There are some artists whose work you’ll go and fawn over no matter how many times you’ve seen it in the past. One such artist is Vlaho Bukovac, a superb Croatian painter who created his best work at the turn of the 20th century.
In 2018, the Klovićevi Dvori gallery in Zagreb launched the ambitious project ‘Vlaho Bukovac in Europe’, an exhibition series dedicated to the great artist, split into several distinctive stages of his life and work.
The first exhibition in the series, titled Vlaho Bukovac in Paris, 1878-1892 and held in 2018, featured the early work of Bukovac, from his amateur beginnings in North America, art school in Paris, occasional work stays in England, as well as short but fruitful stays in the homeland, until he finally returned home for a longer period of time.
The gallery in Zagreb has now announced the second exhibition in the series, titled Roots and Wings: Vlaho Bukovac in Zagreb, Cavtat and Vienna, 1893-1903. The long-awaited exhibition is opening in February 2022 and will thus also mark the hundredth anniversary of Bukovac’s death.
The exhibition is covering the period after Bukovac returned to Zagreb, where he soon became a central figure of the cultural scene and a great mentor to the young generation of artists. His seductive colorism influenced a whole new generation of painters in Zagreb, so much so they became known as the Zagreb School of Colour.
Owing to Bukovac, Zagreb became the region’s leading hotspot for artistic events. It was also the period when the artist was most prolific in terms of his work, as it was Zagreb where, driven by creative enthusiasm, he created some of his best known masterpieces.
Vlaho Bukovac, Gundulic’s Dream (1894)
As a prominent figure on the social scene in Zagreb who often socialised with the intellectual elite, Bukovac portrayed members of distinguished families such as the Vranyczany, Pongrač, Nossan, Miletić, Farkaš, Crnadak and Berger.
The exhibition will also feature an opus created in his native Cavtat between 1899 and 1902. In terms of style, Bukovac reached his creative peak in his hometown, creating some of the most beautiful works of plein-air painting.
He stayed in Cavtat for four years, and later moved to Vienna with his family. His stay in Vienna and the success of his solo exhibition will be crucial for his later move to Prague.
The exhibition will present the life and work of Bukovac in chronological order, providing an in-depth look into numerous events in his life and the role they played in his work.
The works for the exhibition were borrowed from numerous museums and galleries in Croatia and neighbouring countries. We’ll have an opportunity to see paintings that were thus far completely unknown to the public, on loan by private collectors.
Authors of the exhibition: Petra Vugrinec and Lucija Vuković
Co-authors: Iskra Iveljić, Irena Kraševac, Dragan Damjanović i Petar Petrović
Curator: Iva Sudec Andreis
Klovićevi dvori gallery, Zagreb
February 18th – May 22nd, 2022