The Istrian art scene from the 90’s till today: brief review
During the 80s’ the art scene in Istria was dominated by postmodernism, under the influence of European and global trends, that produced a core of well-recognized artists.
The period from the 90s’ till presents days has been characterized by a decomposition of artistic practices and the absence of a dominant artistic flow, also due the neo-conceptualistic influence, that led to a gradual overlook of the traditional methods and turned the interest to other methods such as photography, video, installations, performance, or to an altered use of traditional artistic techniques.
From the relatively large number of artists who work in Istria and, in one way or another, shape the art scene of the Region Istria (the Croatian Association of Visual Artists in Istria as a professional association counts around 170 members), a certain number (about 20 of them) have also been very active on the national scale. These artists have participated in the 1990’s and in 2000 at important exhibitions of the contemporary Croatian visual art such as the Biennale of young artists ( Zagreb ) and Zagreb Salon. They have also participated in the custodian anthologies of the Croatian contemporary art such as: New Croatian Art (Zagreb, Modern Gallery, 1993); “Tell a story” ( Zagreb , Museum of Contemporary Art , 2001); and “Here Tomorrow” ( Zagreb , Museum of Contemporary Art , 2002).
It is important to say that some Istrian artists have been awarded at the above mentioned exhibitions that can be considered as relevant indicators of the system of values, and were on several occasions recognised as the most important representatives of the Croatian visual art. The proof is the fact that some of them were invited to participate on the most prestigious world exhibitions (e.g. Biennale in Venice ).
Although art galleries in Istria still lack necessary requirements for quality exhibitions of contemporary visual art, single Galleries and individuals involved in the organization of art projects have been working very hard within their organizational, technical, financial and other limits, to bring the contemporary Istrian visual art, as well as Croatian and international visual art (on a smaller scale though) to the Istrian audience on a regular basis. We have to mention: City Gallery in Labin; Galleries Luka and Anex in Pula (HDLU Istra and MMC Luka); Gallery Rovinj Heritage Museum (Small and Big Gallery and the St. Thomas church); the Small Gallery; the Zucatto Gallery and the Istrian Assembly Hall in Poreč (Open University in Poreč); the Rigo Gallery in Novigrad; the Dante Marino Cettina Gallery in Umag, etc.
Among the more extensive visual art exhibition projects in Istria in the last two decades, we have to mention the constant vast custodian projects organized by the Croatian Association of Visual Artists in Istria (e.g. „Iskorak“; „Multimeridijan“; „Put u nepoznato“; „Mapping of the City“…); the traditional Annale in Poreč organized by the PUO Poreč; Cinemania(c) organized by the MMC Luka; and in more recent times projects of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Istria (that is being founded) („Tu smo“) and the custodian exhibitions during the Festival Jadran Polis Europa etc.
Moreover, the quality and the uniqueness of contemporary Istrian visual art comes also from a series of smaller projects such as: the one-day exhibitions in Šikuti and in Villa of Rovinj (Studio Golo Brdo); artistic colonies such as the visual art colony “Riviera” that takes place in Poreč, or the Mediterranean sculpture symposium in Dubrova near Labin; and through projects by corporate companies such as the Adris gallery in Rovinj (mostly oriented to presenting the Croatian modern art).
Despite the fact that over the years some of the museums and galleries present in the Region have collected artwork from different contemporary authors of Istria and Croatia (the collection of contemporary Croatian painting in the Heritage Museum in Rovinj stands out as an example of that), we note, however, the need to organize a more systematic and ambitious acquisition of valuable artwork created over the last two decades. Therefore, we hope that this will be one of the main activities of the recently founded Istrian Museum of Contemporary Art.
When we talk about projects intended to present the Istrian contemporary art outside the Istrian region we have to highlight the activities carried out by the Rigo gallery and its manager Jerica Ziherl (projects „Istrian blue“, „Contemporary Istrian art“, „New Croatian Art“ etc.), then Mladen Lučić’s projects ( e.g. „Iskorak“, „Here we are“ etc.), and Branka Benčić’s custodian projects („Rooms“, „Mapping of the city“ etc.).
- HDLU Istre , 52100 Pula
- Art centar galerija/udruga , 52000 Pazin
- Batana – Centar vizualnih umjetnosti , 52210 Rovinj
- Blok – udruga za kulturu i umjetnost , 52210 Rovinj
- Bubamara d.o.o , 52100 Pula
- Caffe-galerija Downtown , 52220 Labin
- Cvajner d.o.o. / Galerija Cvajner , 52100 Pula
- Don Luka Kirac , 52203 Medulin
- Društvo likovnih stvaratelja Pazin , 52000 Pazin
- Ferlin d.o.o. , 52100 Pula
- Fundacija Miroslav Šutelj , 52424 Motovun
- Galerija Alvona , 52220 Labin
- Galerija Fonticus – Grožnjan , 52 429 Grožnjan
- Galerija Klovićevi dvori , 10000 Zagreb
- Galerija Marin , 52470 Umag
- Galerija Marino Cetina , 52470 Umag
- Galerija Megaron , 52100 Pula
- Galerija Milotić , 52100 Pula
- Galerija Sybilla , 54240 Buzet
- Lila – studio za vizualno stvaralaštvo , 52220 Labin
- Mediteranski kiparski simpozij , 52220 Labin
- Međunarodna likovna kolonija Medulin 1997 , 52100 Pula
- Muzej suvremene umjetnosti Istre , 52 100 Pula
- ROS dizajn studio d.o.o. , 52203 Medulin
- Stožer , 52100 Pula
- Studio Documentum , 52210 Rovinj
- Studio Gobbo d.o.o. , 52429 Grožnjan
- Studio Golo brdo , 52210 Rovinj
- Studio Web art , 52475 Savudrija
- Studio za fotografiju Foto duga , 52210 Rovinj
- Studio za vizualno stvaralaštvo Lila , 52220 Labin
- Umjetnička udruga Cavae romanae , 52100 Pula