HR  |  EN

ARCHIVE · 2011

MIRKO RAČKI (1879.-1982)
- SACRED MOTIFS (From the holdings of the MMAD)

An exhibition devised by: Rozana Vojvoda, PhD

November 1st, 2011 - January 8th, 2012

In 1983, thanks to a purchase from Juraj Tarnik, the collection of the Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik became the richer for works with religious subjects of the great Croatian painter Mirko Rački (1879-1982).  Referred to are three very large oil paintings with depictions of the Crucifixion, Resurrection and Adoration of the Three Kings of 1926 and as many as 68 drawings/studies made in charcoal and white chalk for the painting of the Parish Church of SS. Peter and Paul, created from 1938 to 1940. (Mirko Rački was working on the wall and vault paintings in the church from 1938 to 1942).The studies, a tangible document of the process of the work in the extensive operation of painting the building of the church are also a visual phenomenon in their own right, for they represent the outstanding skill of Rački in drawing.  Except for a few figures done quite sketchily, most of are carefully shaded, with facial expressions worked out in detail, and mostly in the corners of the pictures the artist’s hand has entered to which iconographic subject the figures belong. Three paintings with religious subjects, although at a primary level they fit in with the domination of figuration in the 1920s in Croatian and world art, contain no signal at all of the then prevailing tendencies (Magic Realism, neo-Classicism, Cubo-Constructivism). What is truly distinctive in these paintings, particularly in Crucifixion  and Adoration is the strong references to the old masters, particularly of the High Renaissance, visible in the posing of the figures, treatment of the drapery, sensual treatment of the faces and the central role of light as the real vehicle of the spiritual content. Almost the whole of the religious oeuvre of Mirko Rački in fact belongs to this part of his work, which has been less interesting to art historians, i.e. from the 1920s onwards, when the artist quite consciously gave up on any kind of experimentation. Unlike his Symbolist works that were created in the first two decades of the century in the intellectual atmospheres of Vienna and Munich and were vitally in touch with the current tendencies, the religious works have a distinctly archaic feel. However, in spite of the conventionality of the subject and the drawing/painting procedure, in the religious works in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik, Rački did attain interesting and valuable results.


Mirko Rački was born in Novi Marof on October 13, 1879.  After graduating from the Teachers’ School in Zagreb, he attended the privately run art school of Heinrich Strehlblow in Vienna, from 1901 to 1903. At the invitation of Vlaho Bukovac, he enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, where he studied under Bukovac himself from 1903 to 1905.  He left Prague when he would have had to transfer to another teacher, and after a short stay in Venice, in 1906, at the recommendation of Izidor Kršnjavi went to Vienna to learn printmaking at William Unger’s.  He lived in Munich from 1907 to 1914, and often spent the summers in Rijeka Dubrovačka.  After a short stay in Rome in 1914, he spent the period from 1915 to 1920 in Geneva. From 1920 he lived in Zagreb, where he was assigned one of the newly built studios on Voćarska cesta, and from 1980 in Split.The most vital painting period of Mirko Rački, one that exerted a considerable influence on the art of the Croatian Moderne, came during his stay in foreign countries, but when he was in constant contact with both Izidor Kršnjavi and the circle of artists around Meštrović.  In this period he did works with symbolic subjects, illustrations and pictures with motifs from The Divine Comedy, for which he is best known to the general public. He also produced pieces in which we can recognise the ideological monumentalism of the Medulić Group, founded in 1908, to the inmost core of which he belonged.  He exhibited at almost all the Medulić exhibitions, and during World War I, and just after it, appeared at exhibitions organised in Europe aimed at supporting the political realisation of the common state of the Slovenes, Croats and Serbs (Lyon, London, 1917; Geneva, Paris, 1918; Brighton, London, 1919). On returning to his homeland, Rački withdrew from politics, lived quite secludedly and did not conform to a single style in the interwar or post-war period. He exhibited at a number of collective shows, and had individual exhibitions in Zagreb (1921, 1922, 1923, 1926, 1928, 1934, 1958, 1969, 1979), Varaždin (1922), Bjelovar (1924), Osijek (1930) and Belgrade (1936). He was given a retrospective exhibition in Zagreb in 1970. He died in Split on July 21, 1982.

