It was the hand of God that joined a Serbian woman and a Russian man, who had come to Serbia as boy, with his parents, after the October Revolution in Russia.
So, on April 19th 1939. in Uzice, they got their son Djordje - Djordje Prudnikov
In 1946. the family moved to Belgrade. After completing his grammar school, Djordje was admitted to the Academy of Fine Arts. Few months later he left it to enroll at the Academy of Applied Arts where he graduated in the class of Professor Mihailo Petrov.
During his studies Prudnikoff was rewarded several times for graphic design.
Graphic (industrial) design was his preoccupation while staying in Wienna, in 1967.
Before leaving for Vienna, after visiting an industrial design exhibition that inspired him, he started to do industrial design himself. It was design of completely new shapes of glasses. In Vienna, he had contacts with Rosenthal, Gralglass and other companies that belonged to Euro "Group 21". They were not only full of compliments for the artist but offered him a cooperation. After 5 months spent in Vienna, he returned to Belgrade for a summer holiday. Nostalgic feelings overwhelmed him and he remained at home.
That was most likely the reason why some of his ideas were used while he was away, and without his approval. One of his ideas even won the ''Oscar'' for design in 1969. in Germany.
At the International competition for new ideas in furniture design, in 1968 in Italy, he was granted a reward and 3 months scholarship by the company called Sormani from Milan for perfecting himself in furniture design.
During and after his studies he was mostly occupied with creations in the field of applied arts and took part in projects for furniture and applied pottery for several well-known Italian enterprises. His work were selected for the ITALIAN DESIGN exhibitions in many European metropolises, and that was the time when Italian design was considered one of the best in the world.
While staying in Italy, he established a good cooperation with Gabbianelli (and some others), and achieved his greatest success.
Prudnikoff met many interesting people in Italy, the most impressive contact being with Mr.Dino Gavina, one of the pioneers of industrial design who said that "he had waited for such an Artist" There were remarkable proposals to work in Bologna but, unfortunately, the two distinct personalities had conflicts from the very beginning.
That was unfortunate, of course. As he stayed in Belgrade longer than he planned, he failed to take his chance to realise his project ''Habitata'', already accepted at the Milano Trienale in 1975, for a well known enterprise ''Zanotta'' /transparent armchair, armchair in a shape of the sack /
In 1976. he had left Italy, and only 18 years later learned abut the reason why Italian authorities had not granted him extended work permit. There was a bad guy who lived in Milan at the same time, and possessed a passport in the name of Prudnikoff. That man loved his painting but had no idea how he affected his life.
Prudnikoff's idea was borrowed in Italy as well, and an ''armchair - FIELD'' won the 1st prize at an international contest, but it was not registered under his name .
In Belgrade, Prudnikoff became famous not only as an artist, but for his whole-page advertisements announced in daily newspapers. These advertisements symbolized his reactions to certain occurrences, whether he approved of them or not. At first, this way of communication with the community represented his discontent with the contemporary art critique that did not accept him, and that, apart from few exceptions, did not win his confidence.
C O N T E M P O R A R I E S !!!
Prudnikoff took part in numerous collective and independent exhibitions both in the country and abroad.
Let me introduce myself...
Djordje P R U D N I K O F F, painter from Belgrade
I hope that the Medal of Honor of Art-Science and Letters - MEDAILLE DE VERMEIL - was awarded to me because I deserved it, and that I have every reason and justification to feel proud and delighted! The fact that I am not in position to join you and enjoy the ceremonial atmosphere together with the other laureates, makes me sad but there are problems that have been worrying me, and which make me mostly depressed, since my country, the country where I was born, unfortunately does not need me.
I have just been compelled to vacate the apartment in which my parents used to live. Cultural workers are not appreciated in this country.
For a long time now, I have been tired of fighting, tired of talking the authorities into leaving me alone to work, explaining to them that the fact that I have not painted for three years is not only my problem, but theirs as well. In vain!!!
My father left Russia in 1918, and I have to leave Serbia definitely.
It is our destiny - nothing can be done about it.....
Thank you for the confidence and respect that you have showed for my artwork.
International European Guest of Honor of the First Montreal Autumn Salon
The first Great Medal will be given to Djordje Prudnikoff for the outstanding beauty of his paintings and his extraordinary talent as a painter . One cannot but befall in «awe » before his paintings. He belongs among the greatest Masters of the World : Past, Present or Future ! He is unique and it is no wonder that they call him the « phenomenon »! I think of him as being a great gift left behind by the Renaissance Era to celebrate the arrival of this New Millennium. Here we have the living proof that we have absolutely nothing to envy from those past and great Eras of magnificent and beautiful Art! He is of the divine and exceptional «Nature» of a Leonardo ! I am not the only one who thinks in that way for many great artists around the world have written to me to render him an «Hommage» in some way... The following is an «Hommage » that was written by yet another great Master of the Universe, the most famous and extraordinary Spanish painter-sculptor «ANTONIO COLMEIRO TOMÁS! I think that it resumes it best:
«....I pray you to transmit my sincere congratulation to Mr Prudnikoff for his picture "Days of Happiness". I think I'm not overstated if I say you that this is one of the most beautiful and deepest picture I've ever seen in my live about the "family". It is a modern version of "The holy family".
Between a faultless technic, he gets -using the light and the movement of the shapes- a delicacy so subtle and vaporous that is able to express the purest non-interested love that the human being is able to feel.
The contemplation of this picture invite the man to take out of himself the better of his soul.
The vaporous and sweet gentleness of the mother's expression, the boy's innocence, and the father strong and protector, constitute an universe that lead necessarily to God.
¡What a great presentation-card for a great Master!"
I was deeply touched when I received this letter from Monsieur Colmeiro, for I thought that great artists can be so wonderful and generous and « just ».. I was left speechless! Monsieur Colmeiro is such a great and exceptional artist himself ! His portrait of the King of Spain «Juan Carlos» is a real «Masterpiece » ! One could say that his Art is just as magnificent as his magnanimous and beautiful « soul »!