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EXHIBITIONS · Gallery Dulčić Masle Pulitika

 



 

PAVO URBAN (1968 – 1991) _ SCENES OF DARKNESS

Dulčić Masle Pulitika Gallery
16.11. – 12.12.2021.
Curator: Petra Golušić

The Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik marks thirty years since the death of Pava Urban and thirty years since the attack on Dubrovnik. It is a presentation of twenty-three works by artists documenting the reality of war and which are part of the Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art. The exhibition Scenes of Darkness features the last twelve photographs of Urban taken on December 6, 1991, during the fiercest attack on Dubrovnik, in which a young photographer lost his life. The exhibition includes the documentary Photography in Croatia _ Pavo Urban (1968 - 1991) made in 2003.
The shots express the truth with aesthetic quality and sharpness of insight. Fineness and harmony are embodied in scenes of darkness that Urban photographs masterfully and extremely bravely. Scenes of the horrors of war are recorded by a balanced structure of light and framing in which _ harmony, order, and proportion are formed. The author filmed suffering, destruction, fear, despair, destruction, death... Pavo Urban simply witnessed _ terrible pain. 

IN THE SALON, 1991

silver print

PORAT GORI II. 1991.
silver print

 


‘Photographing Stradun in a perspective from at position at Vrata od Ploče down to the Vrata od Pile with marvellous intuition he was able to determine the frame in which the biggest drama of last-century’s Dubrovnik was to unfold.  Nothing happens in the first shot; we see just the city, that gloomy December morning.  But in the next shot, hell has broken loose, at the end of Stradun there is fire and an explosion that rattles both city and camera. Urban, totally composed, went on following the events and ignoring the danger, with careful framing, documented their development in a sequence of 12 shots.  In the last black and white photograph he seems to have been embracing the whole of the city in farewell.  In a picture taken between two explosions all the places that make up the idea of Dubrovnik are taken in: on the left hand side of the frame is the edge of the bell tower, the axis of the city’s space. On the right, the Sponza, the acme of its architecture. There is the church of St Blaise, patron of the city, and Stradun, its most vital artery.  Finally, in the very centre, the Orlando Column, monument to the legendary liberator, a place that sublimates Liberty, and its synonym, a guiding motif throughout history. After this condensed and comprehensive shot, in the immediate vicinity the next shell exploded, a fragment from which fatally wounded Pavo Urban.’ (Antun Maračić) 

 

      

 

LAST IMAGES _ DUBROVNIK, 6 XII 1991
7 colour photographs, digital print from original colour slides

 

     

LAST IMAGES _ DUBROVNIK, 6 XII 1991

5 black & white photographs, digital print from original negatives

 

 

BIOGRAPHY
PAVO URBAN (Dubrovnik 1968 – Dubrovnik 1991)
Pavo Urban was educated at the Maritime Secondary School and the Maritime Faculty in Dubrovnik. Self-taught, he started photographing in secondary school, and was a member of the Marin Getaldić (Dubrovnik) photographic club. In September 1991 he won entrance into the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb, film and TV camera department, but never started the course, deciding to stay in wartime Dubrovnik instead. As early as September 29, 1991, he was on the front line in Župa Dubrovačka, and here started his wartime photographic oeuvre (rat-art / war-art). When Župa Dubrovačka fell, he returned to Dubrovnik and started working as war reporter for Dubrovački vjesnik and Slobodna Dalmacija as war reporter. It was in this capacity that he recorded the first shell to land on the historical city centre on October 26, 1991. The Ministry of Information of the Republic of Croatia recruits him into a special documentation and information unit with the task of photographing and filming the war destruction and suffering of Dubrovnik. He carried out his job very conscientiously and systematically. In the early morning of December 6, 1991, he began to photograph the fiercest assault on the city. On this date, at the end of the dramatic series of 12 photographs shown here, he was killed, in the twenty third year of his life. Pavo Urban is a cult name in Croatian photography and one of the symbols of wartime Dubrovnik.