- Croatian art from the end of the 19th century until the present day

Curated by: Antun Maračić, Petra Golušić, Rozana Vojvoda

July 06th – October 16th, 2011


The exhibition Treasure of the Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik-Croatian art from the end of the 19th century until the present day from the holdings of MOMA Dubrovnik represents works of almost all the best known Dubrovnik and national painters, printmakers and sculptors. Particularly prominent are names of the founding fathers of Croatian modern art: Vlaho Bukovac, Mato Celestin Medović, Ivan Meštrović, Emanuel Vidović. Then come almost all the important names of Croatian art of the 20th century: Menci Clement Crnčić, Robert Frangeš-Mihanović, Frano Kršinić, Miroslav Kraljević, Vladimir Becić, Oskar Herman, Vilko Gecan, Milivoj Uzelac, Ljubo Babić, Marino Tartaglia, Oton Postružnik, Vanja Radauš, Krsto Hegedušić, Ivan Lozica, Ivo Dulčić, Antun Masle, Đuro Pulitika, Dušan Džamonja, Vojin Bakić, Kosta Angeli-Radovani, Edo Murtić, Oton Gliha, Branko Ružić, Josip Vaništa, Marijan Jevšovar, Ivan Kožarić, Julije Knifer... as well as contemporary artists such as Braco Dimitrijević, Goran Trbuljak, Željko Jerman, Igor Rončević, Duje Jurić, Vlasta Žanić, Siniša Labrović, Slaven Tolj, Mara Bratoš, Viktor Daldon, Ivan Skvrce..
.Through the holdings of the Gallery, then, it is possible to follow almost all the characteristics of modern and contemporary Croatian art and the changes that it went through, in synch with contemporary events in Europe during the period from the end of the 19th century until the present day. The collection includes art with the properties and reflections of Impressionism and Art Nouveau, various Expressionist and colourist versions of the authentic local tones; the beginnings of the socially-toned painting of the Zemlja group of the 1930s, Naïve art, either rural or urban,  Abstract art, of both the organic and the geometrical type of the 1950s and 1960s; there are  representatives of the Conceptual Art of the 1970s and the post-modern painting tendencies of the 1980s; and there are entirely contemporary versions of extended-media art, including photography, video, performance art and installations. 
Here it should be pointed out that the exhibition programme of the MOMA Dubrovnik includes a broad spectrum of art, extending in time within the period from the end of the 19th century to the current day, and in terms of cultural geography over the local, the national and the international. Because of the needs for an exhibition dynamics taking in a programme of such a great range of space and time, it is impossible to keep a permanent display from the Museum’s holdings. Among other reasons, this is why this exhibition of carefully selected works is an outstanding opportunity for the many home and particularly foreign guests who visit Dubrovnik in large numbers to be able to become acquainted with the best that we keep in our holdings. Indeed, since in this part of the year Dubrovnik is such a highly featured part of  Croatia, this set-up in the Museum of Modern Art enables an insight, albeit not a complete one, into the significance of Croatian modern and contemporary art in general.
From this point of view the Treasure of the Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik, a medium for the representation of national art, acquires still greater weight and value.

An Anthology - painting

in collaboration with the Modern gallery, Zagreb
An exhibition devised by Dr Ivanka Reberski

April 21th - May 22th 2011


Ljubo Babić (Jastrebarsko 1890 – Zagreb 1974), painter, art historian, educator and museum professional, set designer, illustrator, editor and writer, was one of the central figures of the Croatian art scene. In an exhibition authored by Ivanka Reberski, a leading Croatian modern painting expert, more than a hundred works from Babić’s painting oeuvre are on show in the Museum of Modern Art in Dubrovnik. Among other, the show features works in which the tuition of Menci Clement Crnčić and the influence of the chromatics of the Zagreb school of painting can be seen; works in which the experience of education in Munich and Paris can be seen and works that show Babić’s personal version of Expressionism, created on the eve of World War I in what was in painting terms the most significant and vigorous period of the artist’s life.  The great value of this exhibition is heightened by the fact that some pictures from the period (for example, Red Flags of 1919, the first version of the painting of the same name of 1921, privately owned in London) are being presented to lovers of art in Croatia the first time after almost thirty years.The author of the exhibition has, furthermore, devoted particular attention to the choice of works that prompt a revaluation of Babić’s role – greater than has been thought to date – in the context of the New Realisms of the 1920s. Shown in a large number are works created at the end of the twenties and in the early thirties when Ljubo Babić abandoned tonal construction and plastic treatment of form and brought in colour as the main building element of the painting. In theme he devoted himself to the painting of Croatian landscapes and developed a programmatic thesis concerning “our [Croatian] expression”, about the creation of a form of visual expression that would reflect the identity of the Croatian setting; this was to occupy him to the end of his life.  Thus the exhibition shows the famed cycle called Native Region, created in the mid-1930s, in which he displayed the regional features of the north-west part of Croatia that was particularly close to him. From the late decades of his work we can see, among other things, works in pastels, with which in the fifties and sixties Babić excited a lively interest among the public. The exhibition also includes some ten prints from his early period, in which he proves himself a highly proficient printmaker with a highly precise and yet vigorous hand.This exhibition is a selection of Babić’s painterly oeuvre from the recent retrospective exhibition Ljubo Babić – Anthology, held in the Modern Gallery in Zagreb (December 14, 2010 – April 10, 2011) marking the 120th anniversary of the painter’s birth.

