From 25 January to 24 April, the National Museum of Modern Art presents the first in a series of curatorial interpretations of the NMMU collection in 2022. The exhibition titled “The Machine in the Garden” is conceived by Klaudio Štefančić, Head of the Collection of 19th and 20th century Watercolours, Drawings and Gouaches.

“The Machine in the Garden” exhibition aims to draw attention to the motifs and themes associated with the technological modernization of society, which appear in the works of Croatian artists from the early 20th century to the present day. The exhibition is based on the artworks in the collection of the National Museum of Modern Art, but is organised to emphasise the impact of social events on art and the need to make art of past periods topical in the time in which we, as an audience, live and work today. The motifs of machines and industry are not numerous in Croatian 20th century painting, sculpture and graphic arts, but when they do appear they represent special signs that equally denote artistic innovation and the socio-economic situation.

All forms of combustion, everything that emits smoke, from cigarettes through exhaust pipes to chimneys, is no longer desirable in this day and age. A different reality emerges before our eyes today: electronic screens instead of smokestacks and factories; fight against climate change instead of cars in the landscape; wind turbines instead of locomotives, etc. The clash of art and new forms of production is again dramatic and we tried to highlight it with this exhibition. Whatever it eventually transforms into, we will not be able to imagine future society without the symbols of the garden and the machine.

Artists:  Atelier Tri, Vladimir Becić, Ivo Deković, Marijan Detoni. Jadranka Fatur,Vilko Gecan, Dubravko Gljivan, Griesbach i Knaus (radionica), Karlo Mijić, Georg Hermann, Fréres Huguenin, Nina Ivančić, Hinko Juhn, Leo Junek, Slavko Kopač, Anka Krizmanić, Mihovil Krušlin, Nenad Opačić, Ivan Picelj, Vjenceslav Richter, Josip Seissel, Robert Šimrak, Miroslav Šutej, Frano Šimunović, Ernest Tomašević, Milivoj Uzelac, Vladimir Varlaj, Mladen Veža, Jelka Struppi Wolkensperg

Photo: Goran Vranić ©National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb

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