In the past 25 years, with sharpened focus and collector’s persistence, Davor Vugrinec has collected some of the capital works of Croatian modern art. The systematic collecting was preceded by the intention to create a collection of national importance that will present a sum of art events in Croatia from the last two decades of the 19th century, through various -isms during the first half of the 20th century to the New Tendencies of the 1970s. Vugrinec gathered a collection that brings a synthesis of Croatian modern art and the story of role models, teachers and those responsible for the reached national artistic level. Our links to events in European centers regularly took part in the latter. The collection includes works by Meštrović, Augustinčić, Stančić, Radauš, Bukovac, Gliha, Vaništa, Kršinić, Crnčić, Medović, Kraljević, Rendić, Plančić, Kožarić and other Croatian artists.
Although it is a non-institutional collection, its organization, professional interpretation and visibility in the public greatly contribute to the affirmation and valorization of Croatian art. The collection has been exhibited several times in Croatia and abroad (at the Art Pavilion in Zagreb, the National Gallery in Ljubljana, the Museum of Fine Arts in Osijek, and elsewhere), and works from the collection are increasingly an integral part of museum and gallery programs. The exhibition of selected works from the Vugrinec Collection in the City Museum of Rijeka after Zagreb, Varaždin, Koprivnica and Osijek was a logical sequence. What makes the Rijeka exhibition special is the large number of creations that have not been exhibited in previous public events of the Vugrinec Collection, which makes the Rijeka exhibition largely unique. Among these creations, the oil painting The Painter by Leo Junek from 1940 stands out. It is one of the milestone works of modern Croatian art, almost lost, and was exhibited at Salon 54 in Rijeka.
The author of the exhibition is Ema Makarun, and the texts in the catalogue are written by Ema Makarun and Zvonko Maković. The exhibition is set up in the “Cube” building of the City Museum of Rijeka.
It is open from September 14 to November 8, 2023.