Predrag Todorović, Paintings 2023 – 2024

From 14 March to 7 April, the National Museum of Modern Art presents, at the Josip Račić Gallery, an exhibition of Predrag Todorović called Paintings 2023 - 2024. where the artist presents himself with six recent large format works in mixed media. In the text of the accompanying bilingual catalog of the exhibition, which was graphically designed by Ana Zubić, Klaudio Štefančić, senior curator of the NMMU and the head of the Collection of Watercolors, Drawings and Graphics and the Collection of New Media NMMU among other things, writes: Unlike the mainstream of postmodern art, Todorović quotes without irony or distance. Moreover, his explanations of his own work are often cautious formulations in search of authentic experience. Other statements, in turn, openly invoke a metaphysical subtext of art. It is unclear whether Todorović’s engagement with the past takes the form of intertextuality or pastiche. What is clear, however, is that in the second half of the 1990s, Todorović moves away from the dominant line of postmodern painting. Although reduced to the very basics of modernist aesthetics (What is a painting? A symbolic surface framed by a real or institutional framework), Todorović’s paintings and drawings are not non-expressive. Their expressiveness does not lie in the colourful and symbolically chaotic painting of the 1980s but rather in the legacy of Abstract Expressionism on the one hand, and in the practice of critiquing that legacy by Conceptual art on the other. Instead of painting, by creating ambiguous representations, Todorović has chosen to scratch or cast the painting. Instead of narrating, he has decided to seek, first an existential and then a metaphysical foothold, in painting.
This prominent artist, who lives and works in Zagreb, was born in 1966 in Drvar (Bosnia and Herzegovina), received his BFA from the Faculty of Teacher Education, University of Rijeka, in 1990, where he majored in Painting. He has so far exhibited his works at more than 50 independent and numerous collective, juried and selected exhibitions in Croatia and abroad. His works are represented in the holdings ofthe Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Rijeka, Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb and the National and University Library in Zagreb, as well as in numerous private collections both at home and abroad. He is a recipient of several awards and recognitions and also participated in two Artist-in-Residence programs, in Cairo (1997) and in Paris (2016). He lives and works in Zagreb.

The complete text of Klaudio Štefančić from the accompanying catalog:Klaudio Štefančić - Random Scenes as Signals of a Higher Order
Photo: Tanja Tevih © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb, 2024.

Fritzie Brown

At the exhibition titled (Not)Temporary, staged by the National Museum of Modern Art at the Josip Račić Gallery from 13 February to 10 March, the cultural audience in Zagreb will have the opportunity to get reacquainted with the work of visual American artist Fritzie Brown after twenty years. She is an artist who, having worked for decades at Artslink in New York , fostered cultural exchange between Eastern Europe and the United States, collaborating with numerous Croatian artists as well. Croatian art audience will also remember Fritzie Brown for her two monochromatically restrained installations presented at the Recitativo exhibition in the Miroslav Kraljević Gallery in 2002. According to Branko Franceschi, the director of the National Museum of Modern Art and former head of the Miroslav Kraljević Gallery, with those works, the artist showcased her skill in the evocative transformation of the motif that captures the magical world around us and the trauma of intimacy. Fritzie Brown’s interest in working with art installation and multimedia has since shifted towards fundamental visual techniques. According to the curator of the exhibition, Branko Franceschi, at the Josip Račić Gallery exhibition, the artist presents herself as a sophisticated colourist with a distinct feeling for tactile values, skilled in execution and economical in the technical aspect of the medium. Around twenty recent works selected for this occasion were created in 2022 and 2023 in Manhattan and at the estate in upstate New York, and executed in traditional visual disciplines such as watercolour, gouache, mixed media, collage on paper and canvas, together with a series of coloured figures executed in glazed stoneware and one photograph. (…) Two works in the exhibition were selected for their complementary contrast to the formal visual elaborations that exhaust the painterly aspect of the exhibition. The first refers to the acceptance of the realisation of transience, both personal and undoubtedly artistic and cosmic. At the moment of retiring from active professional participation in the cultural scene, Fritzie Brown had the word temporary tattooed on her left forearm in a delicate font. This performative gesture of body art is, in fact, an appropriation of the concept of New York theatre artist Steve Cosson, highlighting Fritzie Brown’s affiliation with a generation where body art was conceived as a manifestation of intellectual and existential resistance to the destructive entanglement of the art market and the traditionally understood art object and, creativity accentuating the process of execution itself, embracing its truthful, disinterested potentials, seen as the ultimate and essentially human activity in which the subject identifies with the object in content, performance, and duration. If this appropriated performative gesture in the exhibition represents a philosophical extreme in relation to the central group of displayed artworks, at the opposite pole is a group of figurines that open up the realm of personal memories. Crafted in glazed stoneware and titled Father Figure: 5 Poor Examples, the figurines, utilising the customary format and technique of ornamental statuettes typical for decorating bourgeois households, reference the artist’s experience of growing up in a sequence of dysfunctional families where the only constant was mother although unrepresented within the group. Deviation from realistic depiction, feigning imprecise modelling and colouring in shaping the figurines in a kind of paraphrase of a child’s handwriting, suggests both the incompleteness and the inexorable presence of formative memories. They linger in the subconscious as representations, and the artist’s need to confront them is resolved by introducing them into the objective reality of the creative body of work, where the artist becomes the person in control. (…) – Branko Franceschi, from the essay in the accompanying exhibition catalogue.

Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Images: Fritzie Brown
Beast / Self Portrait, 2023/ watercolor and collage / 55,8 x 45,7 cm / Photo: Jan Baracz
Temporary, Tattoo / concept: Steve Cosson / ink work: Bang Bang Studios / Photo: Goran Vranić, NMMU
Fufu’s Special Potato, 2022 / acrylic, bubble wrap,currency on wood panel 18 x 23 cm / Photo: Jan Baracz

Frano Missia – With the Centenary of Birth

The National Museum of Modern Art will kick off its exhibition program in 2024 at the Josip Račić Gallery with the exhibition Frano Missia – With the Centenary of Birth.
Curated by Dalibor Prančević, the exhibition will present to the cultural audience of Zagreb 15 of the artist’s paintings executed in mixed media on canvas or tempera on paper, created between 1956 and 1966 in Split and Paris. Additionally, it will showcase two prints produced in 1980 in New York using the material print technique.
This native of Split completed his studies in painting and stage design in 1973 at Hunter College (New York City University). Twenty years later, he taught descriptive geometry and perspective in the Department of Fine Arts at the same university. He earned his doctorate in 1993 from the Teachers College at Columbia University in New York with a thesis titled Painting the Nude by Male Artists in Western Art. In 2019, the City Museum of Split organised his posthumous exhibition at the Emanuel Vidović Gallery. Additionally, in collaboration with the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Split, they published an art monograph titled Frano Missia – Itinerant Painter: Chronoscript of an Artistic Journey.
The monograph is penned by Dalibor Prančević, PhD who is also curating this exhibition. Regarding the presentation of the artist’s works at the Josip Račić Gallery, Prančević writes in the accompanying catalogue: (…) The exhibition commemorating the centenary of Frano Missia’s birth showcases his body of work through a sort of dichotomy between abstract and figurative painting approaches, however, not from the perspective of their antagonism but rather their mutual interplay and coexistence. Among the selected works are some of the finest pieces created across various geographical locations, essentially tracing – and sketching – the itinerant life of their rather unconventional creator.

Photo: From the exhibition set up / Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb, 2024

Raffaela Zenoni, The Other Ancestral Gallery

The National Museum of Modern Art concludes its exhibition program in 2023 with Raffaela Zenoni’s exhibition titled The Other Ancestral Gallery at the Josip Račić Gallery. This contemporary visual artist was born and raised in Altdorf, the capital of the canton of Uri in Switzerland. She completed her painting studies in 2008 at the Studio HC, Independent Academy for Music, Dance, and Art in Bern. In addition to the Andalusian town of Gaucin - where she resides when not in Zagreb - she has shown her work in Switzerland (Bern, St. Moritz, Zürich), Germany (Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, Stuttgart), Belgium (Brussels), and Luxembourg (Echternach).
For the first presentation of her artistic work in Zagreb, the artist has selected a dozen powerful, colourful portraits from the eponymous cycle, executed using acrylic painting on canvas, and an anthropomorphic, monochromatic sculpture - whose elongated, slender volume, according to art historian Branko Franceschi, evokes memories of Giacometti's attenuated figures.
(...) Returning to the paintings we are showcasing, the title of the series and the exhibition provides the key to their full understanding - the concept of other. Who or what does this other family truly represent? Raffaela Zenoni does not mystify her work. When asked about the identities of the portrayed individuals, this other family, it turns out that they are non-existent, fictional characters who came into existence by being filtered and shaped through her gestures and the colours at her disposal. These paintings are the only form of existence which they experience in our reality. (...) - wrote Branko Franceschi, the Director of the National Museum of Modern Art, in the foreword to the accompanying bilingual catalogue, also responsible for the exhibition’s visual layout.
Raffaela Zenoni’s exhibition at the Josip Račić Gallery will remain on view until 10 January 2024.

Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Photo: Goran Vranić © Nacionalni muzej moderne umjetnosti, Zagreb

Viktor Popović
Untitled (Archive Vranyczany-Dobrinović Palace)

The recent project of the contemporary Split artist Viktor Popović, titled Untitled (Archive Vranyczany-Dobrinović Palace), will be presented at the eponymous exhibition hosted by the National Museum of Modern Art from November 7 to December 3 in the Josip Račić Gallery. In this project, the artist reflects on the comprehensive post-earthquake restoration of the Vranyczany-Dobrinović Palace, a historicist palace in which the National Museum of Modern Art has been housed since 1934.

According to the words of Branko Franceschi, director of the National Museum of Modern Art and curator of the exhibition,  at the Josip Račić Gallery, Popović presents two groups of motifs. The first is based on photographic documentation of the palace interiors from the golden age of its financiers, the Vranyczany-Dobrinović family, who made it their representative home for several decades. Using the silkscreen printing technique, Popović transfers them onto graphic paper, using as pigment dust collected on-site during routine cleaning following reconstruction work. The result is the aforementioned faded afterimage of a glorious past.

While the interior space of the Račić Gallery is dedicated to the theme of the current state of the Palace, presented through images of the improvised storage room where a collection of 12,000 artworks is stored. The theme is explored through photographs taken by Popović himself with the intention of displaying them as freestanding double-sided lightboxes, integrated into an installation with pedestals borrowed from the Museum. The pedestals, which, in addition to serving as supports for artworks, have now become artistic objects themselves, perhaps best exemplify the sense of absurdity in the face of the Museum’s third move in two years, one that will completely relocate it from its headquarters.

Biography of the artist
Viktor Popović is an artist based in Split, Croatia. His practice is focused mostly on installations and objects formed from appropriated and archival materials in combination with raw industrial materials, that probe the relationship between the artwork and the audience or the historical or physical context of the exhibition venues. His recent work explores the Modernist heritage of the socialist period in Croatia and focuses on the re-contextualization of the 1960s and 1970s architecture. He has exhibited in numerous galleries, museums and non-profit venues in USA and throughout Europe. Popović is an MFA graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts, Zagreb, Croatia and has been awarded a number of distinguished grants and awards including A:D: artist in residence program, Berlin, Germany (2019); 54th Zagreb Salon of Visual Arts CS AICA Award (the Croatian section of the International Association of Art Critics), Croatian Fine Artists’ Association, Zagreb (2019); Art Omi Residency Program at Omi International Arts Center, Ghent, New York, USA (2017); 36th Split Salon Prize, Croatian Visual Artists’ Association, Split, Croatia (2009); ArtsLink Residency Program, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland, Oregon, USA (2006); Annual Young Artist Prize, Croatian Fine Artists’ Association, Zagreb, Croatia (2006); Filip Trade Contemporary Art Collection Prize, Zagreb, Croatia (2005); Cité Internationale des Arts Residency Studio Program at Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France (2005); Grand Prix of the 8th Triennial of Croatian Sculpture, Glyptotheque of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Zagreb, Croatia (2003).

Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, 2023

Hallucinatory Melancholies

Hommage to Rembrandt, Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden, and others are some of the works that René Miković dedicated to his greatest role models. This visual artist from Zagreb, inspired by Rembrandt and Flemish painting, went to study in the Netherlands in the mid-1970s, where he continued to live and create until his death in 1996. According to the author of the exhibition and catalogue, Mirna Rudan Lisak PhD, this artist left behind a relatively small yet exceptionally intriguing and powerful body of work, which is insufficiently known to both art professionals and the general public.
From 3 to 29 October, with the exhibition Hallucinatory Melancholies at the Josip Račić Gallery, the National Museum of Modern Art posthumously presents and valorises René Miković’s hitherto completely unexplored body of work. In addition to two oil paintings, Dead Bird and Doll from a Box (both dated to 1978 and in the collection of the National Museum of Modern Art), the visual set-up, jointly curated by Mirna Rudan Lisak and the director of the National Museum of Modern Art, Branko Franceschi, will also showcase around thirty works owned by the artist’s friends Ivan Maruna, Darko Petrinjak, and Sanja Pilić.
A portion of René Miković’s body of work, known only through photographs and reproductions, will be presented through a video projection also curated by the exhibition’s author. The accompanying richly illustrated catalogue will be available in both Croatian and English, with the text by Mirna Rudan Lisak, PhD.
Translated by: Robertina Tomić

René Miković, a visual artist from Zagreb, who studied, lived, and worked in the Netherlands, seems to have been forgotten after his untimely death, only to be rediscovered more than a quarter of a century later. However, at this point when almost all topics have already been explored in countless ways, it is rare to find a work whose relevance stands the test of time, especially when such works are relatively obscure, unknown to both the general public and to professionals whose daily endeavours involve the study and assessment of Croatian art. It calls for an original insight and a unique interpretation, thus embodying the elusive ideal of contemporary researchers and institutions responsible for the protection and preservation of national cultural heritage. René Miković’s first solo exhibition at the Josip Račić Gallery, which posthumously presents his previously entirely unexplored body of work, becomes a lasting contribution to Croatian culture and art, and can serve as a starting point for future interpretations of Miković’s modest yet exceptionally fascinating and powerful oeuvre.

