‘Forty Years, Carnation Revolution, Portugal’, Macura Museum, Novi Banovci

The annual opening of the Macura Museum has just happened with a new display of works. Situated 10 kilometres from Belgrade, with a dazzling look-down view at the Danube this is the must see of the serbian arts scene. ‘Galleriste’ Vladimir Macura commissioned the building about 10 years ago to house his art collection and serve as a temporary home when he returns to Serbia from Austria. SInce then, he has added a Malevich-type chapel with a scarlet ceiling that opens to the sky, and accommodation for an artist in residence. This was the first private museum to be built in Serbia since the 1960s. The collection, for someone who has long-time interest in surrealism is – as you can imagine – a medley of painting, prints, sculpture and things, important things (the Zenit printed paraphernalia apparently) or odd things, and from everywhere. The furniture too is used in interesting ways. There are no labels, but hand-written pencil descriptions are occasionally scrawled on the walls, if identification is what you are interested in. You walk into the museum through the kitchen or past a bedroom, or leave to linger on an outdoors terrace and enjoy the view. Public crosses private and this ordered informality is a large part of the charm. Last Friday for the opening, guests were greeted with wine and platters of cheese with apples laid out on leaves taken from the nearby orchards. A live performance involved the singing of some existentially anxed up French, set to music and presented as dance. The doors of the museum opened and the crowd sailed in to view the new selection along with dogs, kids, the young, the old, friends and strangers. People run about, stop, chat, climb, touch and rearrange. An artist was not happy with his painting (a large square abstraction of beautiful colour) because it seemed to slide down to the right. So he sorted it out: got a chair and propped it up on one side, stood back and thought – yes maybe that’s better.

macura 5 macura 3 macura 2 macura 4 macura 1

Musej Macura, Zenit 1, Novi Banovci, Saturday to Sunday from 1st May to 1st October 2014. 20 minutes by car from Belgrade.

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