Zoran Mušič

18 November 2017 - 15 January 2018

The exhibition at Galleria d'Arte Maggiore g.a.m., curated by Flaminio Gualdoni, traces Zoran  Mušič's research through a rich and considerable group of forty works. These pieces are significant examples of the variety of painting cycles that have made Music an internationally recognized artist: from Dalmatian to Sienese hills, from Venetian "vedute" to the Cathedral interiors, from portraits to horror of the concentration camps with the famous series «Nous ne sommes pas les derniers» realized in the 1970s. The works cover a chronological period of nearly fifty years, from the 1940s to the last creations of the 1990s, allowing us to have a complete and interesting portrait of an artistic research which is still valid today.

Known all over the world and being the protagonist of a unique human and professional story, Galleria d'Arte Maggiore g.a.m. in Bologna is delighted to present a complete retrospective about Zoran Mušič (Boccavizza 1909-Venice 2005), with works from 1945 to 1999 showing all the most important themes of his production. The exhibition path starts with the series of Dalmatian Landscapes, a distinctive cycle for the artist, which is well represented by five works from 1945 to 1966. Fluctuating and hypnotic animals appear from soft and colourful brush strokes, evoking a place with no time and breaking the soft silence of a landscape which goes beyond its morphology to become emotional. Works belonging to this series are part of the permanent collections of famous museums, such as the Centre George Pompidou in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. The exhibition continues with the well knows cycle Nous ne sommes pas les derniers of the 1970s, which deals with Music's imprisonment in the Dachau concentration camp, where he was deported in 1944 by the Nazis. Music himself remembered that tragic experience with these words:  «I learnt to see things in a different way. Even in painting, later, not everything changed. It is not that I rediscovered my happy childhood as a reaction to the horror. The colts, the Dalmatian landscapes, the Dalmatian women were there before as well. But I was able to see everything differently afterwards. After the visions of corpses, trimmed of all outer necessities, of the superfluous, without the mask of hypocrisy and the distinctions men and and society cover themselves with, I believe I discovered and understood the truth – the terrible and tragic truth that I had been able to touch. The Dalmatian landscapes returned, having lost everything excessive and gossipy. Sienese landscapes were added: bare corpses, scarred by inclemency. I needed this great lesson for my painting at least». Music's pictorial language considerably changed after that tragic experience: his tones get darker and essential, his canvases deeply convey the pain and the atrocities suffered by the deportees. Painting belonging to this series have got famous all over the world and today are part of important collections such as the Metropolitan Museum in New York, Holocaust Museum of Jerusalem, Hirshhorn Museum in Washington D.C. and Tate Modern in London. After his liberation, Music moved to Venice where he got married with Ida Barbarigo, of whom there are two portraits from 1982 in the exhibition. This is the period where he got back to freedom, and took part to several editions of the Venice Biennale. In those years, Music worked on landscapes and the themes that were dear to him, like Les femmes des iles (1955), Les filets (1956), as well as the mentioned before the Sienese landscape (1953), the Paysage italien (1974) and the dry Rocky landscapes of the late 1970s. The evolution of Music's art is well represented in this wide and interesting exhibition. Influenced by the Informal art, in the 1960s, he abandoned the three-dimensional rules in favour of an organic motif (Dalmatian landscape 1958 and Dalmatian landscape 1962). Even the beloved Venice is one of the protagonists of his art since the beginning, as it is testified by several paintings showing the Giudecca Canal, La dogana (1981) and a rare Cathedral interior (1984), which are themes he had been dealing with since the 1940s but which were examined more in depth in those years. All Music's life entered in his works with the places and the events that the artist kept on recalling to his mind till the last series of the Self-portraits, started in 1987. For the first time he investigated himself, finding maybe the way to conclude and comprehend his entire production. Zoran Music passed away in Venice on 25 may 2005, but his artistic research is still contemporary today.