René Miković (Zagreb, 1954–Groningen, 1996) was a Croatian visual artist who studied, lived, and worked in the Netherlands. From 1970 to 1975, he attended the School of Applied Arts in Zagreb (Printmaking Department). In 1976, he went abroad and enrolled in the Heatherley School of Fine Art in London, United Kingdom. That same year, under the mentorship of Kurt Löb, he attended a Summer Painting Seminar at the International Academy of Fine Arts in Niederbipp, Switzerland. However, as he had been inspired by Rembrandt and Flemish painting from his earliest youth, he left London at the end of the year and went to his spiritual homeland, the Netherlands, where, from 1976 to 1979, under the guidance of Evert Musch, he completed his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts “Academie Minerva” in Groningen, the Netherlands. Subsequently, from 1979 to 1981, he pursued further studies under the mentorship of Professor Ko Sarneel in the postgraduate program at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht, the Netherlands. He exhibited his works at Pictura (Groningen, 1979), Singermuseum (Laren, 1979), De Kolku (Assen, 1979), Galerie Dry Koningen (Amsterdam, 1979), and Galerie Lieve Hemel (Amsterdam, 1986). The uniqueness of Miković’s art arises from the trompe l'oeil painting technique he employs to create a world where illusion plays a significant role, ultimately achieving a hallucinatory optical effect on his canvases.

Mirna Rudan Lisak, PhD (Zagreb, 1972) is an advisor at the City Office for Culture of the City of Zagreb. After obtaining her degree at the Faculty of Architecture, she earned her doctorate at the Academy of Fine Arts, University of Zagreb. She furthered her studies in Paris and Montpellier as a scholarship recipient of the Government of the French Republic, within the Courants du Monde program. She is the author of two books and chapters in a book (published by Matica hrvatska and the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts), as well as numerous essays in the field of culture and art (published in Forum, Vijenac, Riječi, Večernji list, and Telegram), some of which have been translated and published abroad. Her essay on the German philosopher Oswald Spengler was selected as a required text for essay writing in the 2023 National Matriculation in the Croatian language. She is a member of the editorial board of the journal for literature, culture, and science Riječi and is also an honorary member and chief editor of the Croatian Society “Aleksandar Skrjabin”. Her research work encompasses theory, philosophy, and all branches of art from the early modern period to the present day. When addressing selected issues within the scope of productive and reproductive artistic practice, she approaches them from a comparative and multidisciplinary perspective.

Reproductions: Dead Bird, oil on hardboard / 62 x 45 cm / MG-8082 1978 / Hommage à Jan van Eyck, 1981. / oil on wood, 110 x 75 cm/
Doll in a box , 1978. / oil on wood, 62 x 45 cm / MG- 8083 Doll, 1990 / oil on canvas, 55 x 70 cm / Sanja Pilić, 1974. / oil on canvas / 77 x 60 cm / Watch out! Might rain, take the umbrella, 1980./ oil on wood, 170 x 120 cm
Photo: Goran Vranić, and from private archives


From 5 September to 1 October, the National Museum of Modern Art presents, at the Josip Račić Gallery, an exhibition of Mak Melcher, a multi-award-winning artist of the younger generation, titled " Crumpled Objectlessness ". This versatile artist, born in Mostar in 1983, obtained a degree in sculpture from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 2008, in the class of professor Miro Vuco, and from 2003 to 2004 he worked as an assistant to the recently deceased sculptor and academic Marija Ujević Galetović. Since 2010, he has been employed as an assistant to the sculptor Dalibor Stošić. At the Bedekovčina secondary school, he taught vocational subjects in the stonemasonry technician course, and since 2011 he has been a teacher at the Sculpture, Stage and Ceramics Design Departments at the School of Applied Arts and Design in Zagreb, that he also graduated from in 2003. As part of the International Symposium Cavae Romanae in 2010, he was selected for the realization of a sculpture in public space in Vinkuran near Pula, and in the summer of 2019, as part of International Cultural Cooperation, he participated in the prestigious Cité Internationale des Arts residency in Paris.
The concept of Mak Melcher's ninth solo exhibition, in which he presents his recent works on paper, is formulated by Željko Marciuš, museum consultant of the National Museum of Modern Art, who is also the author of the foreword in the bilingual catalogue accompanying the artist's exhibition at the Josip Račić Gallery, in which he writes: (…) With the new cycle, the sculptor transforms into a painter-draughtsman, and he, in turn, transforms back into a sculptor. Although creating objectifications, they are non-objective in their meaningfulness, as they don’t signify the concrete world of things, but rather the one from which they are constructed. The artist’s architectural instinct is present here as well. His minimal spatial interpretations exist at the intersections of monochromes and (duo)chromes, painted coloured fields, and the material-substantial principle guided by the theory of citation in a broad spectrum of reflections also points towards formless art that, through materiality, lack of form, and the physical factuality of the artwork, becomes a substitution for corporeality in the image. The metaphor of colour and materiality is anti-intellectual as it refers to itself; the stripped-down act of creation without invoking reality. (…)

