17. 07. 2018. -9. 09. 2018AN ARTIST AT MEŠTROVIĆ'S: Frano MissiaMeštrović Gallery, SplitExhibition created and catalogue written by
Vesna Bulić Baketić
Essays in the catalogue
Vesna Bulić Baketić
Exhibition visual design
Vesna Bulić Baketić
Graphic design of the exhibition
Josip Rajević, Studio 9
Graphic design and pre-press
Josip Rajević, Studio 9
The exhibition An Artist at Meštrović’s: Frano Missia gives an insight into part of the oeuvre of Frano Missia, a painter who also tried his hand at sculpture. His guest appearance in the little space of the Clay Studio in the Meštrović Gallery is focused on just two segments of the different idioms that Missia touched on during his journey in life and art. With these colourist landscapes, most often of his native region, and his later turn towards the modelling of sensuous women of the kind that he had previously depicted in acrylic paint on his large canvases, the exhibition is a peep, a cracking of the door, into a world full of colourist expression, of known and unknown scenes often informed with human presence. It is an invitation into Frano’s world, which, with all its latent melancholy and thoughts of dissent, has, above all, an ineffable joy in life and unfailing emotions when faced with beauty.
“The landscapes shown at the exhibition An Artist at Meštrović’s 2018are mainly productions from the new millennium, created after 2002. His older landscapes painted during the sixties and seventies have a geometrical treatment inclining towards an abstract poetics, founded on American Abstract Expressionism, but the more time passed, the more the scenes departed from abstract forms and ranged towards colourist expression and softer forms. In spite of his skill in drawing and his strong conviction that the drawing was at the base of everything, Frano did not go off into landscape realism. He retained the fairytale mystery of his places, thus provoking the curiosity of the viewer who constantly asks whether this is Frano’s impression or the unreality of some Caribbean twilight.
In spite of the attractiveness of foreign vistas and the ever present need for movement and exploration of the world, the Dalmatian landscapes and the special frames of Split nature are revealed as essential and innate. Showing Dalmatia, Frano combines a depiction of a real landscape with the feeling that is called up in him by the warm Mediterranean air while it flows over the frame of a chosen cove. Although we are in the spheres of the emotional and subjective I feel it reasonable to state that in acrylic he attempts to capture the feeling of the sunbeams, the song of the cicada and the scent of the pine that comes to him while he selects the vista that he will immortalise on the rectangle of canvas. He often decides to enrich his landscape with human presence, whether that of some baigneuse, or several of them, or a mythological creature that sought a moment of relaxation in the landscape of Frano’s childhood. The pines, cypresses and other Dalmatian Mediterranean vegetation are so striking as to set off a powerful colourist palette; controlled, however, and reined in just in time not to get into any Fauvist ardency.
In the new millennium he tried his hand at sculpture; his Willendorf Venuses from the canvases acquired a new dimension in clay. Along the lines of the basic prehistoric human aspirations from the earliest attempts at sculptural expression, Frano also sees his female figures as sensual Venuses of marked female attributes related to fecundity.
Although he admired Henry Moore, Frano’s sculptures of the naked female body did not turn off in the direction of stylisation, but totally relied on an only slightly enlarged realistic image of rich female proportions. In poses of rest, various emotional states or exercise, woman is not just an object or a study of proportions but is filled with the character of the moment.” (V. Bulić Baketić, from the exhibition catalogue).MORE
13. 02. 2018. -20. 05. 2018Ivan Meštrović: Corporeality and eroticism in sculptureCankarjev dom, Ljubljana, SloveniaExhibition organized by:
Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana
Ivan Meštrović Museums
Exhibition conception devised by:
Zorana Jurić Šabić
Zorana Jurić Šabić
Nina Pirnat Spahić
Exhibition design and spatial conception devised by:
After the exceptionally successful exhibition “Sculpture and Nudity – Corporeality and Eroticism in the Works of Ivan Meštrović” organized by Ivan Meštrović Museums in 2016 in the Glyptotheque of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Zagreb, an exhibition named “Ivan Meštrović – telesnost in erotika v kiparstvu” is presented to the Slovenian audience in Cankarjev dom in Ljubljana. More than fifty works, sculptures and drawings from private and public Croatian collections were gathered for the exhibition.
Within the exhibition, Meštrović’s output is viewed through the prism of significance of the nude body and erotic readings, and the theme development can be followed in sculptures and drawings from the period between 1903 and 1946. According to the motif, as well as the period, the subject of nudity and eroticism in the works of Ivan Meštrović can be viewed through three readings, intertwined with the exhibition narrative.
The unit called “Uneasiness in the Body” (Dalibor Prančević) encompasses a wide time contingent of the first two decades of the 20th century, and includes works with various issues of nudity, aesthetics of “the ugly” and affirmation of the other. Chapter “Between Two Eroses and Two Aphrodites” (Barbara Vujanović) deals with the works of Meštrović’s so-called “Zagreb period”, as well as earlier and later periods, from which it is possible to read the closeness to the ancient concept of the body, in accordance with the contemporary tendencies of European neoclassicism and other stylistic tendencies. The third unit, “Conflagration of the Senses” (Zorana Jurić Šabić), approaches the topic from a biographical perspective and observes the female nudes (sculptures and drawings) from the 1920s. This part of Meštrović’s output is saturated with intimate details and can be substantively interpreted by knowing the specific circumstances and emotional turmoil in which the artist was, thusly revealing his personal perception of sexuality.
„It is an indisputable fact that throughout his prolific artistic career Meštrović masterfully chiselled some of the finest female nudes of twentieth-century sculpture, figures that stand as ultimate expressions of his luscious Mediterranean sensuality. Considering the sculptor from a contemporary angle and unburdened by his fame, three younger Croatian art historians have explored the subjects of corporeality and eroticism in the works of Ivan Meštrović. Their valuable insight is a meaningful contribution to the scientific study of this subject as Meštrović’s output has rarely been approached from the perspective of nudity and its erotic readings. The treatises explore various formal and iconological aspects of Meštrović’s nudes, both male and female, examining multiple connotations of the naked body and erotic elements of sculptures as well as drawings made over a longer period of time; from the artist’s student days in Vienna until the post-WWII era (between 1903 and 1946).”
