Art Projects
       
The exhibition Invisible Rose is an ambiental installation on the groundfloor of Museum Atelier Meštrović in Zagreb. This site-specific intervention in the museum setting consists of 25 works of art – assemblages, installations and sculptures exhibited in the atrium, the former Ivan Meštrović studio and in the courtyard covering a total space of cca 500 square meters. read more
The focal point of Anita Kontrec’s interest is the emotional and creative (co)relationship between Ruža and Ivan Meštrović and the setting of today’s museum, as a specific living space imbued with memories. The exhibition is a contemporary sculptural intervention in the museum setting linked to Meštrović’s ouvre and the specific character of the museum. The author presents her own personal artistic views while testing the possibilities of parallel analysis. /Catalogue Text: Danica Plazibat "The Space of Memory and the Memory of Space". The Meštrović Atelier in Zagreb is an art museum with a distinct memorial character, housing a permanent display of the works of Ivan Meštrović (Vrpolje, Croatia, 1883 – South Bend, Indiana, USA, 1962). It is located in a part of the complex which Meštrović purchased and adapted during the 1920’s, and in which he lived and created his works of art between 1922 and 1942.[1] The integrity of the collection, the housing compound itself[2] and the monumental status of the museum building are all special features of the Meštrović Atelier. However, they are also limiting factors to be taken into account within the context of contemporary museum activities and the museum’s active participation in current social and artistic trends. Intervening in the museum space and exhibition is extremely demanding - whether it involves study exhibitions linked to Meštrović’s opus or the interpolation of works by other artists in interaction with Meštrović’s - primarily due to technical factors, but also for reasons of content and aesthetics. All such projects must be thoroughly examined in terms of their purpose and goals, as well as the extent to which they ultimately correspond with the basic mission of the museum.

 

Contemporary Sculptural Intervention The exhibition Invisible Rose, by Anita Kontrec, is integrated into the broader context of the life and work of Ivan Meštrović. The theme of the exhibition highlights Ruža Meštrović, née Klein, Ivan Meštrović’s first wife and one of the key persons in his life and creative journey. An educated woman and talented artist herself, she offered faithful support and was a welcome companion in European artistic and intellectual circles during the first two decades of the 20th century, at a time when Meštrović was building his career and artistic profile. Moreover, she was his emotional anchor and a main source of creative inspiration. Ruža is recognisable in many of his sculptures representing women, of which it suffices to mention his masterpiece in marble, Remembrance (1908). The focal point of Anita Kontrec’s interest is the emotional and creative (co)relationship between Ruža and Ivan Meštrović and the setting of today’s museum, as a specific living space imbued with memories. The exhibition is a contemporary sculptural intervention in the museum setting linked to Meštrović’s ouvre and the specific character of the museum. The author presents her own personal artistic views while testing the possibilities of parallel analysis.

 

Ruža – (In)visible Companionship Rosa Elizabeth Klein (1883-1942) was born in Višnjica, near Varaždan, in a well-to-do Jewish family involved in commerce. At the end of the 19th century, the family moved to Vienna. When Ruža met Ivan Meštrović in 1904, he was an impoverished but talented student at the Vienna Fine Arts Academy. Despite considerable financial difficulties and family opposition, they soon started living together and were married in 1907. Thereafter they travelled and lived in Paris, Rome, Cannes and London… These years culminated in Meštrović’s international affirmation as a sculptor, but were also marred by war, exhausting the couple in its struggle for survival and ultimately resulting in emotional crisis.[3] At the end of World War I they returned to Zagreb. At this point, Olga Kesterčanek entered into Meštrović’s life, the final trial which Ivan and Ruža’s marriage could not withstand. They were divorced officially in 1925, but their relationship was never fully resolved.[4] After the divorce, Ruža continued to live at 10 Mletačka Street until her death, while Meštrović and his new family, his wife Olga and their four children lived at number 8. Ruža’s death, as fate would have it, coincided with Meštrović’s final departure from Croatia in 1942. Life in Mletačka Street marked a turning point and new beginning not only for Meštrović by ushering in an extremely creative period in his life, particularly under the influence of his experience of fatherhood, but also for Ruža who began to pursue her artistic work more intensively.[5] All of this took place amidst the ever-present suffering and pain of life in a “triangle” in the background, accompanied by existential anxiety as a result of new political upheaval and finally war.
Catalogue "Invisible Rose", 56 pages with texts in english and croatian
Texts by Danica Plazibat, curator of the Invisible Rose Project, Atelier Mestrovic, Zagreb Dalibor Prancevic, art historian, University of Split Anita Kontrec, artist and author of the idea and concept of the Invisible Rose Project.

 

The exhibition and the catalogue have been realised with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia and the City of Zagreb.
ISBN 978-953-7396-03-9

INVISIBLE ROSE – Links:
www.mestrovic.hr
www.studio-rasic.hr
www.fabijanic.com