Mak Melcher was born on 8 March 1983, in Mostar. After having completed the School of Applied Arts and Design (Department of Ceramics) in Zagreb, he enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts, University of Zagreb, in 2003. In 2008, he graduated from the Sculpture Department in the class of Professor Miro Vuco. During his studies, he was the City of Zagreb scholarship recipient. From 2003 to 2004, he worked as an assistant to the sculptor Marija Ujević.In 2008, he worked at the Ujević Art Foundry as a wax retoucher, where he had the opportunity to learn the complete casting craft.From 2008 to 2009, he collaborated with conservator-restorers in the Hedom company on the restoration of Upper Town façades.From 2010 to the present day, he has been working as an assistant to the sculptor Dalibor Stošić.From May to June 2010, he worked at Bedekovčina High School as a teacher of specialized subjects in the stone masonry technician program. From 2011 to the present day, he has been teaching at the School of Applied Arts and Design in Zagreb at the Sculpture, Stage and Ceramics Design Departments.As part of the International Sculpture Symposium Cavae Romanae 2010, he was selected to be an artist in residence in Vinkuran near the city of Pula in July 2010, and create a sculpture in public space.As part of the international cultural cooperation program, during July and August 2019 he participated in the prestigious artistic residency Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. He is the recipient of several awards, including: “Iva Vraneković” Award - Artist to Artist (2016), 3rd Prize of the 32nd Youth Salon (2014), and an equivalent acquisition prize in the competition for the monument to Croatian defenders in Beli Manastir (2011).

From 2005 until today, he has staged 8 solo exhibitions, participated in more than 30 group exhibitions at home and abroad, and has taken part in 7 sculpture symposiums and colonies from 2004 to the present. He is a member of the Croatian Association of Visual Artists (HDLU). Since 2011, he has been working as a professor at the School of Applied Arts and Design in Zagreb.

Solo exhibitions:

    • 2012 – “Metamorfoze” – “Vladimir Bužančić” Gallery, Zagreb
    • 2013 – “Metamorfoze” – Antun Augustinčić Gallery, Klanjec
    • 2013 – “Reljefi i object” – “Izidor Kršnjavi” Exhibition Salon, Zagreb
    • 2016 – “Triptih” – Mazuth Gallery, Zagreb
    • 2016 – “Exhibition of award-winning artists of the 32nd Youth Salon: Fran Makek and Mak Melcher”– Extended Media Gallery (PM), HDLU, Zagreb
    • 2017 – “Pavle Pavlović & Mak Melcher” – 3.14 Gallery, Zagreb
    • 2017  – “Atelier 07” – Raga Gallery, Zagreb
    • 2020 – “Atelier 08” – Forum Gallery, Zagreb
    • 2023 – “Ugužvana nepredmetnost” – “Josip Račić” Gallery, Zagreb

Group exhibitions:

