Modern Contemporary


Modern Contemporary

04.07.2023 - 03.09.2023 / MSU, 2. kat

Modern Contemporary / Collection as a verb: Triggers

Modern Contemporary builds upon the first exhibition from 1955 with which the City Gallery of Contemporary Art (today's Museum of Contemporary Art) started its exhibition activity. It was an exhibition from the holdings which presented a selection of the first acquired works.

The exhibited works had been purchased from exhibitions and studios during 1954 and 1955. The gallery’s acquisitions strived, in line with their possibilities, to follow, i.e. document the dynamics of contemporary art life. The exhibition was complemented by several older exhibits, which laboured towards contemporary European painting of the time or spoke about individual authors’ typical stages.


The City Gallery of Contemporary Art has almost since the very beginning of its activity promoted new artistic phenomena and trends and stimulated understanding and affirmation of abstract tendencies. That way the Gallery also acquired works by important foreign abstract artists. Another segment of the exhibition is based on these very works, the first acquisitions of international artists for the gallery holdings.

The documentary part of the exhibition gathers archive materials related to the Gallery’s activity between 1955 and the 1960s, and the documentary materials referring to the relation between the modern and the contemporary, when the terms ‘modern’ and ‘contemporary’ had different meanings in different political regimes.

The exhibition Modern Contemporary explores the difference between ‘modern’ and ‘contemporary’ and challenges the notions of these terms which have changed with time. The pieces from the museum collection selected for this exhibition were made as (modern) works of art. However, today they are exhibited as artefacts, as tangible memories of the cultural and political era when modern indeed meant contemporary.

The exhibition has been curated in association with the Kunsthistorisches Mausoleum from Belgrade and conceptualised by its associate. Kunsthistorisches Mausoleum is a commemorative institution dedicated to preserving memories on the History of Art. It is located on Brace Radovanovic street No.28 in Belgrade and periodically opened to the public since 2003. In one of its chamber is placed “The Concise History of Modern Painting” by Herbert Read, while in another: “History of Art” by H.W.Janson.

Curator: Kristina Bonjeković Stojković