Juraj Dobrović Exhibition
JELSA: 9th – 15th April 2021
The Juraj Dobrović exhibition is a joint project between the Museum of Fine Arts (Galerija umjetnine) in Split and the Jelsa Municipal Museum. It is a special and unusual exhibition at the two locations, an original idea which came from the artist himself, as his donations of works linked the two institutions and encouraged them to work together.
In 2006, Dobrović donated an impressive collection of 94 of his works to the Split Museum of Fine Arts, followed in 2010 by his gift to Jelsa of the family house in which he was born, complete with its original furniture and over 200 items relevant to cultural history, to which he added a collection of 60 of his own works. The two institutions felt they had a moral duty of gratitude to this generous donor, as well as a professional duty to collate and present this exceptionally valuable artistic collection in an appropriate manner. This led to their decision to join forces in creating an exhibition and catalogue encompassing both donations. The collaboration opened up the possibility of exchanging works, so that both presentations would cover a comprehensive cross-section of Dobrović’s opus.
Art critics confirmed long ago that Dobrović’s work is one of the most significant contributions to the strong field of Croatian geometric and constructivist abstract art in the second half of the 20th century, which started with the activities of the Zagreb EXAT group (link in Croatian) at the beginning of the 1950s,which led to exhibitions of the international artistic movement known as New Tendency in the 1960s and early 1970s.
Abstract art, whether constructivist or expressive in origin, became a symbol of the modernist revolution, a radically embodied idea of artistic autonomy. Although the artistic and ideological context changed, Dobrović persevered in that crowning sphere of modern art. Remaining consistent in his basic artistic and intellectual standpoints, in his visual researches Dobrović was innovative, inventive in practice, and problematically inquisitive. Over half a century, working in series and dedicating himself obsessively to developing certain themes, he produced numerous reliefs, objects, graphic works and paintings, of which many belong within the anthological corpus of Croatian neo-constructivist art.
Juraj Dobrović was born in 1928 in Jelsa to a prominent merchant family, whose members distinguished themselves in creating the cultural identity of their town. His grandfather Juraj and uncle Stjepan Dobrović were among the founders of the Jelsan People’s reading Room in 1868, and another uncle on his mother’s side, Čiro Gamulin, was a legendary teacher at Split’s Boys’ Real High School. Dobrović was educated in Jelsa, Bol, and Split. Although he started out intending to study architecture at Zagreb University, he took his degree in the Economics Faculty in 1956, followed by studies in art history at the Philosophy Faculty in 1961. Apart from exhibitions of the international New Tendency movement, he also participated in prestigious exhibitions abroad, such as the 1972 Venice Biennale and the 1973 São Paulo Biennale. His works are to be found in Croatian and well-known European and world museums, as well as in private collections.
Due to current Covid restrictions there will not be an opening party for this exhibition, which will start from Friday 9th April. You are invited to view it in the Jelsa Museum at the following opening times:
Friday 17:00 – 20:00
Saturday 10:00 – 13:00
Sunday 10:00 – 13:00 / 17:00 – 20:00
Thursday 10:00 – 13:00