Ján Knjazovic

He was born on June 18 in 1925. in a farming familly in Kovacica. His particular interest in painting he showed in early childhood. His talent was noticed in the army when he was arranging wall papers. After returning from the army  he continues to paint and with painters Jan Sokol, Martin Paluška, Vladimir Boboš and Michal Bireš established painting section Pokrok in Kovačica. Thus was born the famous “Kovačica school” of naive painting in Kovačica  which was later joined by Martin Jonaš and Zuzana Chalupova.

He had a rich artistic life, his paintings are in major museum and private collections even in the Vatican Museum, he was the only Slovak whose painting was exhibited in the Louvre, His painting “Children’s Dance” was reproduced in 1974 on the Post stamp  of Yugoslavia.

Critics have included  him among the world’s most original painters of naive art.

His life’s motto was thought of Exuperyís Little Prince, that ” the man see well only with his heart”, and heart was his signature on the paintings.

He died in 1985, yet his big heart is still beating in his paintings.

Solo exhibitions at home and abroad:

Zagreb, 1962

Kovačica, 1963

Pančevo, 1963

Kovačica, 1964

Caracas, 1964

Rogaška Slatina, 1965

Kovačica, 1965

Kovačica, 1966

Kovačica, 1967

Kovačica, 1968

Kovačica, 1970

Pančevo, 1972

Kovačica, 1973

Budva, 1973

Kovačica, 1974

Pančevo, 1975

Kovačica, 1975

Berlin, 1975

Pančevo, 1975

Kovačica, 1975

Crikvenica, 1976

Kovačica, 1976

Belgrade, 1977

Canberra, 1977

Stuttgart, 1979

Winnenden, 1979

Belgrade, 1979

Belgrade, 1980

New York, 1980

Belgrade, 1980

Florida, 1981

New York, 1981

Novi Sad, 1981

Jagodina, 1981

„Luka i sklad“ Company, Belgrade, 1982

„Jadran“ Company, Belgrade, 1982

„Janko Lisjak“ Company, Beograde, 1982

„Geosonda“ Company, Belgrade, 1982

„Beogradski pamučni kombinat“ (Cotton mill), Belgrade, 1982

„Braća Stamenković“ (Stamenković Brothers) Education Center, Belgrade, 1982

„Kosta Đurić“ Library, Mladenovac, 1982

„Braća Stamenković“ (Stamenković Brothers) Education Center, Belgrade, 1984

40th Anniversary Retrospective exhibition, Janko Lisjak Gallery, Belgrade, 1985

Collective exhibitions home and abroad

Kovačica, 1952

Padina, 1954

Novi Sad, 1955

Kostanjevica, 1956

Belgrade, Zagreb, Skopje, 1957

Pančevo, Novi Sad, 1958

Pančevo, 1959

Zagreb, Belgrade, Pančevo, 1960

London, Basel, Budapest, Belgrade, Šabac, Kish, 1961

Čačak, Subotica, Belgrade, Edinburgh, 1962

Ohrid, Skopje, Zagreb, Zrenjanin, New York, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, Zürich, Budapest, Moscow, Leningrad, Vienna, 1963

Zagreb, Paraguay, Paris, Rotterdam, Kragujevac, Kruševac, 1964

Bratislava, New York, Frankfurt, Brno, 1966

Västerås, 1967

Belgrade, Zrenjanin, Geneva, Mexico City, Amsterdam, 1968

Jagodina,Trebnje, Rotterdam, Bratislava, Buenos Aires, Stockholm, 1969

Jagodina, London, Düsseldorf, 1970

Charleroi, Namur, Antwerp, Tokyo, Rome, Florence, Jagodina, 1971

Hilversum, Svetozarevo, Vienna, Amsterdam, 1972

Zagreb, Rome, Vienna, 1973

Jagodina, Lyon, Krefeld, 1974

Jagodina, Belgrade, 1975

Paris, London, Glasgow, Washington, Stockholm, Jagodina, 1976

Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Zagreb, Towson, 1977

Shreveport (Louisiana), Greenvale (New York), 1978

Jagodina, 1980

Jagodina, 1981

Honors and Awards

The first prize on the exhibition of Slovak artists in Bački Petrovac, 1961

Diploma of the Cultural Center in Kovačica for the contribution in development of fine arts, 1962

Certificate of the Nadežda Petrović Gallery in Čačak, 1962

Diploma of the cultural educational center, district of Pančevo, 1962

Diploma of the Art Lovers Association, district of Pančevo, 1963

Diploma of the Dolenjska cultural Festival in Kostanjevica na Krki, 1968

Medal of the Slovenian naive artist art camp in Trebnje, 1969

Diploma Doma kulture Kovačica za doprinos u razvoju kulturnog života, 1972.

Diploma of the Cultural center in Kovačica for the contribution in development of cultural life, 1972

Diploma of the Cultural center in Kovačica on the occasion of 8th solo exhibition, 1972

Acknowledgment of the Cultural center in Kovačica, 1973

Diploma for the development of cultural life in Kovačica, 1975

Diploma for the 30 years of work jubilee and 50 years of living in Kovačica, 1975

Diploma on the 25th Kovačica October and 175th Anniversary of the town of Kovačica, 1978

A special recognition on the Biennial of  the Museum of Naive and Marginal Art, Jagodina, 1981

Diploma of The 8th Parliament of the Yugoslav naive artists, Zlatar, 1982

Gold plaque award of the 30th October in Kovačica, 1982

Recognition of the MNA, Jagodina