(Nina Pirnat Spahić, from the foreword of the exhibition catalogue)
More about the exhibition:MORE
26. 01. 2018. -14. 03. 2018Ivan Meštrović and the native landMeštrović Gallery, Split(After the exhibition in the Meštrović Gallery, it will be presented at the elementary school in Otavice from 17 to 18 March 2018)
Author of the exhibition: Zorana Jurić Šabić
Graphic design and exhibition equipment: Josip Rajević, Studio 9
Video-animation: Dragan Đokić, Studio Baranda
The exhibition "Ivan Meštrović and the Native Land" explores and documents the artist's connection with the native Otavice and his artistic work in the native land, with emphasis and comprehensive elaboration of the masterpiece of Meštrović's sacral architecture: the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer – the Meštrović Family Mausoleum. Meštrović completed the church in December 1930, and archives of construction, architectural drawings, drawings for the decoration of the dome and plaster models for the portraits on the bronze doors of the building are kept in the Ivan Meštrović Museums.
Meštrović’s connection with his native land can be observed and interpreted at several interpretative levels, primarily by following the artist’s biography, but also by looking at the artistic accomplishments created in Otavice (sculptures, paintings and architecture). In addition, within the theme we explore the sources of the artist’s worldview conditioned by the circumstances and the environment in which he grew up. Also, we point to the two-way permeation of the influence (and incentive) between the artist and his native land, which thanks to Meštrović and his architectural accomplishments (family house, elementary school, antimalaria dispensary and family mausoleum) experienced significant change of appearance and improved infrastructure in this small village in the Dalmatian Zagora.
That is why the exhibition places emphasis on Meštrović’s architectural legacy and affirms his work as an architect, while using modern presentation methods: film and video-animation.
Overall, the exhibition includes 14 sculptures in stone, bronze and plaster, two paintings and two drawings. The works come from the collections of the Meštrović Gallery in Split, Meštrović Atelier in Zagreb, Drniš City Museum, as well as Ivan Meštrović’s heirs. In addition to the Meštrović Gallery in Split, the exhibition will also be shown at Otavice, in the newly-renovated complex of the former elementary school, a building built in 1931 with the dedication and determination of Ivan Meštrović in accordance with his conceptual design.MORE
24. 07. 2017. -5. 11. 2017Ivan Meštrović: Adriatic EpopeeInternational Cultural Centre, Krakow, PolandIn cooperation with the Ivan Meštrović Museums
the Meštrović Atelier, Zagreb / the Meštrović Gallery, Split
Under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda, and the President of the Republic of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar Kitarović
Authors and curators of the exhibition
Barbara Vujanović, Higher Curator of the Meštrović Atelier
Łukasz Galusek, Head of the Publishing House of the International Cultural Centre
Authors of texts in the catalogue:
Maciej Czerwiński, Łukasz Galusek, Dalibor Prančević, Barbara Vujanović
The exhibition Ivan Meštrović: Adriatic Epopee is the first presentation of the Croatian sculptor to the Polish public. Also, it is the first presentation of Croatian art in Poland on such a large scale. The retrospective will give insight into the life and works of Ivan Meštrović, from his student, Viennese creations to the works he sculpted shortly after the experience of World War II. The exhibition presents the artist’s sculptural, drawing, graphical and architectural opuses, as well as his participation in the dramatic events in his homeland and Europe in the first half of the 20th century.
Fifty works of art selected for the exhibition were collected from the Meštrović Gallery in Split and from the Meštrović Atelier and Glyptotheque of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Zagreb. Works owned by Ivan Meštrović’s heirs were also borrowed. The selection of works attests the wide spectrum of materials the artist used, as well as the main thematic and style features that marked his works. Particular emphasis is put on his role in the deliberation of public space in which he realized numerous monumental projects which are also presented at this exhibition (the Equestrian Indians, the Gregory of Nin, the History of the Croats).
A connection with Polish historical and cultural milieu is accomplished by exhibiting the materials associated with the unrealized project of the Marshall Piłsudski Monument for Warsaw, the realization of which was prevented by the World War II.
The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive catalogue in Polish and English languages, and lectures on Ivan Meštrović, Croatian culture and history will be organized.
We apologize for the incompleteness of the permanent exhibitions both in Meštrović Gallery and Meštrović Atelier. Due to the borrowing of works for this exhibition, certain sculptures are missing in the permanent display, which is indicated by the enlarged legends at corresponding places.MORE
18. 07. 2017. -30. 11. 2017UMJETNIK KOD MEŠTROVIĆA: Enca KovačevićGalerija Meštrović, SplitAUTHOR OF THE EXHIBITION:
Vesna Bulić Baketić
Biserka Rauter Plančić
AUTHOR OF THE PHOTOS:
CATALOGUE, INVITATION AND POSTER DESIGN:
Tin Burić, Lucian Kovačević
Televizija Kanal 5
Marko Borović, Marko Bradarić, Nediljko PleićPainter Enca Kovačević was born on October 15, 1953, in Split, into a family that had island roots. Her father was from Stari Grad, Hvar; her mother from Sutivan, Brač. After elementary school she enrolled in the School of Applied Art in Split. She went on with her study of painting in her native city, at the College of Education, where she was taught by Ante Kaštelančić, from whose class she graduated in 1976. She was received into the Association of Croatian Artists, Split branch, in 1980.
Today she is leader of free activities in Maestral, a children’s home, where she also founded and ran an art colony that brought together local and foreign artists.
Her early works reveal the Mediterranean origins, and the influence of the teacher from whose class she set off. Later endeavours to discover her own visual speech brought her to a very individualised palette and a specific form of lyrical figuration, with elements of abstraction.
