Kvarner newsletter / no 45

Museum of Modern and Contemporary Arts Rijeka
Group exhibition of painters from the Munich Circle, the Trojica, and the Earth groups

The exhibition of paintings entitled "From the Munich Circle to the Trojica and Earth groups (1910-1935)" will run from the end of September until the 3rd of November in Rijeka's Museum of Modern and Contemporary Arts.

The exhibition entitled "From the Munich Circle to the Trojica and Earth groups (1910-1935)", which will run until the 3rd of November in Rijeka's Museum of Modern and Contemporary Arts, includes numerous works of artists who played a crucial role in Croatia's art scene in the first half of the 20th century. This project, highly recommended to all art lovers, is a result of the collaboration between Rijeka's Museum of Modern and Contemporary Arts and Zagreb's Modern Gallery, whose collection of paintings was used to choose the most important works of the artists from the three groups. The most representative among them and the best known in the art world is definitely the Munich Circle. This group actually began the tradition of the Croatian modern art, which was then followed by the other two groups – the Trojica and the Earth.

The members of the Munich Circle are four prominent Croatian painters – Josip Račić, Miroslav Kraljević, Vladimir Becić and Oskar Herman, who graduated from the Academy in Munich in the early 20th centrury, in a period that marked the beginning of avant-garde on the European cultural scene. The name of the group, the Munich Circle, is based on that period, which also defined their further artistic activities. In addition to the four renowned male artists, this exhibition also pays tribute to the best known female artist of that period, Nasta Rojc, who – being a woman – did not have the right to attend the Academy. But in spite of that, she nevertheless played a crucial role in the development of the Croatian modern arts.

The tradition of the Munich Circle was continued by the painters from the Trojica group, that is, Vladimir Becić, Ljubo Babić and Jerolim Miše. This group extended their field of interest to regional and ethnographic issues. The main reason why these painters joined in a group was their great disappointment with the inactivity of the Zagreb Art Society at the time, and the wish to establish a new painting concept that will be specific for Croatia, original and at the same time competitive with artists from Europe.

As a reaction and opposition to the attitudes of the Trojica group, a new group called The Earth was formed by painters, sculptors and architects who represented the left-wing social option and were characterised by a distinctly figurative expression. The group remained active from 1929 until 1935 as the first Croatian association that included not only painters, but also numerous other artists whose works were based on simple folk traditions, social themes, easily understandable artistic expression, and European tradition.