HIGHLIGHTS
The Collection of Foreign Art
of the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Republic of Srpska
22nd of November 2019 – 1st of March 2020

The opening ceremony of the exhibition Highlights. The Collection of Foreign Art of the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Republic of Srpska will be held on Friday, the 22nd of November at 7.00 p.m. Through this exhibition a successful long-term cooperation between the two museum institutions will be continued. The opening speeches were given by Tijana Palkovljević Bugarski, PhD, the director of the Gallery of Matica Srpska, Sarita Vujković, PhD, the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Republic of Srpska and professor Lidija Merenik, PhD, art historian.

The exhibition was created and presented for the first time to mark 2018, as the European Year of Cultural Heritage, declared as such by European Commission under the slogan ″Our heritage: where the past meets the future″ celebrating Europe’s rich and diverse cultural heritage. The exhibition is staged with the aim of pointing out the importance of the Collection of foreign art and to initiate the promotion of European cultural heritage kept in the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Republic of Srpska.

The Collection holds more than 360 artworks, and through the selected works displayed in this exhibition, it gives an overview of the leading art practice after 1945. Moreover, it indicates the most important artistic phenomena in the European art scene in the time of the Cold War.

The creation of the Collection of foreign art is tightly connected to the Solidarity Campaign of Yugoslavian and world artists that started after the earthquake in Banja Luka in 1969, as an expression of the support for the afflicted city. In that occasion, more than 750 artworks from the territory of former Yugoslavia, Europe and the whole world arrived to Banja Luka and initiated the basis for the establishment of the Museum of Contemporary Art and its first fund of artworks. The Collection was enriched by gifts and donations from the 7th Autumn Salon, an important biennial exhibition, initiated in 1962, which, in its 7th edition, made possible the organization of the First International Salon. This exhibition was held in 1975 in Banja Luka, gathering a great number of European painters, printmakers, sculptors, foremost authors whose art was linked to Paris, connecting therefore artists from China, Japan and other parts of the world. Thanks to donations of the international participants of the Salon who joined the Solidarity Campaign, the Museum of Contemporary Art keeps numerous artworks of famous artist, which are, by their diversity, a great challenge even for an experienced researcher and scientist.

Today, the Collection of foreign art inherit important artworks of European and world artists whose practice marked the European art scene of the second half of the 20th century, such as: Otto Piene, Günther Uecker and Heinz Mack from the art group ″ZERO″, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Hans Hartung, Pierre Alechinsky, Stanley William Hayter, Jean Messagier, Zao Wou – Ki, Yasse Tabuchi, Antonino Virduzzo, Alberto Biasi, Gastone Biggi and many more.

The selection and the display of the exhibition was conducted by prof. Lidija Merenik, PhD, from the Department for Modern Art History in the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade and Žana Vukičević, senior curator of the Museum of the Contemporary Art of the Republic of Srpska.

The exhibition is accompanied by the extensive publication presenting scientific analysis by professor Lidija Merenik, as well as comprehensive biographical data about the artists prepared by Žana Vukičević.

The design of the publication and the visual identity of the exhibition was done by Nemanja Mićević from the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Republic of Srpska.

The realization of the exhibition was supported by Novi Sad City, Administration for Culture and Fondation ″Novi Sad 2021 – European capital of culture″.

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