“So it is precisely the Split painter Enca Kovačević who, with her gentle and yet again powerful visual expression, recalling some other times that measured talent by the innate capacity to express emotions, reality, dreams and imagination with the help of subtle and delicate artistic techniques, has won the opportunity to make a guest appearance at Meštrović’s. Just like him, who went on with his classical figurative artistic expression irrespective of various avant-garde styles and directions that appeared and took hold during the 20th century, so Enca Kovačević has remained loyal to her romantic figurality.
The counterpoint of Enca and Meštrović is particularly interesting, for it brings out the key characteristics of two, on the surface, totally different artists, opposing them so much that at the end they in fact come close together. Meštrović is primarily a sculptor and Enca a painter. Even when he did try his hand at painting, Meštrović’s palette was dark, his figures were robust; Enca cultivates pastel. Meštrović addressed woman as son, husband, lover and father, but Enca approaches woman as woman to woman. Meštrović models from the model, Enca paints from memory. Meštrović was a powerful, obstinate participant in the cultural and political events of his time, while Enca is retiring in both her social role and her art.” (Vesna Bulić Baketić, from the exhibition catalogue)MORE
The year 2017 was marked by the centenary of death of the French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840 - 1917). The most important event is certainly the Centennial Exhibition, opened in late March at the Grand Palais in Paris.
The team of experts, led by the Director of Musée Rodin, Catherine Chevillot, and the retired Director of the French Institute of Art History, Antoinette Le Nornand-Romain, designed a large exhibition and a publishing project with a focus on Rodin’s influence on modern sculpture and other artistic media in France and the rest of the world from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 21st century. The extensive exhibition is set across two floors, bringing together about three hundred of Rodin’s works, as well as works of authors such as Antoine Bourdelle, Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Constantin Brâncuşi, Käthe Kollwitz, and Georges Baselite and Tracey Emin.
The fact that two works of Ivan Meštrović – the sculptures The Fountain of Life (Vienna, 1905) and The Old Woman (Paris, 1908), both from the holdings of Meštrović Atelier in Zagreb, were also exhibited is especially important for Croatian art history. It is a result of the collaboration between Musée Rodin and the Ivan Meštrović Museums which began in the 1960s with Meštrović’s exhibition in Paris and Rodin’s in Zagreb, and re-updated with the presentation of the Croatian sculptor at Musée Rodin (2012 – 2013), Rodin’s retrospective at the Art Pavilion in Zagreb and a small exhibition at the Meštrović Gallery in Split (2015).MORE
11. 02. 2017. -18. 06. 2017ART DECO. THE ROARING TWENTIES IN ITALY.San Domenico Museum, ForlÌ, ItalySculptures by Ivan Meštrović are on show at the exhibition “ART DECO. The Roaring Twenties in Italy” in Forlì, San Domenico Museum (11 February - 18 June 2017). The exhibition is dedicated to the international style of Art Deco, focusing on the 3rd decade of the 20th century, which influenced all aspects of art, from architecture, visual arts, motion picture, theatre, literature, fashion and music. Such a comprehensive cultural exhibition, including masterpieces of the period, from sculpture and painting to applied design, is organized and presented in Italy for the first time, including the works of Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović and his masterpieces Vestal Virgin (1917), Girl with Violin (1922) and Contemplation (1924).
09. 02. 2017. -7. 05. 2017THE CHALLENGE OF MODERNITY. ZAGREB - VIENNA AROUND 1900Klovićevi Dvori Gallery, ZagrebThe works of Ivan Meštrović from the holdings of the Meštrović Gallery in Split and Atelier Meštrović in Zagreb can be seen at the exhibition “The Challenge of Modernity. Zagreb - Vienna around 1900” at the museum Klovićevi Dvori Gallery in Zagreb from 9 February to 7 May 2017. The exhibition presents about one hundred key works of Austrian and Croatian artists who formed a new artistic expression in painting, sculpture and architecture within the European fin de siècla at the turn of the 19th century. In this overview, the early work of Ivan Meštrović, who made some of his most important masterpieces during his studies at the Vienna Academy, is imperative.
The exhibition “The Challenge of Modernity: Zagreb – Vienna around 1900” will present the works of protagonists of the Secession from Zagreb and Vienna in the field of painting, sculpture and architecture for the first time. The exhibition will also allow a comparison of the works of Gustav Klimt, Koloman Moser, Karl Moll with the works of Vlaho Bukovac, Tomislav Krizman, Ivan Meštrović and many others. The comparisons between Vienna and Zagreb architecture through the achievements of Otto Wagner, Josef Hofmann, Adolf Loos and Vjekoslav Bastl, Aladar Baranyai or Viktor Kovačić will be eloquent.
The exhibition will show the rise of a new generation of women painters who become equal participants in modern change. Antonija Krasnik and Nasta Rojc learned to paint in Vienna, while Slava Raškaj also worked under the influence of the Viennese Secession. Themes common to Viennese and Zagreb culture at the turn of the century were discussed through the aforementioned art branches: themes about the meaning of man’s existence, landscapes intertwined with the artist’s subjective experience of nature, coffee houses as new forums for exchanging ideas, and the theme of women as the ultimate motif of the period. The gesamtkunstwerk period is characterized by a way of life that is permeated with art that unites all segments of man’s life: from the interior in which he dwells to the exterior surrounding him.” (Vugrinec, P., www.gkd.hr)MORE
17. 10. 2016. -31. 12. 2016MEŠTART: TANJA RAVLIĆ – “ARRIVAL”Atelier Meštrović, ZagrebProject author, exhibition curator:
Tanja Ravlić, Barbara Vujanović
The MEŠTART programme started in 2009 at Atelier Meštrović in Zagreb with the aim of updating and re-reading the works of Ivan Meštrović through contemporary art expressions.
We note changes in art and in life by identifying them with phases. They delimit the individual time segments, highlighting the beginning, as the starting point of a new period, and the end, as a kind of summary and conclusion. Just as when we look at a certain piece of art, looking back on our own life, we tend to evaluate and analyse it. Sometimes we can even conserve it, sometimes we tend to expose it to others, or store it in the hidden rooms of inner “depots”.
