Zdravko Milić

The exhibition of academic painter and graphic artist Zdravko Milić, showcasing his recent cycle of paintings executed in acrylic on canvas, titled Iapetusdrome, will be on view at the Josip Račić Gallery from 6 to 30 June. This new cycle builds upon his previous series titled Lunadrome and the artist’s enduring fascination with themes and motifs related to scientific discoveries and theories, and the realm of science fiction.
The paintings systematically depict the intricate topography of the specific surface and shape of Iapetus, one of Saturn’s satellites, also referred to as the Yin Yang moon. With a diameter of 1472 kilometres, Iapetus holds the distinction of being the outermost moon orbiting its parent planet within the Solar System. The planet’s bizarre shape and position have sparked popular theories suggesting it might be an artificial construct crafted by advanced extraterrestrial intelligence.
This bizarre world inspired Zdravko Milić to produce paintings infused with youthful energy and sensibility, yet executed with a mature technical skill. The atmosphere is surreal, heightened by hyperrealistic precision and clarity of execution. Indirectly, the cycle alludes to a particular trait of Milić’s generation, which, despite advancing age, remains connected to their youthful obsessions, evident not only in the theme but also in the illustrative style and concise narrative reminiscent of the comic book medium.
The curator of the exhibition, accompanied by a bilingual catalogue in Croatian and English, is Branko Franceschi, the director of the National Museum of Modern Art.

The exhibition has been made possible with financial support of the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia and the City of Zagreb

Artist’s biography
Zdravko Milić was born in 1953 in Labin. He graduated from the Applied Arts High School, Printmaking Department, in Split in 1973, and received his degree in painting in 1977 from the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice, in the class of Prof. Carmelo Zotti. He pursued further professional training in mosaic at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris in the class of Prof. Riccardo Licata (1988). From 1978 to 2006, he worked as a freelance artist. He is a member of the Croatian Association of Visual Artists (HDLU) in Rijeka and Zagreb. As a full professor, he taught Painting and Mosaic courses in the Academy of Applied Arts at the University of Rijeka. He has been exhibiting intensively since the early 1970s. He has held 103 solo exhibitions and participated in over 600 group exhibitions at home and abroad. He has participated in numerous international painting and sculpture symposiums and has received 65 awards and recognitions for his work. His works are kept in many significant private and public collections.

Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Reproductions: Zdravko Milić’s acrylics from his recent cycle Iapetusdrome. Photo: Zdravko Milić / Courtesy of the artist

In Anticipation of the Fiftieth Anniversary


Since its establishment in 1975, the Josip Račić Gallery in Zagreb has been an indispensable destination for artists and art enthusiasts. This small city gallery has been operating within the National Museum of Modern Art (formerly the Modern Gallery) since 1992, and next year it will celebrate five decades of its existence. As an introduction to this significant jubilee, the National Museum of Modern Art is organising the exhibition In Anticipation of the Fiftieth Anniversary from 9 May to 2 June 2024, at its well-known address at Margaretska 3.
Conceived as a historical overview of exhibition practices at the Gallery over the past fifty years, the exhibition conceived by art historian and NMMA curator, Tihana Galić, will provide visitors, through the selected works – largely drawn from the Museum collection and including pieces by a few artists who exhibited during this period – with insight into a fraction of the artistic heritage of this space and evoke memories of exhibitions and artists who have shaped its identity through various artistic approaches and thematic focuses. The selection of works is significantly constrained by the size of the exhibition space but nonetheless represents a substantial segment of its rich exhibition history.
The artists represented in the exhibition are: Zlatko Kauzlarić Atač, Vlado Jakelić, Jadranka Fatur, Marijana Muljević, Ivo Deković, Nicolas Roerich, Đuro Seder, and Stipan Tadić.
In addition to the exhibited artworks, visitors will have the opportunity to see some archival copies of accompanying publications from numerous exhibitions as well as documentary film "Jadranka Fatur, Paintings" by Hrvoje Juvančić, filmed in 1987 at the Josip Račić Gallery.
The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual catalogue in Croatian and English, designed by Ana Zubić and featuring an essay by the exhibition curator.

Translated by: Robertina Tomić

Images: Vlado Jakelić, Shoe Cleaners, 1977/ oil on canvas / 100 x 130 cm / MG-3932, National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Marijana Muljević, Marijana Muljević / Blades, 1991 / oil on canvas, 110 x 90 cm / MG-7003, National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Jadranka Fatur, Sister in Front of an Unfinished Painting,  1986. – 87 / oil on canvas , 150 x 120 cm / Artist’s private collection
Zlatko Kauzlarić Atač, Always on the Move, 1974 / oil on canvas, 110 x 130 cm / Artist’s private collection
- From the exhibition set up at the Josip Račić Gallery
Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb

Staš Kleindienst, Antiarcadia


From 9 April to 5 May, the National Museum of Modern Art in collaboration with the “Božidar Jakac” Gallery from Kostanjevica na Krki, presents Staš Kleindienst’s exhibition Antiarcadia at the Josip Račić Gallery. Kleindienst is an artist who, according to Goran Milovanović, director of the “Božidar Jakac” Gallery and curator of the exhibition, is certainly at this moment one of the most prominent and intriguing painters of the middle generation in Slovenia. Ten works, consisting of oil paintings on canvas created between 2020 and 2024, have been selected for Staš Kleindienst’s first solo exhibition in front of the Zagreb audience, on loan for this occasion from public and private collections in Slovenia.

(...) What is it about Staš Kleindienst’s paintings that intrigues us so much? From a central vantage point in the gallery, enabling us to take in all the displayed artworks at once, we encounter certain familiar scenes that are ingrained in our memories. The landscapes gradually receding towards the horizon are intimate and familiar, and their appearance stirs a feeling of comfort and homeliness within us. Goran Milovanić, Goran Milovanović, from the text in the exhibition catalogue.Perhaps it is precisely this moment, referred to as “our expression,” that Ljubo Babić sought in the landscapes of Croatian Zagorje and Dalmatia. But that is certainly not Kleindienst’s concept, who always adds small formats to the exhibition installations of large-scale paintings, where the visualizations of stories are even more condensed, drawing us in with a certain magnetism.

Staš Kleindienst’s exhibition titled Antiarcadia is a continuation of the successful international museum collaboration between the National Museum of Modern Art and the “Božidar Jakac” Gallery which began in 2021 with the exhibition Ties That Bind – Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb and Slovenian Artists Between the Two Wars.

Staš Kleindienst graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana in 2007, where he also defended his MA in 2009. His works can be found in a number of private and public collections. In 2014 he received an award from the OHO group, the University of Ljubljana awarded him the 2019 Recognition of Significant Works of Art. He received Rihard Jakopič award for 2023. He lives and works in Vipava.

The exhibition was realized through the collaboration of the National Museum of Modern Art and Božidar Jakac Art Museum with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia and the City of Zagreb

Translated by: Robertina Tomić

Staš Kleindienst, Spring on the Plateau, 2024, ulje na platnu / oil on canvas / 85 x 110 cm courtesy of the artist / Photo Staš Kleindienst
Evening Rehearsal, 2020 / oil on canvas / 130 x 200 cm / City Museum of Ljubljana (MGML) / Photo Staš Kleindienst
Winter Landscape, 2021 /oil on canvas / 120 x 160 cm / Galerija Božidar Jakac – Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art / Fototeka GBJ, Photo Jaka Babnik
Road Painting, 2023 / oil on canvas / 110 x 85 cm / private collection / Photo: foto Staš Kleindienst

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 https://www.cecartslink.org/ , 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.

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