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