Artists often have partially overlapping or completely intertwined life and creative periods, and their experiences materialize in their works. For example, Ivan Meštrović’s “Zagreb Period”, an exceptionally fertile period of creativity, captured by the postwar situation of the Great War and the spreading of World War II, coincides with certain intimate events such as the artist’s founding of his family with Olga Kesterčanek.
Tanja Ravlić very consciously marks the underscoring lines under one life period with two presentations in Meštrović’s museums. In 2003, when the curator Dalibor Prančević started the practice of exhibiting contemporary artists at the Ivan Meštrović Foundation, today’s Ivan Meštrović Museums, with the project called Ivan Bura – Ivan Meštrović – Tanja Ravlić – Kristina Restović , the artist presented herself with her video Outofflander at the Meštrović Gallery in Split. Thirteen years later, at Meštrović’s Zagreb address, in his studio, Ravlić exhibits videos once again, but visually and semantically complemented by delicately positioned objects, some of which appear in works.
In this exhibition, Tanja Ravlić deals with different aspects of the topic of arrival at the starting point, as well as her attitude towards the areas which formed her. In her works the author only partly, but totally consistently, overlaps with certain Meštrović’s themes. Using free concatenation, she emphasizes the importance of the cyclical renewal of a life and a creative phase. As only some artists and individuals, Meštrović accepted the challenges and risks of turbulent life and historical periods, giving them an indelible stamp with his inexhaustible art. (From the foreword by Barbara Vujanović)
Tanja Ravlić was born in Split in 1977. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome in 1999. She works as an associate professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Split. From 2002 to 2005 she attended postgraduate studies at the Institute of Art in Context of the Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin.MORE
27. 07. 2016. -11. 09. 2016ARTIST AT MEŠTROVIĆ’S: KAŽIMIR HRASTEMeštrović Gallery, SplitExhibition curator: Vesna Bulić
Author of texts in the catalogue: Vesna Bulić
Photographs: Zoran Alajbeg
Catalogue design: Vojin Hraste
Graphical equipment for the exhibition: Josip Rajević, Studio 9
Production of the film: TV Akademija, Split
Lighting: Zoran Mihanović
Technical realization: Marko Borović, Marko Bradarić, Nediljko Pleić
Kažimir HRASTE was born on 2 February 1954 in Supetar on Brač Island. He graduated from the School of Applied Arts in Split. He graduated in sculpture in 1978 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, in the class of Professor Valerio Michieli. In 1984 he completed his postgraduate studies in sculpture in Ljubljana, and as a scholar of the Italian government he spent one semester on professional education in Rome. He was one of the founders of the Art Academy in Split, where he is currently employed as a full-time professor of sculpture.
He has participated in more than a hundred exhibitions at home and abroad. He has had around 30 solo exhibitions since 1974. He is the author of numerous public monuments and sculptures (Visovac, Risen Christ, 1988; Solin, Don Frane Bulić, 1991; Vrgorac, Statue of Tin Ujević, 1993; Miljevci, Statue of King Petar Svačić, 2002; Zagreb, Concert Hall V. Lisinski – Omiš, Elementary Music School, Bust of Lovre Matačić, 2009; Zadar, University, Bust of Miroslav Krleža, 2010; Šibenik, Statue of Dražen Petrović, 2011).
For his work in which he combines traditional experiences and contemporary art practice, he has received numerous awards and recognitions and state decorations. He has been associate member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts since 10 May 2012.
Inviting the academic sculptor Kažimir Hraste to be a guest-artist in the garden of the Meštrović Gallery is special for the exceptional respect the artist feels towards the heritage of Ivan Meštrović and the space of the Meštrović Gallery, and because the guest at Meštrović’s is not exhibiting his existing works this time, but creates works conditioned by the scenery of Meštrović’s space. He creates them under the impression of the artist and his space. This does not mean an interpretation of Meštrović, or a new reading. This is an artistic and creative impulse driven by the invitation to be exhibited along the side of Meštrović. Hraste’s art is truly a “guest” at Meštrović’s, thus affecting the very core and the idea behind the cycle, which is that art is like a living man – it has the need to be compared, shown, contextualized, defined and appeared.MORE
16. 03. 2016. -1. 05. 2016POSTERS - WITNESSES OF MEŠTROVIĆ’S TIMEGallery Dulčić-Masle-Pulitika of Art Gallery DubrovnikAuthor of the exhibition: Lana Majdančić
Associate at the exhibition: Tončika Cukrov
Organization of the exhibition: Vesna Delić Gozze, Vesna Bulić
Author of setting: Lana Majdančić
Photography: Tanja Budimir Bekan
Graphic design of the catalogue: Motiv dizajn Zagreb
Graphic design of the invitation and banner: Marin Gozze
The exhibition of Posters started at Atelier Meštrović in 2013. It was then called Posters from the Atelier Meštrović Holdings. The next venue was the Memorial Gallery of Ivan Meštrović in Vrpolje, and at the Split Photoclub during the same year (2014). The name of the exhibition was then changed into Posters: Witnesses of Meštrović’s Time. A jumbo-poster for the exhibition Ivan Meštrović: l'expression croate designed for Meštrović’s 2012 exhibition at Rodin Museum in Paris was posted for the first and only time in Split. The exhibition sequence was continued by exhibitions at Gallery Dulčić-Masle-Pulitika of Art Gallery Dubrovnik and in the Town Museum of Virovitica, both in 2016.
26. 01. 2016. -26. 02. 2016SCULPTURE AND NAKEDNESS – CORPOREALITY AND EROTICISM IN THE WORKS OF IVAN MEŠTROVIĆGlyptothek HAZU, Gallery I., Medvedgradska 2, ZagrebExhibition conception devised by: Zorana Jurić Šabić, Dalibor Prančević, Barbara Vujanović
Exhibition curators: Zorana Jurić Šabić, Barbara Vujanović
Exhibition design and spatial conception by: Filip Beusan
Graphic design of the exhibition and catalogue equipment: Viktor Popović
Author of the photography: Zoran Alajbeg
It is seldom that Meštrović's works are observed through the prism of the meaning of naked body and erotic readings.
The theme development can be traced through sculptures and drawings dating in the range from 1903 – 1946, and according to the motif and the period, the theme of melancholy and eroticism in the work of Ivan Meštrović can be observed through three readings, which will be intertwined in the exhibition narrative, whereas in the catalogue these will be presented separately, through three texts:
- UNEASINESS IN THE BODY (TENSIONS IN REPRESENTATION: OLD AGE, EROTISICED PATHOS, DIFFERENT SEXUALITY, IMMEDIATE SENSUALITY) (Dalibor Prančević) – a whole that covers the wider time contingent of the first two decades of the 20th century, the selection includes works with various issues of nudity, aesthetic of the “ugly” and affirmation of the other.
- BETWEEN TWO EROSES AND TWO AFRODITES – CLASSICAL CONCEPTION OF CORPOREALITY (Barbara Vujanović): this chapter deals with the works of Meštrović’s so-called “Zagreb period”, but also the earlier and later periods, in which it is possible to read the closeness to the ancient notion of the body, in accordance with the contemporary tendencies of European neoclassicism and other stylistic tendencies.
- CONFLAGRATION OF THE SENSES (Zorana Jurić Šabić): statues of women (sculptures and drawings) from the 1920s, as well as many works dealing with mythological themes, are part of Meštrović’s opus saturated with intimate information and can be interpreted in substance by knowing the specific circumstances and emotional turmoil which the artist experienced, revealing thus his personal perception of sexuality.
„All in all, this exhibition, this catalogue, with the three excellent contributions in which the numerous formal and iconological aspects of Meštrović’s nudes are considered da capo, are an important contribution to the understanding of one of the crucial places in the artist’s overall oeuvre. The huge range of different idioms in which the artist described the male and the female body might give us the right to claim that during his long career he did not change his styles, rather the manners of stylisation. The result of the fresh thinking of the authors of the exhibition is best expressed by the final sentence of the essay of Barbara Vujanović: ‘The idea that man represents the absolute measure of the world and the reality in which he lives, suggests the right to doubt, re-examine and relativise the truth that determines them.’ Nothing can better sum up the feelings and thoughts that we take away after carefully looking at the seventy-seven artworks included in this major exhibition.” (From Joško Belamarić’s review)MORE
20. 01. 2016. -20. 02. 2016IVAN MEŠTROVIĆ: STATUE OF BISHOP GREGORY OF NINMeštrović Gallery, Studio for Clay Modelling, SplitAuthor of exhibition concept, curator: Maja Šeparović Palada
Artistic designer: Renata Waldgoni
Graphic design of the exhibition and catalogue equipment: Rafaela Dražić
The statue of the old-Croatian bishop Gregory of Nin (10th century) is the most famous public monument of Split, as well as the most famous Meštrović's public monument and the greatest in his opus. It is 7.58 meters tall and is masterly crafted and cast in bronze, and according to the author's wish it was placed at the Peristyle of Diocletian's Palace in 1929, for which the space was conceived as site-specific.
Within the exhibition “Ivan Meštrović: Statue of Gregory of Nin in Split”, as well as the accompanying catalogue, we talk about the emergence and development of the idea of the monument (1919 – 1927), we cite the conceptual and political context of implementation that will dominate the artistic and visual performance from the very beginning, we present the circumstances of the installation of the monument (1929), its dismantling and removal (1941) and its re-placing at a different location (1954), we assume the reasons why Ivan Meštrović decided to give up the first variant of the monument whose bronze casts are in the public spaces of Varaždin and Nin.
In the exhibition catalogue we synthesize the present knowledge and bring new knowledge. Through the used literature, archive materials, sketches and studies, as well as drawings and architectural drawings for the monument as well as photographic materials, this paper provides a comprehensive overview of the topic – primarily from the optics of the time in which the monument was created, and through the standpoint of Ivan Meštrović. Likewise, we provide data on the relationship between Meštrović and his contemporaries who were engaged around the statue of Gregory of Nin (dr. Ivo Tartaglia, Don Frane Bulic, dr. Ljubo Karaman and others).
Within the exhibition “Ivan Meštrović: Statue of Gregory of Nin in Split”, five studies of the first and second version of the monument, in bronze and in plaster, are presented. The referential architectural and other drawings are presented as reproductions. The exhibits are from the collection of Meštrović Atelier in Zagreb and the Meštrović Gallery in Split, the Drniš City Museum, Ilok Town Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts in Split. Most of the museum material has so far not been presented to the public.
The photographs used are in the City Museum of Split, the Conservation Department in Split, the Glyptotheque and the Archives of Fine Arts of HAZU in Zagreb, the Meštrović Gallery and Meštrović Atelier, and archival materials are stored at the University Library in Split, the Conservation Department in Split, Notre Dame University in the USA, the Meštrović Gallery and Meštrović Atelier, as well as in the State Archives and the “Karlo Grenc” Foundation in Split.
During the exhibition, a screening of the film The Revealing of the Statue of Gregory of Nin by Radovan Ivančević (Filmoteka 16, Zagreb, 1976) takes place.MORE
11. 11. 2015. -11. 12. 2015THE BEST IN HERITAGE – INFLUENTIAL PROJECTSMeštrović Gallery, SplitOrganization of the exhibition: Vesna Bulić
In cooperation with the organizers of the conference "The Best in Heritage"
For 14 years in Dubrovnik, the international "The Best in Heritage" event, under the guidance of prof. Tomislav Šola, has been presenting the best in heritage – world examples of museum excellence. The last weekend in September, at inspirational locations in Dubrovnik, is reserved for the best of the world's best in the museum world – a presentation of projects awarded by a national or international vocational quality award in the previous year.
