Ties - Zagreb Academy of Fine Arts and Slovenian Artists Between the World Wars
National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
20 April – 20 June 2021
curators: dr. Asta Vrečko and Dajana Vladisavljević

The exhibition Ties - Zagreb Academy of Fine Arts and Slovenian Artists Between the World Wars is the result of cooperation between the National Museum of Modern Art in Zagreb, the Božidar Jakac Gallery in Kostanjevica na Krki and the Zagreb Academy of Fine Arts.

Centuries-old contacts between Slovene and Croatian artists intensified with the establishment of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. As a cultural and educational center, Zagreb was the only city in the newly formed country that had an art academy. At that time, the Academy was headed by the sculptor Ivan Meštrović, one of the most famous artists of that period, and the Academy itself was able to compete with similar European institutions with its educational programs. In the period between the two world wars, almost a hundred Slovene artists studied there, who were painters, sculptors, scenographers, art pedagogues, cultural figures, theorists and also professors at the later established Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana. Lasting friendships were formed between artists, former professors and students, which helped shape pre-war and post-war cultural and artistic life.

Under the curatorial eye of dr. Aste Vrečko (Božidar Jakac Gallery) and Dajana Vlaisavljević (National Museum of Modern Art) the exhibit holds a hundred paintings, sculptures and graphics by the most famous Slovenian artists, former students of the Zagreb Academy of Fine Arts, among others: Gabrijel Stupica, Zoran Didek, France Gorše, Zdenko Kalin, Maks Kavčič, Karel Jirak, Miha Maleš, Franc Mihelič, Zoran Mušič, Ludvik Pandur, Franc Pavlovec, Nikolaj Pirnat, Marij Pregelj and Maksim Sedej. Some of the works were already exhibited in Zagreb during the interwar period and will be presented to the Zagreb public again after the 80 years. The works of Slovenian artists can be seen in parallel with the works of their Croatian colleagues and then professors Ljubo Babić, Vladimir Becić, Ivan Meštrović, Krsto Hegedušić, Marin Tartaglija and others. The exhibition sheds light on the mutual influences, connections and cooperation of Slovenian and Croatian artists and draws attention to some well-known key issues that interested artists of that period, such as the issue of national artistic expression or engaged art.

In addition to works from the collection of the National Museum of Modern Art in Zagreb and the Božidar Jakac Gallery, the exhibition will also feature works from fifteen other public collections from Slovenia and Croatia and from several private collections and archives of the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. Maribor Art Gallery lent eleven works of art and studies for the exhibition.

An extensive catalog was also published at the exhibition.