THE FRAGILITY AND STRENGHT OF A WOMAN – selection of sculptures from the collection of the Museum of modern art Dubrovnik

Duration: 19.3.2021. - 30.5.2021.
Curator: Andrea Batinić

Sophisticated, sensible and elegant sculptures of women, girls and their bodies in the works of Croatian sculptors represented at the recent exhibition speak fully from a perspective of perception, but from narration too.
The delicate, linear structures of female bodies possess clearly-stated metaphorical- symbolic meanings. Their bodies seem to derive from the anthroposophy of Rudolf Steiner, and these are: physical, ethereal, astral and spiritual bodies. Female structures in their interpretation are in certain states. These are lonely and anxious women, almost static and simple in a kind of a minimal movement, drawn into some oneiric inner world of theirs. Imposted female figures of a young, sensual body are naked and asthenic, with the emphasized erotic corporeality. With their self-denial, purity, sensuality and fragility they unite the fundamental female essence – her inner strength; the strength that keeps her going on even when she is not capable to do so; the energy and the beating state of mind with which she maintains self-control even when it is most difficult for her and when she is overwhelmed by the fear of the unknown and the unpredictable.


The different stylistic and discursive affiliation of the exhibited sculptures, as well as the individual approaches to the theme, overlapping in certain segments, and united in the unique exhibited collection, make the former interesting and dynamic. The opus of the selected sculptures exudes special aura of ethereal radiation, although their basic effect is very much autonomous and core monumental. The surface of the sculptures is simple but layered, vulnerably exposed in a certain way but warm at the same time, it attracts and does not repel with these, and it is not cold as it often is in its smoothness and sharpness. The sculptures are liberated from the flat narration, while the power of expression finds its foothold in the composition (movement, eroticism). The depictions of women and the female body almost burst with different degrees of emotion and passion, and act on us with its meditative purity and noble innocence of the spirit that emanates from them.

The depictions of women and the female body in the works of Ivan Lozica are expressive, erotically naturalistic and they incline to the feminine sensibility, tenderness and a kind of spirituality that permeate each of his sculptures. The artist's true gift resulted in a rare expressiveness, purity of vision, melodic modelling and unwavering staticity of his figures.
There is so much immanent beauty and tightness in that „ feminine note“ that the ideas of purism and reduction are just being imposed. The reduction of form and beauty of pure lines is also visible in the sculpture „Concern“ of Frano Krsinic which in an elegant manner simplifies female figure with a tendency toward symbolic expression which simultaneously expresses the woman's fragility and strength. Thematically, dimensionally and volumetrically, the female figure of Djordje Oraovac is similarly treated, which achieves the harmony and elegance of the line with simple transitions, bulges and depressions. With the special sense of harmony and beauty, Nikola Njiric embodies the eroticism of form in a bronze sculpture of a woman’s torso with visible, reduced and purified elements, thus approaching the modern understanding of the sculptural form. In his „Female planter“, Robert Franges Mihanovic synthesized realistic, secessionist, symbolic artistic expression. The woman in the bent position, in addition to being performed in a realistic manner with accentuated lines, is also fixed as much in the morphological as in the psychological form. The naked female statues of Kosta Angela Radovani exude full, mature curves of cubist shapes, robustly executed with unwavering staticity and fluid frontality. With the refined sense of simple, organic mass of concise artistic details, he synthesizes his figures by which he expresses a woman's strength and power.

 



MATO CELESTIN MEDOVIĆ
Exhibition marking the centenary of artist’s death
/from the MOMAD collection

Duration: 22.10.2020.-31.1.2020.
Curator: Rozana Vojvoda


South-westerly, around 1906., oil on cardboard

The Collection of Dubrovnik Museum of Modern Art holds thirty-four works1 by Mato Celestin Medović – on the whole portraits, some works with religious subjects, and landscapes, as well as various sketches and studies. Some of the works from the collection are reckoned to be among the finest that Medović created. The generic diversity that characterises Medović’s works in the Museum of Modern Art in Dubrovnik reflects, in fact, something that has never been sufficiently accentuated – that Medović was an artist who produced works of great quality in various fields of activity – in history painting, and in the religious, portrait and landscape genres.