Since 2015, the event is accompanied by the exhibition “The Projects of Influence”, and for the first time it presented authors and their projects that had the greatest influence and echo outside the conference in the space of Rector’s Palace. Throughout the year, around the world hundreds of prizes were awarded for outstanding museum, heritage and conservation projects. With this exhibition, valuable projects are approaching the professional audience, as well as the general public and heritage enthusiasts.
Good projects are the best way to awaken creativity and stimulate new ideas. We hope that this exhibition will inspire creativity and new ideas, and perhaps lead to an award-winning project that will be presented at the event “The Best in Heritage” in the coming years.
The exhibition “The Projects of Influence” was set up in the Studio for Clay Modelling of the Meštrović Gallery, and was open from 11 November to 11 December 2015.MORE
09. 05. 2015. -20. 09. 2015RODIN’S “MEDITATION” IN SPLITMeštrović Gallery, SplitProject authors: Catherine Chevillot, Andro Krstulović Opara
Author and curator of the exhibition, professional set-up concept: Andro Krstulović Opara
Artistic designer: Andro Krstulović Opara
Text authors: Andro Krstulović Opara, Barbara Vujanović, Olja Jelaska
Organization of the exhibition project: Sandra Grčić Budimir, Vesna Bulić, Andro Krstulović Opara
Spatial concept and set-up design: Lea Aviani
One of the most influential Rodin’s works – Meditation will be exhibited at the Meštrović Gallery in Split. The piece inspired Ivan Meštrović to create the marble Psyche in 1927, the central exhibit of his Gallery in Split.
The two pieces, as well as a wealth of significant insights of the curatorial team that will point to the deep friendship between Rodin and Meštrović will be presented to the public. After the successful Meštrović exhibition at Musée Rodin in 2012, the lost letter from Rodin to Meštrović (which was purchased by the Ivan Meštrović Museums) in which he grants Meštrović’s request to give him a plaster cast of Meditation came to light.
Because of the war and the death of Auguste Rodin the handing over of this important gift to Meštrović was not realized. A hundred years later, the piece in bronze is in Meštrović’s home. The aforementioned letter is displayed, and multimedia presentations and music rounded off this very important project.MORE
06. 05. 2015. -20. 09. 2015RODIN IN MEŠTROVIĆ’S ZAGREBAtelier Meštrović - Art Pavillion, ZagrebProject authors: Catherine Chevillot, Andro Krstulović Opara
Authors and curators of the exhibition, professional set-up concept: Véronique Mattiussi, Barbara Vujanović
Artistic designers: Andro Krstulović Opara, Jasmina Poklečki Stošić
Organization of the exhibition project: Andro Krstulović Opara, Jasmina Poklečki Stošić, Sandra Grčić Budimir, Sanja Balentović, Vesna Bulić
Spatial concept and set-up design: Mario Beusan
In 2012, as part of the festival Croatie, la voici announcing Croatia’s joining the European Union in France, the exhibition Ivan Meštrović at Rodin’s: Croatian Expression (September 2012 - January 2013) was held at Musée Rodin in Paris.
It was the second presentation of the Croatian sculptor in this eminent museum after the monographic exhibition in 1969. Following this successful collaboration, the Paris Museum offers its continuation – the second exhibition of Auguste Rodin after the one of 1968 at the Art Pavilion in Zagreb. The curators of Musée Rodin and the Ivan Meštrović Museums continue to explore the influence of Auguste Rodin on modern sculpture in Croatia, and thef works for this exhibition to be presented at the 2015 Exhibition at the Art Pavilion were chosen accordingly. It is about sixty sculptures, twenty drawings and twenty photographs.
This selection includes the most famous works, masterpieces, such as Kiss, Thinker and others, with special attention being given to the links between the French sculptor and Croatian artists, among which Ivan Meštrović succeeded in establishing the most prominent relationship.
In addition to the Art Pavilion, where the exhibition is set up, one of the pieces will be exhibited in the atrium of Atelier Meštrović. The piece is Rodin’s Monument to Victor Hugo (1890). Rodin has joined two muses to the sitting figure of the poet – Tragic Muse and Inner Voice, or Meditation. Meštrović asked Rodin to give him the latter, and the older artist agreed to, but the giving was not realized. Meditation will be exhibited at the Meštrović Gallery in Split as part of the exhibition Rodin’s “Meditation” in Split.
This project, specifically designed for Zagreb, the true centre of sculpture art in this part of Europe, would confirm the importance of the Croatian metropolis as the European cultural centre through cooperation of the Ivan Meštrović Museums and the Art Pavilion with the French partner. The exhibition itself will surely attract a very large number of national and international visitors due to the artist’s popularity.MORE
30. 01. 2015. -29. 03. 2015DECODING MEŠTROVIĆMeštrović Gallery, Studio for Clay Modelling, SplitExhibition author and curator: Zorana Jurić Šabić
Graphic design of the exhibition and catalogue: Josip Rajević
Video animation: Dragan Đokić
Within Meštrović architectural opus which counts more than ten architectural achievements, the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer is a building of intimate character that stands out with its unique iconography that reveals very personal beliefs of its builder. Meštrović's peculiar viewpoint can be seen from the dome decoration sketches, whose painting was unfortunately not realized and their complete iconographic study was missing. So far, we only knew that he wanted to pay tribute to the founders of the great world religions in painting the dome.
Since the early Christianity, the dome was reserved for displaying the celestial vault, and its base being supported by the evangelists, apostles, or prophets – the foundations of religion. Meštrović adheres to the metaphorical representation of the heavens, but goes beyond the boundaries of one religion. The exhibition of drawings – sketches for decorating the dome and their iconological study show that it is not just about prophets, but also about ancient wise men, writers and artists, even his own character. Meštrović’s reflection on art as a reflection of divine inspiration and the artist as a prophet led him to set up his own self-portrait on the vault of the Meštrović Family Mausoleum in Otavice among the characters representing some of the most important bearers of world cultures and religions.
