Nadežda Petrović: The Modern, the National and Her Slovenian Colleagues

12. 05. 2023 – 09. 07. 2023

The exhibition of Nadežda Petrović and her Slovenian colleagues focuses on the early developments of modern art in Central and Southeast Europe. Nadežda Petrović was a versatile artist and personality who was active in the fields of painting, art criticism, photography, education, women’s emancipation, and with topical political as well as national issues; she was therefore actively involved in the social and artistic processes at the beginning of the 20th century, while she aimed to directly influence them with constant struggle for the progress of society and humanity. Furthermore, she was one of the few European female artists who active and successful in the period 1900-1915. The exhibition in Galerija Božidar Jakac – Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art showcases her extensive body of work in dialogue with her Slovenian colleagues, companions and contemporaries, who are nowadays known as the central figures of Slovenian Impressionism.

Nadežda Petrović was one of the key figures of early modernism, both in Serbia as well as in the wider area of Southeast Europe. In the period leading up to the World War One, she was a vocal supporter of the idea of unification the South Slavic ethnic groups in one state (Yugoslavia). In doing so, she also had counterparts in the generation of artists that we know nowadays as Slovenian Impressionists. In her creative practice, she followed various styles and movements of the time; first she worked under influence of academic realism, then Impressionism, and later on she adopted the impulses of Fauvism and German Expressionism. In her work, one can to follow a development from the Munich period, when she depicted local landscapes and peoples, impressionist episodes and national narratives, to the works that created in Paris, when she probably reached the peak of her own art practice with the predominance of visual features over ideological content.

The exhibition showcases 94 paintings by Nadežda Petrović, which are put in constructive dialogue with 30 paintings by Slovenian artists such as Anton Ažbe, Ivan Grohar, Matija Jama, Matej Sternen, Rihard Jakopič and Ferdo Vesel. The art works are from various museums and collections: National Museum of Serbia, Museum of Contemporary Art (Belgrade), Nadežda Petrović Art Gallery (Čačak), Pavel Beljanski Memorial Collection, Galerija Matice Srpske (Novi Sad), National Gallery of Slovenia, Museum of Modern Art, Museum and galleries of Ljubljana, National Museum (Ljubljana), Krka Art Collection, d.d. (Novo mesto).

The travelling exhibition began at the National Museum of Serbia in Belgrade, the second edition is the exhibition at Galerija Božidar Jakac, and then the tour continues to the Museum of Contemporary Art RS in Banja Luka, Nadežda Petrović Art Gallery in Čačak and Contemporary Art Gallery in Niš (in collaboration with Art Colony Sićevo).

The exhibition Nadežda Petrović: The Modern, the National and Her Slovenian Colleagues is a result of collaboration with National Museum of Serbia from Belgrade and National Gallery of Slovenia from Ljubljana.

Curators: dr. Lidija Merenik, dr. Andrej Smrekar

Photo: Kaja Selko

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