The Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb

Program

The Sphinx of the Metropolis: Outstanding Artworks of Croatian Modernist Art in the Collection of the MCA

Collection in Motion, 2nd floor

The exhibition is extended till June 18th 2017.

This fall, The Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb will present The Sphinx of the Metropolis:

Outstanding Artworks of Croatian Modernist Art in the Collection of the Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Spring Salon (1916-1928), the most important exhibition of Croatian art between the two world wars.Presented together for the first time, the exhibition will feature forty-eight artworks created between 1915-1932 by noteworthy Croatian artists such as Milivoj Uzelac (whose 1921 masterpiece The Sphinx of the Metropolis inspired the title of this new exhibition), Milan Steiner, Vilko Gecan, Marijan Trepše, Vladimir Becić, Marino Tartaglia, Leo Junek, Sonja Kovačić-Tajčević, Kamilo Ružička, Sava Šumanović and others whose artworks belong to the Collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art, many of which have not been long exhibited.

As part of a larger institutional effort to reflect on the museum’s own history, The Sphinx of the Metropoliscoincides with the programCollection in Motion, which questions the complex networks and inter-relations of modern and contemporary art, both in the context of national and international art. Simultaneously, the museum will host the Independent Curators International (ICI) internationally traveling exhibition Salon de Fleurusfrom October 1st 2016 to January 31st 2017. Together, these two accompanyingexhibitions are the public face of Collection in Motion.

The Sphinx of the Metropolis:Outstanding Artworks of Croatian Modernist Art in the Collection of the Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art includes a selection of works representative of the Spring Salon as well as artworks that directly preceded the Salon and were heavily influenced by what was shown. These works simultaneously show unique Croatian modernist styles as well as the larger influence European modernism had on Croatian art. The works also illustrate the careful planning and execution of the museum’s collection management policy and the high cultural standards of the Croatian cultural community after the 1950s.

The Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art has been collecting contemporary art since its foundation in 1954. However, one of the key principles of the collecting policy was a critical evaluation of the museum’s holdings. When the museum initially purchased and collected works created in the first part of the 20th century, these works needed to clearly indicate possible a relationship to contemporary events in art. Maintaining works related to modern and avant-garde movements was important for disclosing and evaluating their impact on contemporary culture. Therefore, the exhibition The Sphinx of the Metropolis will showcase an important group of artworks, without which Croatian modern art is difficult to understand.

Authors of The Collection in Motion, coordinators of Salon de Fleurus and curators of The Sphinx of the Metropolis: Nada Beroš and Tihomir Milovac, museum advisors.

Exhibitions set-up: Tihomir Milovac

Research Associate on the exhibitionSphinx of Metropolis: PhD Petar Prelog, Senior Research Associateat the Institute of Art History Zagreb.

Educational programs: Nada Beroš, Head of Educational Department of The Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art,


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