The exhibition Fragments of Melancholy is selected from different collections of the National Museum of Modern Art and composed mostly of works from the museum holdings. These concepts go beyond the stylistic classification of material and follow the psychological characterisation of art in various painting media (painting, drawing, photography, spatial objects) from the 19th to the 21st century. With the theme of melancholy, the metaphysical and surreal, we enter into the world of secret, hidden human existence and look for that something, both haunted and wistful. The medical profession interprets the appearance of melancholy as lethargy, dejection, despondency, a feeling of futility and depression, as a consequence of loss or a fear of loss. It is also an unstable state of human nature that the artist projects into objects, things and dream visions, including dreams, nostalgia and memory, which is reflected in wistful, insignificant, uneasy phenomena and representations. By projecting the inner self onto the object of perception, the artists attribute a cumbersome sense of purpose or loss of centre to the motif. Pictorial signals selected for this exhibition, in the extended meaning of painting, are like shadows that stretch through empty, onerous and silent motifs. We witness an inner point of view, the metaphysical and surreal conception, and thus visualize and imagine beyond things, beyond and above the physical, hoping for an ontological essence, in the unattainable sense of purpose and analysis of the spirit of man and artist. The exhibition will feature works that show the historicity of the theme, ranging from Nikola Mašić, Bela Čikoš Sesija, Marko Rašica through Emanuel Vidović, Milan Steiner, Vilko Gecan, Milivoj Uzelac, Ljubo Babić, Frano Šimunović to Miljenko Stančić, Zlatko Šulentić, Josip Vaništa, Ljubo Ivančić, Željko Lapuh, Goran Trbuljak, Josip Klarica, Ivan Posavec, Mijo Vesović, Ante Rašić, Zlatan Vrkljan, Robert Šimrak, Zoltan Novak, Tomislav Buntak and others.
Translated by Robertina Tomić
Photo: from the exhibition set-up - Goran Vranić ©National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb