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The Collection of Drawings
The Museum's Collection of drawings contains works of Croatian and international authors put together both as guides through the oeuvres of individual authors, and as stand-alone works of art. Many techniques and formats are represented in the Collection, as authors' freedom in establishing the concept of drawing has been accepted long ago. Due to such an attitude, many drawings resemble paintings or graphics, executed in combined techniques (oil, gouache, tempera, watercolour), but always respecting the dominant element to define a drawing, namely, the line.
The oldest drawings in the MMSU Collection date from the 19th century and originate from the Rijeka Tuchtan Collection. Authors were largely closely connected to Rijeka, either by birth or activity (G. Simonetti, A. Angelovich, L. Meynier).
Croatian authors from the 20th century are represented in drawings from the turn of century and by the protagonists of Modernism (S. Raškaj, Lj. Babić, M.C.Crnčić, T. Krizman, M. Kraljević), of Spring salons (M. Trepše, V. Becić, M. Uzelac, S. Šumanović, V. Gecan, E. Tomašević), the Zemlja group (I. Generalić, K. Hegedušić, F. Mraz, D. Gaži), the Exat-51 group (A. Srnec). In the Collection of Croatian drawing, we find many renowned artists' names from the later 20th century, with their varied poetics, expressions, languages and techniques (O. Gliha, I. Lovrenčić, I. Vaništa, F. Kulmer, A. Kinert, D. Džamonja, J. Janda, N. Kavurić-Kurtović, I. Kožarić, F. Vaić, S. Grčko, M. Stipanov...).
From 1968, the Collection has been augmented with works from the International Exhibition of Original Drawing. The goal of this exhibition was valorization and popularization of drawing as an independent and notable discipline, as well as presenting the wide range of approaches and poetics in one place. After these exhibitions, the Collection has received works of various artists through the purchases (J. Jiři, H. Braun, A. Siim Tanel) and donation (E. Moll, L. Saffaro, Jorge Páez Vilaró, R. Kratina, J. M. Iglesias, T. O'Carroll, N. Burwitz, B. Egyedi, M. Balakjian, B. Bailly, R. Otreba, F. Beltran). Work awarded by the Grand prix was by default  retained in the Collection of drawings, as well as many other awarded drawings by purchase from companies and other institutions in Rijeka, later to be donated to the Museum's Collection (for example, Jugolinija, Riječka banka, Jadroagent, Transjug, Rijekatekstil, RSIZ kulture Zagreba, SIZ kulture Rijeka). Artists themselves would occasionally donate their works to the Museum (a dozen works in all), while the largest donation was done in 1995/1996, after the 13th exhibition devoted to designer drawing, when one hundred works were donated. A dozen of drawings by Croatian authors (Lj. Perčinlić, Z. Keser, M. Stipanov, B. Demur, L. Šeler) were donated after the travelling exhibition „Contemporary Croatian drawing“ organized by the Modern Gallery, which was on display in China, Portugal, Slovenia, Croatia and Egypt from 1996 to 1998.
Judged by excellence, irrespective of time, style or technique, we need to emphasize the drawings of M. Kraljević, the work Madman (from Clinic series) by V. Gecan, drawings by M. Uzelac, human figures by. Hegedušić, and also works like Gliha's abstract landscape Dry-Stone Wall, purely linear works by Aleksandar Srnec, geometrical compositions by M. Šutej, comic drawings by A. Maurović or refined designer drawings by N. Fabijanić. As to the international authors, there are drawings by G. Zigaine, J. Ipoustegy, hyper-realistic work by M. Yamana, fragile collage drawing by S. Methapisit, colouristic drawings by J. Messagiero or gestural drawings by O. Debrè, but also the minimalist work by S. Francis and precise designer drawings by E. Sottsass or remarkable vase drawings by B. Šipek.
At the turn from the 20th to the 21st century the variety of techniques, subjects and approaches to drawing has been constantly changed and enriched by new technology, greatly enhanced by computerization integrated into the artistic-drawing sphere. The use of different media in the same work is expanded, so that the drawing transcends classical boundaries of a two-dimensional plane, expanding into a real, three-dimensional exhibition space as a drawing on the wall that lasts as long as the exhibition itself, and then gets deleted as a site-specific work to allow new works, while remaining recorded in the Collection through photo documentation, rather than as an original material work to be saved by the Museum's Collection for the future.
Daina Glavočić, M.A.
Senior Curator

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