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The Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb

The Museum of Contemporary Art (Muzej Suvremene Umjetnosit MSU)  the largest museum institution in Croatia and the largest cultural institution since the independence of Croatia has recently been opened in Zagreb.

The new building of the Museum will enable the appropriate conservation and exhibition of the collected art, and the conditions necessary for various programs, educational workshops, film-projections and theatre performances aimed at the wider public and will make this part of the city the new cultural centre of Zagreb as well as a place of family outings, entertainment and new knowledge.

The overall size of the museum is 14,500 square meters, 3,500 of which is intended for the permanent exhibition, 1,500 for temporary exhibitions and 700 for exhibitions on the roof. The museum features a multimedia hall, library, pedagogical hall, museum store with book-store, cafe, restaurant, suites for visiting artists and curators and a 725 square meter lobby.

After more than 50 years of careful collection, treatment and presentation of only a part of the collection, the first exhibition with which the museum introduced itself to the public was its permanent exhibition “Collection in Movement”. The other exhibition is “Acquisitions 2004-2009″.

The visitors were also welcomed by the exhibition “Museum before the Museum”, a photography collection by Jasenko Rasol who followed the construction of the museum with his camera.

The art of Croatian and foreign artists that are part of the collection are testimony to the different styles such as abstract expressionism, geometrical and lyrical abstraction, minimalism, proto-conceptualism, analytical and primary painting, Fluxus, conceptual art, optical art, transavantgarde… reflecting the role of the Museum in following the newest artistic movements.

MSU contains several collections – paintings, sculptures, drawings, graphics, posters, photography, film and video and the media art collection. The museum is also looking after the Richter collection, numbering 182 works of art, the
Josip Seissl collection, numbering 1,258, the Benko Horvat collection with 611, the Toše Dabac archive numbering 200,000 items and the Ivan Kožaric collection with 6,000 items.

Several installations enrich the museum, “the slide” by world-renowned artist Carsten Höller, “Eyes of purification” by Polish artist Miroslaw Balke, on the roof terrace the “Artist at work” by Dalibor Martinis is installed, and in front of the museum “Frames” by Ivana Franke, Lee Pelivan and Tomo Plejic.

On the roof, the installation “War field” is located, by Ivan Božicevic, and in the museum store the “Alchemy polyptych” by Silvije Vujicic.

The museum program also features the following exhibitions: A pair of nice shoes – Reality Check in Eastern Europe, independent exhibition of Danica Dakic, independent exhibition of Aleksandar Srnec, project Gilbert & George, works from the FRAC collections, an exhibition of Zlatko Kopljara, and the Murtic donation.

The Zagreb MSU was founded in December of 1954 and has instantaneously become the reference point on the cultural map of the city.

The desire to extend the museum existed in the 1960s, primarily because of the significance of the collections that were kept in unsuitable conditions and were not available to the public.  At the international tender in 1999, the project of architect  Igor Franic won. Construction began in 2003 and was jointly funded by the City of Zagreb and the Ministry of  Culture.

Museum of Contemporary Art website: www.msu.hr

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