The Demon of Modernity Visionary Painters at the Dawn of the Last Century
June 30 – July 26, 2015
The exhibition is the outcome of a collaborative effort by the Pinacotheca of the Accademia dei Concordi of Rovigo, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Padova, Italian Institute for the Culture in Zagreb and the Modern Gallery, which, in its first presentation from February 14 to June 14, 2015, in Rovigo greatly impressed the international public and Italian art critics. In the Palazzo Roverella, one of the most attractive exhibition palaces of the Veneto region, among several dozen artworks by European painters of the turn of the 19th and 20thcentury, 17 masterpieces of Croatian artists were also presented, mainly from the holdings of the MG. Worth pointing out is that in this curatorial project of Giandomenico Romanelli, distinguished Italian fine arts theoretician, the paintings of Vlaho Bukovac, Bela Čikoš Sesija, Mirko Rački, Gabrijel Jurkić and Ignjat Job, as well as of other Croatian artists, were for the first time placed within the general context of European art and that their work was appreciated and presented at the exhibition as a first-rate contribution to the Central European segment of Symbolism.
The Zagreb version of the exhibition, presented in the Modern Gallery in a more succinct range of exhibits and a smaller catalogue, as well as giving an insight into the artistic production at the turn of the century from the north to the south of Europe also shows some sixty superlative works of painting that mirror the lush sensitivity of the fin de siècle and touch the soul deeply with their settings of disquietude, of the conscious and the unconscious, of demonic and angelic forces. In a word, exhibited along with the apocalyptic and celestial visions of Croatian painters from the beginning of the “short century”, in six rooms of the first floor of the Modern Gallery, are the prints of Odilon Redon of 1890 illustrating the works of Baudelaire and Flaubert; the aquatints of Marc Chagall from the series Seven Deadly Sins (1926), a Paul Klee pastel from the Weimar years marked by the introspective painting-drawings of his own interior and by his work as head of the Bauhaus painting workshop; the fascinating oils of the Lithuanian Mikalojus K. Čiurlionis; the Germans Franz von Stuck and Sacha Schneider, the Italians Alberto Martini, Bartolomeo Sacchi, Gennaro Favai and a number of other works that have been lent for this exhibition from prestigious private and museum collections in Italy, Germany and Lithuania.