Rozana Vojvoda


Motif from Pelješac, 1906. – 1908., oil on cardboard

BIOGRAPHY

Mato Celestin Medović was born on November 17, 1857 in Kuna, a village on the peninsula of Pelješac. After a year of education at the Franciscan Monastery of Our Lady of Loreto (Delorita) on Pelješac, in 1868 he left for the monastery of the Minorites in Dubrovnik, where he entered the novitiate. There, he started doing drawings and painting in oil, and in 1880 went off to study painting in Italy. He had private lessons in Rome from 1880 to 1882 (Ludwig Seitz, Francesco Grandi), and then from 1883 to 1884 in Florence (Antonio Ciseri). In 1886 he returned to Dubrovnik, but aware of the shortcomings of his incomplete training in 1888 he went to the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich (his teachers were Gabriel Hackl, Ludwig Löfftz and Aleksandar Wagner). The three last years spent in the class of Wagner left the deepest trace from this period, in the spirit of the decorative historical compositions of Karl Piloty. He spent 1893 to 1894 in Dubrovnik and Kuna, and left the order. After Munich, his conception for the making of religious paintings underwent fundamental modifications. Details of setting were rejected, and the paintings were dominated by the monumental figures of the saints. He spent 1895 to 1907 in Zagreb, where under the influence of the plein air thinking and rich colourism of Vlaho Bukovac he changed his brushstroke and invigorated his colours. He is the first of the modern Croatian painters to have emancipated still life as a freestanding subject, which also goes for landscape, which he mainly painted on Pelješac, in plein air, with a bright scale of pure colours. This new visual expression was transferred also to the historical compositions, to paintings with religious subjects and portraits. In 1908 when he returned to his native Kuna, a new period in the painting of Celestin Medović started, forming what is called the Pelješac phase, interrupted by a brief period in 1912 to 1914 when he lived in Vienna. In this period he painted almost entirely landscapes, abounding in the bright southern light and in vigorous colours, with which he made his greatest contribution to Croatian painting. Mato Celestin Medović died on January 20, 1920, in Sarajevo.


Holy Trinity (sketch for a fresco), 1899., oil on canvas

 


 

The Dulčić Masle Pulitika Gallery

Located opposite Dubrovnik Cathedral and alongside the Rector’s Palace, at the address Držićeva poljana 1, opened in 1997 as a memorial space to American diplomat Ronald Brown who perished in an aircraft crash on just before he was due to visit Dubrovnik in 1996, the Dulčić/Masle/Pulitika Gallery is devoted on the second and third floors of the building to an exhibition venue of the institution the Dubrovnik Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. The works of the painters Dulčić, Masle and Pulitika that are the trademark of these premises are exhibited between exhibitions of other artists. Hence on the first floor, the year 2013 saw the establishment of a permanent display of the works of the three distinguished Dubrovnik painters: Ivo Dulčić (1916-1975), Antun Masle (1919-1967) and Đuro Pulitika (1922-2006). Although there are no formal links among them, what joins these painters together, apart from a dominant feeling for picturality is their powerful creative expression. Dulčić’s personality is exceptional in the rapid brushstrokes and refinement of texture; in Masle’s manner of painting the thick applications of paint are similar to the child’s drawing; Pulitika’s saturated colour triumphs in its flat monumentality. On the second floor of this exhibition space there are constantly changing temporary exhibitions, showing artists and themes of various origins, attention always being paid, however, to the high quality of the exhibits and the accompanying materials (exhibition catalogues).

The second floor of the Dulčić/Masle/Pulitika Gallery allows access to the not very distant third exhibition space of the Dubrovnik Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, the Pulitika Studio. In the in situ space in which that painter distinguished by the vigour of his colour Đuro Pulitika for many years had his working space and in which he exhibited his works to a stream of visitors, in 2013 a faithfully recreated studio was opened, complete with paintings; in the larger, front part of this space within the Dubrovnik defensive walls is an exhibition space for temporary exhibitions.