Physionomy of the gallery’s exhibiting activities is consisted in the basic lines of criteria and tasks of The Nadezda Petrovic’s Memorial , orientational exhibition and programme vertical of the gallery.
As the case with Memorial, with the forming of the exhibitions the significance of the Nadezda Petrovic’s name is starting point, as well as width of her artistic and national beliefs, from modernism to avantgarde of her work. From the first Memorial in 1960 to 2005 there had been 276 exhibitions that lead from wider programme concept of the gallery. All aspects, that were imposed by the current visual and art practice, were included – from individual, group, tematic projects of problem concepts, to multimedial events, performances, happenings, exhibitions minimalistically deduced into one work, and many others. However, beside all this variety some constants can be observed as the characteristics of programme concepts and activities, whose characteristics can be deduced into several principles as the constants of the programme.
Principle of the Territory - Yugoslav Character
Following Nadezda’s belief that art is the most open way of communication, gallery became the place where all artists from the polycentrical Yugoslav art territory, and that fact surpassed local character and importance. Beside Memorial, that untill the fall of Yugoslavia in 1992 almost consistently followed the territorial principle, the practice of Yugoslav republics in the gallery could be seen in either group or individual exhibitions, and many, today foreign, historians of art had been dear guests and valuable assistants.
Principle of Variety
Presenting the dynamics of current art scene, in the gallery space were presented exhibitions of artists with different poetics and expression, from admirers of traditional artistic methods to the most contemporary artists with completely free interpretation of artistic ideas, which implied using of almost all art medias – painting, sculpture, photography, graphic, video, collage, ready made, installations, photo and video installations, expanded medias, multimedial works, digital print, billboards, computer print, mobile sculpture (e.g. The Balkan’s Train of Destiny of Zvonimir Santrac that opened 20th Memorial in 1998).
Critical Visure – Principle of Quality
In the creation of the programme of the exhibitions and in the selection of artist rarely it had been panoramical presentation of current art scene and production. From the start, as with Memorial, criterium of quality had been of crucial importance. Special importance was dedicated to the critical affirmation of those artist, whose work, as a product of artistic thought and practice, most clearly express the essence of human quest for the meaning and content of time. Due to that fact the content of the gallery’s programme often had recognizable hight of quality.
Principle of Continuity
Following the perception of historical continuity of modernism in Serbian painting of the fifties and sixties with moderna and elements of avantgarde of the first decades of the previous century, in the programme of the gallery there had always been space for the exhibitions of traditional value. These exhibitions, that were mainly organized by the
Principle of Guest Exhibitions and Presenting
As a special form of the exhibiting activities, specific and valuable example of dedication of Art gallery Nadezda Petrovic in cultivating art values of national art lies in organizing guest exhibitions that enable the gallery to present its interesting and valuable collections. Untill now 30 exhibitions of this kind had been organized and all of them had different concepts – from simple presentation of certain collections, through exhibitions that enabled special insight into the Serbian and Yugoslav painting of the 20th century, to the exhibition with theme or problem concept. In this way the gallery had been present in almost entire territory of former
Principle of Perspectives
Reckognizing authenticity and quality in young artists that are at the beginning of their career and still under the influence of their teaching authorities from their Academy and enable them institutional valuation of work is perceived as an investment in future. With the intention to motivate young artists, on the first Yugoslav Art Colony of Young in Ivanjica 1968, the Art Gallery Nadezda Petrovic Award was established, that was awarded to two artists every year. The value of the award lies in the opportunity for young artists to participate in the collective exhibition named The Young, organiyed in the gallery every three years. From the first exhibition in 1971 untill now 11 exhibition took place, changing its concept and form in the meantime, but the intention to recognize and give affirmation to young artists was essentially preserved. How much the gallery had succeeded in its intention tells the fact that many of the participants of this exhibition are prominent professors on Art Academies – Safet Zec, Zorica Tasic, Ratko Lalic, Danica Rakihic-Basta, Pavle Pejovic, Aleksandar Rafajlovic, Nevenka Stojsavljevic, Mrdjan Bajic, Jarmila Vesovic, Perica Donkov, Momir Knezevic, Miodrag Mladjovic.
Looking at the previous guest exhibitions we can conclude that by far the most popular exhibition is Nadezda and the Contemporaries. Individually or with other collections the work of Nadezda Petrovic was borrowed to other institutions for exhibitions. During the eighties as a result of continuous, carefully planned and very successful exhibition activity, the fund had been significantly filled with work of art production of the second half of the 20th century – especially from 1961 (the year when Memorial was established). Through buying off and gifts, especially through Yugoslav character of the Memorial and other programmes until the split of the country that lead to its heterogeneity, the collection of Yugoslav painting of the second half of the 20th century was formed, consisting of works of different stylistic direction and orientation. That concept of the collection proved to be immensely popular among institutions that deal with current art production. The collection proved to be very suitable for various concise presentation of post war painting in our country. Even though the visual identity of exhibition depends on wishes of the colleagues from other institutions (they know the resource of the gallery, not only by following exhibition activities but through the publications of the gallery – catalogues of the collections, expert magazine, commercial material, etc.), expert team of the gallery tries to present it in attractive and interesting way, that is museologically acceptable at the same time. Generally speaking, possibilities that Art gallery Nadezda Petrovic can offer are exceptional, it has a valuable fund that consists of five collections and that kind of exhibitions are still needed, especially in smaller and artistically undeveloped areas. However, number of exhibitions would be greater if the cooperation with other institutions is not limited by financial difficulties, and other objective difficulties related with technical realisation in the gallery and much more with the host that is interested in presenting the programme.
The wish and need for the continuity of these activities is constant, primarily because of the popularization and preservation of the position that Art gallery Nadezda Petrovic has, but also because of artistic and humanitarian ideas of the great Serbian painter Nadezda Petrovic, the name that this house proudly carries. It’s a constant tendency and need for affirmation of art through active and exhibition activity, especially through The Nadezda Petrovic’s Memorial - a biennial of contemporary art through which this kind of programme can be developed.