Project Leaders: Božo Majstorović, Marija Plenković
Organization: Museum of Fine Arts in collaboration with Jelsa Municipal Museum
Concept by Božo Majstorović
Exhibition Curators: Vanja Babić, Toni Horvatić, Božo Majstorović
„Katamaran Art“ is a project by the Jelsa Municipal Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts Split, initiated in 2018. It is an exhibition program taking place alternately in Split and Jelsa during the summer. Its title refers to one of the busiest catamaran lines in the Adriatic, Split-Jelsa, which transports thousands of passengers, especially during the summer. Passenger and goods circulation is mostly tied to tourism and the everyday life of domicile population. „Katamaran Art“ has a goal of actualizing the third, equally important, dimension of travel, which is the idea traffic, in this case those ideas are art-related. The project emphasizes the regional center and its umbrella (museum) institution's duty to support artistic life in the wider area, as well as to consider the wants and needs of a smaller environment to actively participate in this artistic life.
Program-wise, „Katamaran Art“ is open to different generation, media and poetic combinations. Last year's premiere edition hosted solo exhibitions by Vedran Perkov, Vitar Drinković and Igor Zdunić. When conceiving the program for 2019, the most important link between the Museum of Fine Arts and Jelsa Municipal Museum was taken as the reference point. Namely, an eminent Croatian artist Juraj Dobrović (b. 1928) donated 94 artworks to the Museum of Fine Arts in 2006, and a couple of year later he donated 60 artworks and his family house equipped with authentic furniture to his hometown Jelsa. Since the Museum of Fine Arts and Jelsa Municipal Museum plan to analyze and present these valuable donations through their joint project, this year's „Katamaran Art“ was conceived as a sort of an announcement of Dobrović's grand exhibition. Art critics have already verified Dobrović's oeuvre as one of the most important additions to the powerful geometric and constructivist stream of Croatian abstract art of the 20th century. It's enough to remember the activities of the EXAT group in the early 1950s and the international art movement Nove tendencije (The New Tendencies) exhibiting in the 1960s and the early 1970s. Although their problematics don't dominate art production today, certain artists still find it visually relevant and fully aware of the shifted ideology and art context. This year's participants of „Katamaran Art“, eminent Croatian artists such as Mladen Galić (b. 1934), Eugen Feller (b. 1942) and Damir Sokić (b. 1952) prove that these and similar variants of abstract expression are still contemporary. During their impressive artist careers, Galić and Feller never abandoned the abstract visual idiom, this royal path of modern art, while Sokić repeatedly and gladly went back to it.