    • 2005 – “Pasionska baština” – “Kristofor Stanković” Gallery, Zagreb
    • 2006 – “Pasionska baština” – “Kristofor Stanković” Gallery, Zagreb
    • 2006 – “28th Youth Salon” – HDLU, Zagreb
    • 2007 – Triennial of Croatian Medal Making and Small-Scale Sculpture – “9th Ivo Kerdić Memorial” – Museum of Fine Arts, Osijek
    • 2007 – “Mozaik od zamisli do ostvarenja” – Vinkovci Municipal Museum
    • 2007  – “Zemlja” – “Branko Ružić” Gallery, Slavonski Brod
    • 2008 – “10²” – ULUPUH Gallery, Zagreb
    • 2008 – “Zemlja” – Church of St. Elias on Meraja, Vinkovci
    • 2010 – “10th Ivo Kerdić Memorial” – Museum of Fine Arts, Osijek
    • 2010 – “2nd International Biennial of Painters and Sculptors – Mediterranean 2010– Milesi Palace, Split
    • 2010 – “Artexchange 3: Istrian Art Fair” within the Marisall Gallery – Multimedia Centre (MMC), Rovinj HDLU
    • 2011 – “Exhibition of professors of the School of Applied Arts and Design” – “Izidor Kršnjavi” Exhibition Salon, Zagreb
    • 2014 – “32nd Youth Salon” – HDLU, Zagreb
    • 2014 – “HangArt” – Marina Zadar, Zadar
    • 2014 – “Annual exhibition of HDLU members” – HDLU, Zagreb
    • 2015 – “Exhibition of works of the 43rd Paradiso Art Colony” – Paradiso Gallery, Rab
    • 2015 – “12th Triennial of Croatian Sculpture” – Glyptotheque HAZU, Zagreb
    • 2015 – “16th Paradiso Art Colony” – Makek Gallery, Zagreb
    • 2017 – “Materiality in Contemporary Croatian Art” – Ring Gallery, HDLU, Zagreb
    • 2017 – “Exhibition of professors of the School of Applied Arts and Design” – “Izidor Kršnjavi” Exhibition Salon, Zagreb
    • 2018 – “13th Triennial of Croatian Sculpture” – Glyptotheque HAZU, Zagreb
    • 2019 – “13th Ivo Kerdić Memorial” – Museum of Fine Arts,Osijek
    • 2019 – “Exhibition of professors of the School of Applied Arts and Design” – “Izidor Kršnjavi” Exhibition Salon, Zagreb
    • 2020 – “Antun Augustinčić Gallery in the Night of Museums from 2010 to 2020” – Antun Augustinčić Gallery Studio, Klanjec
    • 2021 – “Špud – Povratak” – Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb
    • 2022 – “Collection of the Antun Augustinčić Gallery Salon 1992. – 2022.” – Antun Augustinčić Gallery Studio, Klanjec
    • 2022 – “14th Triennial of Croatian Sculpture” – Barrel Gallery, Zagreb
    • 2023 – “Carte Blanche” – Barrel Gallery, Zagreb
    • 2023 – “Four Elements” – Museum of Fine Arts, Split
    • Photo: Goran Vranić and National Museum of Modern Art's archives © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb, 2023.

Nikola Pjevačević
Tree Alley


The audience in Zagreb will have an opportunity to view the works from Nikola Pjevačević’s recent cycle titled “Tree Alley” from 4 July to 27 August at the Josip Račić Gallery. It is an exhibition that this young artist received as an award from the expert jury of the National Museum of Modern Art for his powerful large-scale monochromatic polyptych from the cycle “Dusk”, presented as part of the 6th Biennial of Painting held at the HDLU in 2021. The exhibition is conceived by Željko Marciuš, NNMU museum consultant, who is, together with Nikola Pjevačević and Tihana Galić, curator and manager of the Josip Račić Gallery, also the author of the visual set-up. The works selected for the exhibition have been executed in the technique of carved wood and encaustic – a technique known since ancient times.

(...) The artist’s painterly reliefs, as a touch of nature, allude to wood as a structural element of the composition, simplified as cells. Then, they refer to wood or a tree as a plant consisting of roots, trunk, and crown, and finally, as a tree that humans have marked. (...) The Tree Alley becomes a valid metaphor for the impetus-providing exploration preserved in the experience of the cosmos, nature, culture, individual and collective consciousness, spread between – for each person individually – the unity of different universes and the universe of different unities.
Željko Marciuš, museum consultant of the National Museum of Modern Art, excerpt from the text in the exhibition catalogue.

Nikola Pjevačević (Beli Manastir, 1993) graduated in 2019 from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, in the class of professors Duje Jurić and Matko Vekić.
He has staged five solo exhibitions and participated in twelve juried and invitational group exhibitions, including the 16th and 17th Erste Fragments
(awarded the Grand Prix) and the 6th Biennial of Painting (award for the Best Young Artist and NMMU Award for Solo Exhibition). His work is part of
the collection of drawings and prints from 1945 at the Museum of Fine Arts in Osijek. He currently works as an external associate at the Academy of
Arts and Culture in Osijek. He lives and works in Zagreb.

