Celebrating 100 years since the birth of Edo Murtić - the great Croatian abstract painter


Home of the Croatian Society of Fine Artists (HDLU)/ Meštrović Pavilion
Trg žrtava fašizma 16, Zagreb
5/25 - 7/18 2021


The Murtić 100 project marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Edo Murtić  a great of the Croatian modern art.


The project comprises the eponymous exhibition by curator Branko Franceschi, Director of the National Museum of Modern Art, which will be held at the Home of the Croatian Association of Fine Artists (Meštrović Pavilion) in Zagreb from May 25 to July 18, 2021  and will include more than 100 iconic works by the great Edo Murtić. The project also involves a number of other events, including the international symposium Gesture and Freedom, to be held in Zagreb and Rovinj in June of 2021, the exhibition New Abstraction in Lauba - House for People and Art from 1 to 10 June 2021, as well as a number of accompanying events (reinterpretation of Murtić through street-art at several locations in Zagreb, workshops for children and adults, guided tours, child-friendly guided tours with accompanying working materials and sign language tours, workshops on the creation of tactile images to bring art closer to blind and partially sighted persons, etc.).




5/25 - 7/18 2021

Through chronological and thematic units, conceived for individual venues, the exhibition presents the thematic, formal and technical diversity of Murtić's oeuvre, characterized by curator Branko Franceschi as "an artist who, with his variation of gestural abstraction, was a leading figure of regional high modernism who became the most influential and the well-known painter of the second half of the 20th century in Croatia and Yugoslavia."

The Bačva Gallery presents works that have remained in the collective memory as paradigmatic works of art of certain trajectories of high modernism, and puts emphasis on dynamic colorism as a fundamental hallmark of Murtić's creative approach. In the PM Gallery, the curator decided to show Murtić's activist cycles - dedicated to anti-war themes, which directly points to Murtić's significance as a prominent and influential cultural figure, an unwavering advocate for democratic and anti-totalitarian principles, while the Prsten Gallery presents other cycles from Murtić's body of work, done in other techniques - gouache, monumental compositions in ceramics, enamel and mosaic, as well as landscapes and cityscapes, which marked all six decades of his work.

The exhibition is accompanied by art workshops for 4 age groups: 5-8, 10-15, 15+ and 55+.





1-10 June, 2021


The New Abstraction exhibition presents a significant portion of Murtić's oeuvre, created in the late stages of his work, and is accompanied by a music program directed by composer and multi-instrumentalist Mako Murtić, grandson of Edo Murtić, which will include ten musicians from the new regional experimental and alternative scene as well as musical guests Darko Rundek and Damir Urban. Art workshops will be organized in addition to the exhibition and music program.


Goranka Vrus-Murtić, wife of Edo Murtić, says that these works are some of her favorites. These large formats, bursting with the power of a gesture characteristic of Murtić, were made for an exhibition in the Art Pavilion in 2005. "Edo painted the last paintings with full vigor, strength and concentration. So, the exhibition was not a kind of memento. Rather, it was an arranged exhibition and I experienced it as such, as a continuation of life and creation. I did not experience it as a moment of sadness." GVM Exhibition in Zadar, 2014



Hotel Westin and other venues

Organized by: National Museum of Modern Art

8 June - 13 June 2021

In addition to marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great Edo Murtić, the symposium also celebrates the 60th anniversary of the exhibition Contemporary Art from the USA, which was held at the Modern Gallery in Zagreb in 1961. The curator of the exhibition was Harvard Arnason, and it shows the works of 33 of the most prominent representatives of American abstract expressionism.

The key idea of the (rather utopian) symposium is based on the understanding that in the political context of socialist Yugoslavia the free gestures of artists introduced a visual language of abstract expressionism and symbolized social emancipation towards a more democratic society. The aim of the symposium is to contextualize Murtić's oeuvre within this era.



Maksimirska ulica, Vlaška ulica and Prilaz baruna Filipovića

Organized by: Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb

May - June 2021

In collaboration with the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, artists Grgur Akrap, Fedor Fischer and Danko Friščić, together with 20 students from the Academy of Fine Arts, will reinterpret Murtić's art with mural paintings at 3 different locations in Zagreb. The aim of the activity is to find new appreciation for Murtić with the younger generation of artists as well as to create a lasting reminder of the exhibition for the general public in public space, with a positive contribution to the community.


Edo Murtić (Velika Pisanica, 1921 - Zagreb, 2005) marked and formed the cultural life of Croatia and the region in the second half of the 20th century with his painting oeuvre and strong artistic personality. He attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, and classes given by Petar Dobrović in Belgrade. He held his first solo exhibition in Zagreb in 1935. During World War II, he joined the anti-fascist movement, when he acquired values that he would nurture and express in his artistic and cultural work for the rest of his life. Murtić's early figurative painting, owing to a continuous evolution inspired by, among other things, his study trips to France, Italy and the USA and contacts with the world's leading post-war artists, gradually transformed into a special variation of abstract painting with expressive gestures, a lyrical charge and strong colorism. With his unique and recognizable painting style, he created one of the most influential oeuvres of high modernism in Southeast Europe. His 1953 exhibitions in Zagreb and Belgrade were among the first solo exhibitions to present elements of abstract art in the socialist world. Edo Murtić held more than three hundred solo and as many group exhibitions on all continents, including notable showings at the Venice Biennale. His works are present in most representative public and private collections around the world. In addition to a rich painting oeuvre, Murtić's work includes theater set design, murals, mosaics, enamel, sculptures and ceramics. He is the recipient of numerous major domestic and foreign awards and recognitions. He lived and worked in Zagreb and Vrsar.

TICKETS for the exhibition can be purchased at the box office of Meštrović's pavilion and on-line via the ENTRIO system.