Efimija Topolski

Covers of the exhibition catalogue “Thinking Searching Waiting“, artist Efimija Topolski

Price 32,00 CHF

Exhibition catalogue “Thinking Searching Waiting”, issued in May 2018, in the German along with English translation, on the occasion of the eponymous exhibition of Efimija Topolski that was held in Basel. Exhibition was curated by ds art, Basel and within the project „From Intimate to Public“.


Through her drawings, Efimija Topolski conveys archaic and existential experiences between conception and death. To be able to share the experiences with her through the Basel exhibition “From intimate to public” is at once intimate and public. As the intimate merges into the public, the two are no longer marked by contrast but by connection.

Efimija Topolski’s works are two- dimensional, they are not non-relational pieces of art, but representational or abstract depictions of a felt world, so can only indirectly be compared to these sculptures. However, they, too, demand the immediate engagement of the beholder by revealing deep emotions: the resignation of the captive animal, its vulnerability, its bristling anger, its loneliness and longing for contact, but also its hope, its curiosity and its joywhen it feels free. It’s not expression in the expressionist sense, in which the artists show themselves, but rather an expression of the animals’ feelings which challenges us to make a connection through them to our own inner worlds. We are all familiar with these existential feelings from our own experiences. And so the animals lead us to face ourselves. In these archaic and existential feelings, we find both humans and animals, and often also plants.

Quotations from Denise Ellenberger’s Catalogye esey: The Intimate and the Public, The exhibition Thinking Searching Waiting by Efimija Topolski

Book information

Book Details

Cover: Soft Cover with French Flaps
Page Number: 136
Format: 22 x 17cm
Paper: GardaPat Klassica, 150gr
Text: Denise Ellenberger: The Intimate and the Public, Theo Schäfer: THINKING, SEARCHING, WAITING
Languages: English, German
Translation: Intimität und Öffentlichkeit; Biografie, Sophie Debrunner Hall, edited, Rebecca Morton; Lyrics, p. 134, Igor Cvijanović
Edition: May 2018, 1st edition, 200
Photography: Vlada Popović, Dragan Nenadović (p. 126, 129)
Book Cover Drawing: Efimija Topolski
Design and Concept: Dragana Radivojević
Print: Alta Nova, Belgrade, 2018
ISBN 978-3-907135-00-6

Content List

Introduction, portrait: THINKING, SEARCHING, WAITING, Theo Schäfer, pp 10-17 / The Intimate and the Public, Denise Ellenberger, p.p. 18-52 / Biography p.p. 54-57 / Arworks p.p. 59-135/

About the Artist

The three-decade-long creative career of Efimija Topolski (born 1965 in Belgrade as Jasna Topolski) largely took place away from the public eye. A Serbian artist Jasna Topolski had already enjoyed many years of success and completed a Masters at the Academy of Fine Arts, when in 1992, aged 26 and with a promising art career ahead of her, she retreated from society and entered the Christian-orthodox Monastery of Gradac, becoming Mother Efimija.

Even away from the world Efimija never ceased to be an artist. In Gradac, she found life-affirming forms for the otherworldly Byzantine icon painting. At the same time, she painted walls and iconostases of famous churches or monasteries. She also sketched and painted ceaselessly in notebooks, diaries and on paper of every kind, and in doing so reflected not only her life in the deeply traditional context of the monastery but also reacted to the modern, urban world outside.

As her work to date encompasses both pieces anchored in religion as well as these works which project existential feelings beyond a location in the monastic or worldly spheres, the artist defies standard categorisations.