Ljubo Babić (1890-1974) biography:

Ljubomir Tito Babić was born on June 14, 1890, in Jastrebarsko, into a family that had been ennobled by Emperor Charles VI in 1716. Until 1906 he went to the Royal Real High in Bjelovar, and then moved to Zagreb. While still attending the Lower Town High School in Zagreb, in 1907, he enrolled in the private painting school of Menci Clement Crnčić and Bela Csikos Sessija; in 1908-1910 he attended the Interim College of Art and Craft, where Crnčić continued to teach him.From 1910 to 1913 he studied in Munich at the Academy of Fine Arts, where his teachers were Angelo Jank (1910/11, drawing) and Franz von Stuck (1911/12, painting, 1912/13, composition); he attended art history lectures, studied set design, and completed a course on anatomy for artists at the medical faculty. After Munich, in 1913, he went to Paris, where he studied at the Académie de la grande Chaumière. On the eve of the outbreak of war, in 1914, he returned to Zagreb and in his own studio at the address Ilica 52 he started up a painting school that he entitled the Modern Painting School.In 1916 he got a job at the College of Art and Craft (today’s Academy of Fine Arts), as professor (1921), full tenured professor (1940), and then president (1956-1958), and worked there until his retirement. He got a degree in art history at the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb in 1932.Because of the breadth of his interests and uncommon erudition and talent, Ljubo Babić had a crucial impact on the arts in Croatia. As well as painting and teaching, he was engaged in set design, art criticism and theory, literary prose, the organisation of the arts. He took part in the foundation of the Croatian Spring Salon (1916), the Independent Group of Croatian Artists (1923), the Group of Four (1928), the Group of Three (1929), the Group of Croatian Artists (1936) and Croatian Artists (1939).  He showed his work at individual and group exhibitions in Croatia and worldwide; at, for example, the Medulić exhibitions, the annual exhibitions in Munich, with the painters of the Viennese Secession and at the 21st Venice Biennale. At the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Paris in 1925 he took a Grand Prix for his work as a set designer.  During his career, he produced about 190 set designs for plays, comedies and operas. He was one of the creators of the golden age of the Zagreb theatre in the 1920s and 1930s.  In the book design area he was one of the most prolific creative artists in Croatia.Ljubo Babić died in Zagreb on May 14, 1974.


Drims Kam Tru aka Dreams Come True

Saturday, March 19, at 8 p. m.
Sunday, March 20 at 7 p. m.
- ARTIST IS PRESENT NOT [original title], Tuesday, March 22 at 7 p. m.

March 19 - April 10, 2011


The exhibition of contemporary Croatian artist Siniša Labrović (1965) gives an insight into his prolific work in art to date and presents new works devised for and performed on this occasion. After the opening, for the next few days the public will be able to see renditions of new performances. Thanks to audacious and direct public appearances that sometimes have the appearance (for there is always some ironical pastiche involved) of a sporting, musical or political event, Siniša Labrović has become one of the most intriguing of Croatian artists and in recent times most covered in the media. Even in the case of actions within indoor, gallery venues, Labrović attracts the attention of not only the artistic but also the general public because of his radical and controversial approaches. Paying no heed to bourgeois standards of taste and common ideas of morality, not refraining on occasion from practically obscene self-degradation and physical pain, Labrović regularly produces very complex works that have intensely moral concerns, works whose references to events of the day, concrete political personages and social anomalies do not derogate from their universal meaning and value. Commonly, these involve boisterous forms of farce that derive from the literal translation of words (and the point of departure is in language and not in the visual domain, which clearly indicates his educational origin, his day job as it were) or of commonplace phrases into a work, into a physical fact.
Thus Labrović will literally, translating Croatian phrases, 'lick heels', 'graze on grass', 'sell his skin', 'swim on dry land' and walk, or indeed dance, 'barefoot on thorns'. The mater is never exhausted however in mere caricature or carnivalesque travesty; on the whole, through the grotesquery of such translations, Labrović manages to visualise and denounce all the ugliness of current (and universal and eternal) social hypocrisy and the criminal environment in which we are engulfed. It is from this point of view, with the method of ironic inversion, feigning serious intentions and with a permanent grin on his face, he starts workshops for printing textbooks ('Postgraduate education') that teach criminal skills with a range from pickpocketing via burglary, the protection racket, procuring and the rest to politically refined methods of violence and rapine.
Very well known are his appearances in the guise of a gusle player-singer that he puts on in the more frequented places in various cities, in which he sings and interprets in decasyllabics articles from the journal aimed at women Gloria. He acquired a good deal of publicity with his 'Boxing match for the title of Minister of Culture of the Republic of Croatia' last year, when he challenged the then current, now former, holder of that office for the title.
At the exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art in Dubrovnik, in addition to presenting documentation of these pieces, Labrović will also put on some new works, some of which refer to the Dubrovnik milieu and to the specific threats to it from aggressive entrepreneurial appetites and operations.


