The Challenge of Modernity: Zagreb – Vienna in about 1900

The Challenge of Modernity: Zagreb – Vienna in about 1900

Gustav Klimt, Vlaho Bukovac, Ivan Meštrović and protagonists of the Zagreb and Vienna Secession

 The Klovićevi dvori Gallery, Jezuitski trg 4, Zagreb

9 Feb. – 7 May 2017

The exhibition The Challenge of Modernity: Zagreb – Vienna in about 1900 will be the first time works by Secession painters, sculptors and architects from Zagreb and Vienna will be shown together. The exhibition will enable viewers to compare works by Gustav Klimt, Koloman Moser and Karl Moll with works by Vlaho Bukovac, Tomislav Krizman, Ivan Meštrović and many others. It will allow them to make revealing comparisons between architects from Vienna and Zagreb based on works by Otto Wagner, Josef Hofmann and Adolf Loos on the one hand, and Vjekoslav Bastl, Aladar Baranyai and Viktor Kovačić on the other. The exhibition will show the rise of a new generation of women painters who became equal participants in modern changes. Antonija Krasnik and Nasta Rojc studied painting in Vienna, and Slava Raškaj also developed under the influence of Vienna Secession. The different fields of art are used to examine themes shared by cultural life in Vienna and Zagreb at the turn of the century: the meaning of human existence, landscapes instilled with the artist’s subjective experiencing of nature, cafés as new forums for the exchange of ideas, and the portrayal of women as the supreme motif of the period. In the time of gesamtkunstwerk art infused everyday life and united all the facets of human existence: from the interior in which people lived, to the exterior that surrounded them.
Besides drawing attention to similarities in the two cultures, the exhibition will also show what is specific to the fine arts in Zagreb with respect to art life in the Austro-Hungarian capital. How can the muse Alma Mahler be compared with the favourite of the Zagreb theatre audience, Ljerka Šram? How did the Dalmatian Vlaho Bukovac experience Vienna? What contributed to the great success of Ivan Meštrović, and how come that the sculptures he created in Vienna reflected the same anxieties as Klimt’s paintings? It will show strong links, previously unnoticed coincidences, resolve the dilemma of mutual influences and, as fitting for a major project of this kind, show values of the Croatian art heritage in the context of European culture.

Do not miss the chance for a rare meeting with masterpieces from fin-de-siècle Vienna and Zagreb, grab the singular opportunity to experience first-hand the works of one of the greatest artists of the 19th and 20th century, Gustav Klimt! Look under the painted surface and enter the mysterious world of the artist’s soul, the forebodings and joys, despondency and melancholy of man at the dawn of the contemporary age!