Poet’s Entertainment: Božidar Rašica, from the MMSU collection


Horizons, 08/07 – 13/08/2022

Quarry, 18/08 – 17/09/2022

MMSU continues to promote its collections by organizing larger and smaller exhibitions. This time it is the visual artist, architect and set designer Božidar Rašica (1912–1992), and the occasion is the 110th anniversary of his birth and the 30th anniversary of his death. The exhibition presents works from the specialized Božidar Rašica Collection, which were last exhibited in 2007 in Mali Salon, and in 2009 at the Museum of Fine Arts in Osijek. It is conceived as a dual exhibition with an interchangeable display. The exhibition brings together about forty works from the above said Collection, which was founded by a donation eighteen years ago. Most of the works have not been exhibited so far, and this is their first presentation as part of a study exhibition.

The first part of the exhibition has a comparative character and brings together Rašica’s abstract and figurative works with the theme of horizon and the composition of horizontal lines, such as those found in coastal, Istrian and Dalmatian motifs. The second part contains elements of an art chronicle and includes paintings with sketches that preceded them. This part is dedicated to one of Rašica’s favorite toponyms, the quarry in Vrsar (Istria). We present works in various techniques – gouache, tempera, pastels, felt-tip pen, created in the period from the 1950s to the 1980s. The exhibition follows the dual character inherent to Rašica’s artistic activity, between tradition and experimentation, formalism and innovative solutions, showing works close to the concept of EXAT 51, as well as classical landscapes that the artist painted all his life. We also explore the possibilities of presenting conventional works, which were rarely exhibited in the past but make up a large part of the museum’s collection. We decided on an atmospheric display, with Rašica’s set design concepts as the guiding principle, as his set design achievements are directly related to his painting. In this sense, we primarily refer to the affirmation of the relationship of colors, which go beyond the neutral palette that serves only to potentiate and rhythmize the surfaces – instead, color is an active participant of the exhibition. Regardless of their artistic disparity, the exhibited works are quite interesting as they celebrate the long-standing painting tradition related to the sea and waterfront, where man becomes insignificant compared to the elements of water and air, earth and fire. As the artist himself said in his youth: The sun, the light, the intense light, the horizon, the colors, the shapes, the walls, the city, the streets, it all excited my imagination.

Curators: Ksenija Orelj, Diana Zrilić

Designers: Ana Tomić & Marino Krstačić Furić

Photo: Božidar Rašica, Sun, 1989, MMSU-3592