Opening of an exhibition Adriatic epopee. Ivan Meštrović

2017-07-24, 6:00 p.m.
July 24 (Monday), 6:00 p.m.
Opening of the exhibition Adriatic Epopee. Ivan Meštrović

Free entrance

Ivan Meštrović (1883–1962) is the greatest Croatian artist of the 20th century and one of the most important Central European artists to have attained world renown. This is evidenced by the reception of Meštrović’s works in European countries and the United States, where he was the first living artist to be honoured with a retrospective show in the New York Metropolitan Museum. He developed a unique method of combining architecture with urban planning, antique and Byzantine heritage with Modernism, or Slavonic and Balkan culture with Mediterranean civilisation. His art is intertwined with politics and it reflects many dramatic challenges faced by Central European artists in the 20th century: he studied with Friedrich Ohmann in Vienna; he belonged to the Vienna Secession; he created his major works in his native Dalmatia; the elderly Rodin saw a brilliant continuator of his genius in him; he was socially and politically active in the most turbulent periods of European history – during World War I and the breakup of the Austro‑Hungarian monarchy (he was a member of the Yugoslav Committee); during World War II (he was imprisoned by the Ustaše in Zagreb) and the establishment of the communist regime; in 1946 he emigrated to the United States, where he was offered a professorship in sculpture at the Syracuse University, and then the University of Notre Dame; and in the 1990s, during the war in the former Yugoslavia, his works in the Dalmatian Zagora were deliberately destroyed. Meštrović is a creator of large sculptural works – iconic for Croatian culture – creations combining sculpture with architecture (Avala near Belgrade, Split, Lovćen, Otavice, Cavtat) and sculptural urban projects (Split, Zagreb, Chicago, Bucharest, Warsaw [not implemented]). This is the first presentation of Meštrović’s works – and at the same time of Croatian art of this rank – in Poland. The exhibition is being mounted in cooperation with the Muzeji Ivana Meštrovicia: Galerija Meštrović in Split and Atelijer Meštrović in Zagreb.
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