Solo exhibition
Black silence,
Lađa X
Gallery, ARL Dubrovnik

On common ground
Gallery Kranjčar, Zagreb

Black Silence,
Gallery, HDLU Osijek

Salon Galić Gallery,
HULU Split

SC Gallery,

Group exhibition
28th Slavonic Biennial,
New Paradigms of Happiness – from
Osijek’s Dada to Contemporary Chaos,
Museum of Fine Arts, Osijek

Another dimension,
SC Gallery, Zagreb
Cave’s cave, AMZ Gallery, Zagreb

6th Biennale of
Painting, City Museum, Eltz Castle, Vukovar
6th Biennale of Painting,Istrian
Parliament, Poreč
6th Biennale of Painting, City Museum, Art Gallery,
Varaždin, 2021

6th Biennale of Painting, HDLU / HDLU Galleries,
Annual exhibition
of HDLU members (invited author), HDLU Galleries, Zagreb
Erste Fragments 17, Lauba, Zagreb

Ethereal narratives,
Kranjčar Gallery, Zagreb
Erste Fragment 16, Lauba, Zagreb

Towards the Biennial of Painting,
Šira Gallery, Zagreb

6th Painting Biennale, award for
the best young artist, Zagreb

6th Painting Biennale, NMMU award, Zagreb
Grand prix Purchase of work at Erste
Fragments 17, Grand prix, Zagreb

Purchase of work at Erste Fragments 16,

Translated by: Robertina Tomić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb

Images: From the Nikola Pjevačević's  Tree Alley exhibition display at the Josip Račić Gallery  / Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb, 2023.

Amela Frankl
A Stone on a Branch


With the exhibition A Stone on a Branch at the Josip Račić Gallery, visual artist Amela Frankl continues her complex artistic project Black Glass on the Way, that she intends to develop in different media and disciplines in several consecutive exhibitions, in various exhibition spaces. Her multidisciplinary artistic practice includes everything from painting to social sculpture, from creating an art object to participatory performative events, regularly personal life situations and family history.
The framework of the exhibition is a series of posters, about which the art historian and exhibition curator Branko Franceschi writes in the foreword of the exhibition: The posters, as a dialogue between the artist and the designers,are based on performative black and white photographs focused on the figure, gesture and facial expression of the artist, in order to demonstrate the intensity of her inner dialogue processes. Direct and confessional statements delivered as unexpectedly witty colloquial phrases, in more or less rhyming stanzas and uniform font and position, are placed at the bottom of the visual as their integral part, much like film subtitles. In a steady rhythm, similar to a film reel or a photo-novel, the posters completely saturate the parameters of the exhibition space. - and continues: Two video works with sounds and colours that refer to the context of Mauritania, are presented as a discursive pair to this uniform, black-and-white series of static situations. The first, PK22, presents a recording of the physically demanding local fishing method, which can easily be interpreted, from a Western voyeuristic perspective, as an exciting choreography. The second, titled the Last Motif but One, is a performance of the artist’s direct confrontation with the vast desert landscape on the edge of a beaten road that meanders into space until it exits the frame.

Amela Frankl’s A Stone on a Branch exhibition that the National Museum of Modern Art will present at the Josip Račić Gallery from 31 st May – 2nd July is conceived and set-up by the NMMU director, Branko Franceschi.

Artist’s biography
Amela Frankl is a visual artist, born in Zagreb in 1963. She obtained a degree in painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. She is a member of the Croatian Freelance Artists Association. She lives and works in Zagreb. More information on her work:

Amela Frankl, A Stone on a Branch, 2022./2023.
Poster series, digital print on paper, jet coat 200 gr, 70 x 50 cm
Videostill: Miran Krčadinac
Poster design: BilicMuller Design Studio
Proofreading: Martina Fryda Kaurimsky
Translation and adaption into English: Ljiljana Culjak
Tisak: Kvikprint, d.o.o., Zagreb

Vedran Kopljar
(wish i was there) 2

From 4 to 28 May, at the Josip Račić Gallery, the National Museum of Modern Art presents the exhibition “InnerSpacePortals”, by the conceptual artist, painter and performer Vedran Kopljar, who lives and works in Antwerp.It is the first solo exhibition in Croatia of this artist born in Slavonski Brod in 1991, who has lived in Belgium since childhood. The exhibition of the former student and today a lecturer at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp is conceived by the curator Valerie Verhack. It will showcase ten works from the eponymous series, which the artist has been creating since 2020, specifically, paintings (oils on wood and canvas) that approach abstraction inspired by science fiction television series, films and literature.
In 2019, Vedran Kopljar established the Plank Communication Centre (PCC), hosted by the Belgium museum M Leuven since 2021, through which he explores the boundaries of communication. In 2018, Kopljar developed a body of work depicting organic internal cavities unfolding in different layers of flesh, each of them painted in a different hue. It is part of his InnerSpacePaintings (2018): a series of paintings metaphorically giving form to the spaces deep inside everyone’s body hosting inner emotions and thoughts. The InnerSpacePaintings were amongst others inspired by the desire of thumbsuckers who seek safety and warmth appealing to their first emotions as babies in their mother’s womb. In 2019, Kopljar changed the title of this series to InnerSpacePortals, thereby referring to passages as an inherent part of these works; they are ways of entering inner emotions and thoughts. This exhibition (wish i was there)2 shows the InnerSpacePortals that Kopljar has been painting since 2020. Formally these paintings do no longer reference human organisms but shift towards abstraction inspired by science fiction tv, film and literature. from Valerie Verhack's tekst in the exhibition catalogue.

