that essential mountain silence, the limitless views from the peaks of Bistra, through the bases of Krčin and Stogovo, through all Albania, marvellous tinges and harmonies of blue and purple colours vanishing into the soft greyness of the Adriatic offing”. All this triggered the desire to immortalise on canvas this unremitting love of the mountain scenery.

    There is great affection in Ličenoski’s words that in Skopje, where he embarked on a different way of living in an urban surroundings: “… I felt for the first time what a real human life was, what hygiene, play, and study were…” But Tetovo, too, where he spent a significant period of his childhood, for Ličenoski meant establishing initial contacts with the organised life in “a provincial kasaba”, which in those pre-war times was not “… routine, monotonous, and tedious. There was always a certain specific cultural and entertainment life in this town. For instance, after World War I, in Tetovo there were more than a hundred mandolins, and tens of guitars and violins”.

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