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Exhibitions and Projects
10 November 2016 – 12 March 2017

The Vugrinec Collection

Croatian Modernism

The collection of Davor Vugrinec presented for the first time to the public in 2015 at the Art Pavilion in Zagreb as the collection of “masterpieces of Croatian Modernism”. As a demonstration of the requirements that make up a successful collecting policy, the collection is an excellent example of ambitious determination that surpasses even some museum collections. The exhibition will present contemporaries, friends, and fellow students of Slovenian artists, from the Šubic brothers, Anton Ažbe, and the Impressionists onwards. Especially storied is the founding era of the “Zagreb School” after the establishment of the art academy, which became a destination for Slovenian artists after mid-1920s. The exhibition of sixsty-five paintings and works on paper and twelve sculptures includes works by Mato Celestin Medović, Vlaho Bukovac, Emanuel Vidović, Oton Iveković, Čikoš Sesija, Mirko Rački, Ljubo Babić, Miroslav Kraljević, Milivoj Uzelac, Marjan Trepše, Vilko Gecan, Vladimir Becić, Marino Tartaglia, Omer Mujadžić, Ivan Meštrović, Frano Kršinić and others.

Croatians built their art institutions some time before Slovenians. This was the result of the ambitious vision of Iso Kršnjavi and Herman Bollé. Inspired by the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna, they founded a school and a museum of arts and crafts in 1882 and a decade later brought both institutions into a common new building. Josip Juraj Strossmayer opened the Strossmayer Gallery of Old Masters in 1884. The Art Pavilion was inaugurated in 1898 and Slovenian Artsts' Society exhibited there already in 1901. From 1907 onwards, Zagreb was home to the college of Kraljevsko zemaljsko više obrazovalište za umjetnost i umjetni obrt, which was soon incorporated into the university. The milieu influenced the organization of patronage and the spread of artistic styles that became visible especially at the turn of the 20th century. Patronage in the country Slovenians and Croatians shared after the Second World War lost much-needed conditions for its growth, and collections mostly went to public hands. Immediately after the independence in 1991, the art market became a place of uncontrolled speculations, which is a unique burden of the last two and a half decades and presents a complication in the rehabilitation of the image of collectors. The Vugrinec Collection, whose creation spans last twenty years, is proof that even today, with sharp eye, market audacity and passion, one can create a collection that stands out even among the most important public collections in the region.

Segments of Slovenian public know collector Davor Vugrinec as an outstanding sportsperson. Born in Varaždin on 24 March 1975, he began his football career with Varteks Club in 1992, started playing for the Croatian National Team in 1996 and remained its member for ten years. For almost a decade, he played for elite clubs in Turkey and Italy. In the Croatian First League, he is the best scorer of all time with 146 goals. Equally impressive is his gallant demeanour. In his whole career, Davorin Vugrinec received only one red card – not for foul but for sending the ball into the audience and talking back to the referee. He kept his distance from the media, and used free time during training to read. By presenting his collection, he is revealing his other and equally successful side that began almost at the same time as his football career. Passion, a good eye, and sophistication guided his choices, making his acquisitions as successful as his scores in the field. With his calm and respectful manners towards co-players, he himself inspired respect and admiration.

  • A short video presentation
  • Information leaflets for visitors
  • Exhibition opening, video

Authors of the exhibition
Petra and Davor Vugrinec

Andrej Smrekar

Exhibition set-up
Petra and Davor Vugrinec

Graphic design
Ranko Novak

General sponsor

Media sponsor

Media sponsor (Croatia)
Večernji list d.o.o.

Catering sponsor
Prehrambena industrija Vindija d.d.
Kutjevo d.d.

Official wine of exhibition openings 
Radgonske gorice d.d.

Cvetličarna Galerija Marjan Lovšin

10 November 2016 – 12 March 2017
National Gallery of Slovenia
Prešernova 24
1000 Ljubljana