About the Artist
1991 Slavonski Brod, Croatia
Lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium

2015 MFA in painting, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp

2019 Artist in residence, Residency Unlimited (NYC)
2016 Nominee, Coming People, S.M.A.K.
2014 Winner, STRT schot prijs, Studio Start


2023 (wish i was there)2, Josip Račić Gallery – National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Also (HERE), LambdaLambdaLambda, / Prishtina
2022 The Misadventures of Plank Communication Center, BOEKS, Ghent, Belgium
The Cloud of Unkowing: New Teachings, CASSTL, Antwerpen / Belgium
2020 Center [pl.], CONVENT, Ghent / Belgium
2019 Plank Communication Center: Quarterly Report, RU, Brooklyn, SAD
2018 Vedran Kopljar en Evelin Brosi & Elvis Bonier, Kunsthal Extra City, Antwerpen / Belgium
Thumbsucker’s Delight, Trampoline Gallery, Antwerp / Belgium
2017 Polyvalente zaal, N.I.C.C., Antwerp, / Belgium
2016 A-Amigos, Tique Art Space, Antwerp / Belgium
2015 Trials & Tribulations, Stadslimiet, Antwerp / Belgium
2014 Là-bas, Studio Start, Antwerp / Belgium

2022 Window Openers, Artwell Residency, Amsterdam / Netherlands
2021 The Constant Glitch, Museum M, Leuven / Belgium
Miniheim, Forbidden City, Antwerpen / Belgium
2020 Biënnale van de Schilderkunst, RogerRaveelmuseum, Machelen-Zulte, Belgija / Belgium
2019 Nick Lodgers – Uit Beleefdheid”, M HKA, Antwerp / Belgium
NACHBARBESUCH, TYSON, Köln / Cologne / Germany
TIME & SPACE, HERE & NOW ..., La Piscine d’Activité, Antwerp / Belgium
Positieve berichtgeving – Fluwelen Koord, Pinkie Bowtie, Antwerp / Belgium
Looking at the world through …, PLUS-ONE & Sofie Van de Velde, Antwerp / Belgium
Salon de Peinture, M HKA, Antwerp / Belgium
2018 3 Jaar Oogst, Gallerie Verbeeck – Van Dyck, Antwerp / Belgium
2017 ABC Lounge Klub, ABC Klubhuis, Antwerp / Belgium
Nacht van de beeldende kunst, De Studio, Antwerp / Belgium
2016 NowBelgiumNow, LLS 387, Antwerp / Belgium
Prijs vrienden v/h S.M.A.K., Coming People, S.M.A.K., Ghent / Belgium
Het Zwarte Gat, 252CC, Ekeren / Belgium
Furniture. Sculpture., Art Center Hugo Voeten, Herentals, / Belgium
Verloren Ruimte, Antwerp Art Weekend, Berchem / Belgium
2015 Fascinator, 252cc, Ekeren / Belgium
Nema tog podruma 5: gramme vrijdag, F44, Antwerp / Belgium
Timmeren aan de carrière in het duister, De Studio, Antwerp / Belgium
Als kweeklingen in een school van …, CC Zwanenberg, Heist-op-den-Berg, / Belgium
2014 Boost, CBK, Amsterdam / The Netherlands
A L’etat Sauvage, Maison d’Art & Design, Tronçais / France
We will never surrender, Bries Space, Antwerp / Belgium
Nieuwe Meesters, KASKA, Antwerp / Belgium

2019 Plank Communication Center: Quarterly Report, RU, Brooklyn / SAD
Meeting Center (Plank Communication Center) during
20 jaar S.M.A.K. : De Inleiding (3), S.M.A.K., Ghent / Belgium
2018 Q&A met de innerstem van Vedran Kopljar, Kunsthal Extra City, Antwerp / Belgium
Innerlives: ATS’ers Digest during Night Shift, Beursschouwburg, Brussels / Belgium
Adult Thumbsucker’s Digest, Demian, Antwerp / Belgium
Adult Thumbsucker’s Digest, Trampoline Gallery, Antwerp / Belgium
2017 Verwijdering van Plicht en Toewijding, LLS 387, Antwerp / Belgium
2016 De kleinste dood during Bitte Nicht wecken, LLS 387, Antwerp / Belgium

Image: from the Vedran Kopljar's (wish i was there) 2 exhibition display at the Josip Račić Gallery / Photo: from the National Museum of Modern Art's archives and Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb, 2023

Translated by: Robertina Tomić

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