Siniša Labrović was born in Sinj in 1965. In 1997 he graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb University. With a degree in Croatian literature and language, he has taught at numerous elementary and secondary schools in his native Sinj and elsewhere. He started to be involved in visual arts in 2000. He has exhibited at numerous collective and individual shows and put on actions, performances, done graffiti and been involved in urban interventions in Dubrovnik, Zagreb, Zadar, Sinj, Rijeka, Split, Momjan, Bol, Poreč, Goli Otok, Obrovac, Križevci, Pula, Stari Grad, Belgrade, Novi Sad, Vršec, Ljubljana, Celje, Graz, Carlisle, Reykjavik, Regensburg, Dundee, Istanbul, Venice, Budapest, Berlin and Lodz. 
In 2005 he attracted the attention of leading world media with his work '' [] in which sheep were the contestants in a reality show. In 2007 for the video 'Family Diary' he won the third purchase prize at the first T-HT and Museum of Contemporary Art competition in Zagreb. This work has been placed in the permanent display of the MCA. In 2007 the daily paper Slobodna Dalmacija pronounced the performance Gloria on the Split waterfront one of the five top culture events in Dalmatia during the year. In 2009 at the 11th Istanbul Biennial he presented the work Postgraduate Education. In 2010 at the 16th International Theatre Festival – PUF in Pula, he won the Vjetar Prize for his rendition of the performance Gloria.
Siniša Labrović is a freelance artist who lives in Zagreb.



The concept and the exhibition set-up:
 Petra Golušić, Antun Maračić, Rozana Vojvoda

January  - March  2011


In the exhibition From the Holdings of the Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik, works from the end of the 19th to the beginning of the 21st century, the Museum of Modern Art in Dubrovnik presents a selection from its lavish collection of modern and contemporary art, which numbers more than two thousand four hundred paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs, installations and video works. 
In line with the character of the collection, it primarily presents the works of painters of Dubrovnik area from the end of the nineteenth to the beginning of the 21st century. Along with a great number of works by Vlaho Bukovac and Mato Celestin Medović, the founders of Croatian modern painting, the visitor is confronted with works by painters such as Marko Murat, Marko Rašica, Niko Miljan, Ignjat Job, Gabro Rajčević, Ivan Ettore, Josip Colonna, Ivo Dulčić, Antun Masle, Đuro Pulitika, Josip Trostman, Viktor Daldon, Ivan Skvrce and other authors. Furthermore, the exhibition presents classics of Croatian modern art such as, Menci Klement Crnčić, Emanuel Vidović, Miroslav Kraljević, Vladimir Becić, Oskar Herman, Ljubo Babić and Milivoj Uzelac.
As for Croatian painting of the second half of the 20th century, works at the borders of figuration and abstraction are being shown by authors Oton Gliha, Frano Šimunović, Ljubo Ivančić, Edo Murtić.Then there is the Gorgona group (end of the 1950s, early 1960s),  which championed unconventional forms of visual expression; the works of its members Julije Knifer, Josip Vaništa, Marijan Jevšovar and Ivan Kožarić can be seen.Contemporary artists, who made their names on the Croatian art scene in the 1970s and 1980s are represented by Braco Dimitrijević, Željko Jerman, Igor Rončević and Duje Jurić.  The sculpture selection is an organic continuation of the permanent display in the exterior sections of the Museum: it shows the works of Ivan Meštrović, Robert Frangeš-Mihanović, Frano Kršinić, Belizar Bahorić, Ivan Kožarić, Vojin Bakić and Dušan Džamonja.  As part of the presentation of the contemporary Croatian and Dubrovnik scene, ready-made by Split artist Zlatan Dumanić and photo-documentation and part of the ambiance by Dubrovnik multimedia artist Slaven Tolj are exhibited.
The Photograph Collection of the Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik is represented by some of the celebrated Magnum works of Mladen Tudor, by recent photographs of Ivan Kožarić and works of Dubrovnik women artists of the younger generation Mara Bratoš and Ivana Pegan Baće. Photographs dealing with the topic of the war in the Dubrovnik region by Damir Fabijanić are also presented as well as the last shots of the Dubrovnik photographer Pavo Urban, who met a tragic end in the Homeland War. On this occasion, the Musuem of Modern Art Dubrovnik is also presenting two out of three pieces donated to to the collection of the Museum by the world-renowned contemporary Belgian artist Jan Fabre.