Meštrović’s humanism and tolerance are the key to reading this complex programme. It is well known that Meštrović deeply contemplated complex systems of beliefs seeking all that connects them. The proof can be found in the contents of his library, which is in large part devoted to different cultures and religions, and numerous volumes on whose margins he often made a record of his comments.
Just as his iconographic choice unites different cultures and religions, the artistic design of interior reliefs and plastics reveals unexpected artistic role models, such as ancient Egyptian art (in the reliefs of the Evangelists) or Buddhist sculptures (Eternally Crucified). Meštrović drew his inspiration directly on his journey to Egypt, Greece and Jerusalem (1927), at the time when he contemplated the shaping of the church in Otavice.
The exhibition Decoding Meštrović reveals the artist’s unrealized ideas and gives new insights into the Meštrović Family Mausoleum in Otavice which is not envisioned just as the place of eternal serenity of his family, but also as a tribute to the greatest spiritual and art teachers that goes beyond geographical, cultural and religious boundaries and becomes a temple of art, religion and tolerance.
Zorana Jurić Šabić is the author of the exhibition, texts in the catalogue and the art exhibition. The author of photographs is Zoran Alajbeg, and the graphic design of the exhibition and the exhibition catalogue is signed by Josip Rajević (Studio 9). The video animation with a reconstruction of Meštrović’s unfinished project is an integral part of the exhibition, and the author, editor and cameraman of the video piece is Dragan Đokić (Studio Baranda).MORE
20. 12. 2014. -1. 02. 2015MEŠTART: ANA KUZMANIĆ – DIALOGUE I, II AND IIIAtelier Meštrović, ZagrebProject author, exhibition curator: Barbara Vujanović
Artistic designers: Ana Kuzmanić, Barbara Vujanović
Graphic design: Viktor Popović
The MEŠTART programme started in 2009 at Atelier Meštrović in Zagreb with the aim of updating and re-reading the works of Ivan Meštrović through contemporary art expressions.
The creativity of Ivan Meštrović can not be experienced without the prism of personal experience: his, but also of the person who interacts with him. Different experiences of the artist are materialized in the works and the power of their expression reaches the observer irrespective of his knowledge of certain life, social and other circumstances that caused them. One of the most prominent and most common experiences reflected in all of Meštrović’s phases is the experience of motherhood, the relationship between mother and child – whether he is contemplating it through the image of his own mother, the mother of his children or the Mother of God.
Ana Kuzmanić, by vocation academic painter, by interest author of a wide range of media, recognized a universal and deeply personal closeness to this aspect of the sculptor’s work through direct experience of herself as a new mother. Intrigued by Meštrović’s projections of motherhood, she decided to awaken the concatenation of these experiences, which are both eternal and the same, but at the same time ephemeral, unrepeatable. She depicted her own moments on that trace, emphasizing it with the aspect of immateriality. Her dialogue with the artist of a different generation, media and gender is realized in the diametrical contrast of her videos, light and sound works, and women’s experience and its solid matter, figurative form and male position.
Ivan Meštrović transformed the real women in his surroundings into Madonnas, mythical beings and extensive concepts like the notion of homeland or history. Ana Kuzmanić enters into a dialogue with the contours of religious, ideological, gender and other constructions of motherhood reflected in Meštrović’s work and puts them in the context of modernity. (From the foreword by Barbara Vujanović)
Ana Kuzmanić was born in 1980 in Split. In 1999 she enrolled in Restoration and Preservation of Art at the Academy of Fine Arts, University of Zagreb. In 2001 she enrolled in Painting at the same Academy. In 2006 she graduated under the mentorship of prof. Igor Rončević. In 2007 she enrolled in postgraduate studies at the University of Edinburgh, the Edinburgh College of Art. Since 2011, he has acted as co-founder and member of the Eastern Surf international group. Since 2009 she has been employed as an assistant at the Faculty of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Geodesy, University of Split.MORE
13. 11. 2014. -29. 11. 2014POSTERS - WITNESSES OF MEŠTROVIĆ’S TIMEFotoklub, SplitAuthors of the exhibition:
Lana Majdančić, Curator at Atelier Meštrović in Zagreb
Tončika Cukrov, Curator at the Museum Documentation Centre
With this exhibition, the Ivan Meštrović Museums and Fotoklub Split, under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia and the City of Split, present the best achievements of designers and photographers who have informed the public about the art of Ivan Meštrović and the events that promoted it to the audience in Split.
The popularization of the posters began just over a hundred years ago, but the need for transmitting a short and clear message to the public has existed since antiquity when such notices were written on wooden boards or walls. The role of targeted and concise promotional messages is taken over by these pieces of paper whose basic task is to display a product or announce an event using essential information reduced to stylized and reduced elements with impressive colour effects. Museum posters inform the public about an event at the museum, most of the time aboout exhibitions, and depending on content they are adapted to the need to promote a specific cultural matter.
Museum posters develop awareness of artistic, historical, aesthetic, social and technical elements of artistic events. They are especially superior in the quality of their artwork. The exhibition about posters, which will have its own poster, shows the valuable accomplishments of great designers and photographers focused on the art of Ivan Meštrović, and points out to another role of the posters – the role of witnesses of time.
Among the designers who displayed the works of Meštrović on their posters and shaped the visual identities of both individual exhibitions and institutions themselves, the ones that need emphasizing are certainly Ivan Picelj and Boris Ljubičić for Atelier Meštrović, and Žana Siminiati, Gorki Žuvela and Viktor Popović for the Meštrović Gallery. The exhibition also includes authors Jure Amižić, Libor Fára, Mitja Koman and Slavoljub Lacković.
This exhibition certainly opens the question of new needs that arise in communication with the audience and the new requirements put before the poster as a medium by the media culture.
