The Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb

Collections

Richter Collection

The two-storey villa at 38 Vrhovac houses the collection of Vjenceslav Richter and Nada Kareš Richter, a comprehensive exhibition presenting the oeuvre of one of the most prominent Croatian artists from the 1950s and 1960s. Vjenceslav Richter and his wife, Nada Kareš Richter, donated their artworks and their family house to the city of Zagreb in 1980, with the intention of promoting research on Constructivist art and providing a place for young artists to meet, but also in order to improve cultural affairs outside the centre of Zagreb.

In 1998, the Richter Collection, as it is commonly called, was entrusted to MSU for management, since the latter was perceived as an institution systematically presenting artistic movements from the 1920s onwards, beginning with the activity of EXAT 51 in the 1950s, through the international movement of New Tendencies in the 1960s, to present-day forms of art. That was also the beginning of vigorous work on documenting Vjenceslav Richter's art, as well as of close cooperation between the Museum's curators and the artist, which aimed at creating the conditions for opening the collection for the general public. At the initiative of the Museum and the donor, a sculpture park was arranged and the ground floor was altered into an exhibition venue, intended to house a permanent collection of donated artworks. In Spring 2000, the collection was opened to the public, while close cooperation between Vjenceslav Richter and the Museum was continued with further donations made by the artist. In 2007, Nada Kareš Richter donated some valuable archival materials and a library, which is now preserved and documented on the premises of the Collection.

Vjeceslav Richter was a co-founder of EXAT 51, which started its activity in 1951, and he spent his entire creative life investigating the new possibilities of architecture, painting, and sculpture, seeking to achieve a synthesis of all the arts. In the 50s and 60s, he made a number of successful projects for exhibition pavilions - at Brussels, Turin, and Milan - which secured him international fame, after which he worked on designs for museums at Aleppo, Sarajevo, Belgrade, Skopje, and Krapina. In the mid-60s, he launched an extraordinarily original project entitled Synthurbanism, which he further elaborated in the form of a theoretical project called Heliopolis, a four-dimensional megalopolis. In the 70s and 80s, he designed a number of family houses, since they offered him a large amount of freedom in creative expression.

His experiments in the field of visual arts associated him with the international movement of New Tendencies. During that period, he created his cycles Centre i centrije, Sistemske skulpture, Reljefometri, Sistemske grafike, and Prostorne grafike, which originated in his fascination with systems and his interest in the possibility of synthesis in the field of visual arts. In the thirty-odd pieces from his cycle on Spatial Images (Prostorne slike), created in the 1990s, he finally managed to elide the borders between architecture, sculpture, and painting.

The series of artworks in which Richter detached himself from rigid geometrical structure (Spontani crtež, Spontana grafika, Slobodni crtež, and Gravitacijski crtež) were created in the late 70s, and especially in the 80s and 90s.

Today, there are 182 pieces preserved at the Collection, dating to the period from 1964 until 2002, which document all fields of Richter's artistic work, while some of donated artworks are presented on the ground floor of the villa as a permanent collection, as well as in the adjacent sculpture park.

Collection Manager: Vesna Meštrić

e-mail: vesna.mestric@msu.hr

Opening hours: Wednesday/Saturday, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm (for other days, please schedule your visit by calling +385-1-6052 700 or +385-1-37 04 892)



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