Graphic design of catalogues, posters and invitations is signed by the studio Motiv dizajn. The texts were written by the authors of the exhibition, Lana Majdančić and Tončika Cukrov.MORE
17. 07. 2014. -14. 09. 2014MARIJA UJEVIĆ GALETOVIĆ AT MEŠTROVIĆ’SMeštrović Gallery, SplitExhibition curator, author of set-up and film: Andro Krstulović Opara
Co-author of exhibition set-up: Vesna Bulić
Cameraman and film editor: Milan Latković
Renowned artist Marija Ujević Galetović, an academic sculptor and a retired professor of the Academy of Fine Arts, a regular member of HAZU, exhibits her sculpture and painting works at the Meštrović Gallery in Split. The exhibition "Marija Ujević Galetović at Meštrović’s" was organized as part of the 60th Split Summer.
After previous successful exhibitions of Zlatko Bourek in 2010 and Matko Trebotić in 2011, Dalibor Stošić in 2012 and Vasko Lipovac in 2013, this year the Meštrović Gallery continues with the cycle “Artist at Meštrović’s” by displaying works of Croatian sculptors who establish a kind of a dialogue in the museum of a sculptor, Ivan Meštrović, testing their opus with Meštrović’s aesthetics and at the same time exposing the preoccupations of contemporary sculpture in the context of the present to the public.
Once again the garden of the Meštrović Gallery became the meeting place for two arts whose concordances blend in a miraculous playfulness of shapes, shadows, reflections … This anticipated joy that arises through dialogue of the two arts was an incentive for this challenging project.
The significance of this exhibition also lies in the fact that this is the first solo exhibition of Marija Ujević Galetović before the Split audience. The complex task of recognizing and facilitating the dialogue between the art of two artists, and especially between the restrained academic excellence of Meštrović’s work and the playful and witty art of Marija Ujević Galetović, is the biggest challenge for the curator, as well as for the visitors who are offered a critical approach and analysis of the demanding setting in the Garden of the Gallery and Meštrović’s Clay Studio.
The slimness and elegance of her “Cats” corresponds to Meštrović’s elongated columns and gracefulness of “Distant Chords”. The voluminosity of acts, such as “Avocado” or “Act” – dancer and Mary’s wittiness that is so expressly retained in them, fit perfectly into the company of Meštrović’s “Persephone”. The monumentality of the “Wave”, the largest exposed composition in the central plateau of the garden, is especially manifested by gradually raising the point of view of spectators who are climbing the front staircase when a beautiful view of the garden and on the grid of the main staircase in the background of the “Wave” opens. The fragile porcelain “Franz Kafka” and exquisitely evocative bronze portrait of “Matoš” testify of her skill of modelling in a variety of materials, but even more about the artist’s preoccupations and the subtleties that adorns her work.
Her paintings are particularly interesting because she took up painting only recently. She depicts the sea in three of her paintings, and does not attempt to confront it, but rather approaches it with great respect, again as a result of her experiences in the open sea where she spent almost half of her life. It is no wonder that, finishing the work on her “Self-portrait” in glittering carrara, she borrowed two dark pebbles that rested on the beach and inserted them as eyes in her character. Marija painted her sea motifs in Zagreb, far from the sea, but the wavy sea surface and the deep blue that she brought to the canvas were vigorously preserved in her “eyes of the sea.”
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue designed by Viktor Popović, and the person behind the master photographs is the art photographer Zoran Alajbeg. The texts were written by art historians Vesna Bulić and Andro Krstulović Opara, who is the author and producer of the film that forms an integral part of the exhibition, and which presents the work of Marija Ujević Galetović, as well as the creation of this exhibition. The cameraman and editor of the film is Milan Latković, award-winning designer of visual communications from “Kreativna agencija”.MORE
16. 04. 2013. -16. 06. 2013MEŠTROVIĆ AND MILLESAtelijer Meštrović, ZagrebInternational project of museum cooperation
Andro Krstulović Opara, Director of the Ivan Meštrović Museums
Onita Wass, Director of the Millesgården MuseumThe Croatian-Swedish project Meštrović-Milles, organized by the Ivan Meštrović Museums and Millesgården Museum, is based on the exchange of exhibitions of the works of two great modern European sculptors and contemporaries Ivan Meštrović (1883 - 1962) and Carl Milles (1875 - 1955).
The two contemporaries, working on opposite sides of the European continent, marked the European sculpture of the first half of the 20th century, keeping a consistent figurative expression. In the similar life and artistic path of the two artists, we notice stops in the same European and American cities, similar thematic and stylistic preoccupations. Both are responsible for shaping the public spaces of many cities, primarily in their own countries, Croatia and Sweden, but also beyond the borders of their common continent, particularly in the USA.
The authors of the project are Andro Krstulović Opara, Director of the Ivan Meštrović Museums and Onita Wass, Director of Millesgården Museum. The project was started on 16 April 2013 with a Milles exhibition at Meštrović’s, prepared by author Evelina Berglung, Curator at the Swedish Millesgården Museum, in the artist’s former home and work space, Atelier Meštrović in Zagreb. The opening ceremony was held in the presence of His Majesty, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, and Mr. Ivo Josipović, President of the Republic of Croatia and prof. Tatjana Josipović, PhD. For the wider public, the exhibition opened a day later by a lecture prepared by Onita Wass. The exhibition, which closed on 16 June, showed a great interest of the media and positive reactions of the expert public.
The project was continued with a Meštrović exhibition at Milles’ (18 June – 18 August 2013), i.e. at the Millesgården Museum in Stockholm, the Swedish artist’s former life and work space. The authors of the exhibition, Zorana Jurić Šabić, Curator at the Meštrović Gallery in Split, and Barbara Vujanović, Curator at the Meštrović Atelier, selected ten sculptures, five from each museum, which give an overview of Ivan Meštrović’s art through various stages of the artist’s creation, starting from student works (1906) to later examples from 1946. The emphasis was on the speciality of Meštrović’s artistic expression and sovereign mastery over various materials (bronze, stone, wood). Stylistic and thematic links that can be followed in all phases of the works of the two sculptors were highlighted, especially the theme of music and dance. Both exhibitions were accompanied by bilingual catalogues, designed by Viktor Popović.MORE