27 Artists, 209 Works.
20.03.2016 – 29.01.2017
The new presentation of the Sammlung Zander strives to show the works of the collection without having recourse to conventional attempts at conceptual categorization and classification. Instead, the presentation emphasizes the wealth of artistic positions spanning many decades and emerging from extremely divergent contexts, which should not be reduced to their lowest common denominator but showcased in their irreducible singularity. This approach concentrates above all on the aesthetic quality of the works and refuses simplistic biographical explanations. The presentation thus aims to place these works on an equal footing with other artistic positions.
Curated by Susanne Pfeffer.
CCC – Sava Sekulić Self-Taught
1.11.2015 – 21.2.2016
The exhibition “CCC – Sava Sekulić Self-Taught” presents a comprehensive selection from the estate of the artist, who with more than 1000 exhibits and text material is an integral part of the Zander Collection. The artist signed his works with the Cyrillic letters CCC – equivalent for Sava Sekulić Self-Taught, with which he self-confidentially formulated his artistic statement as an autodidact. His decision to acquire artistic processes autodidactically proves in retrospect as a consequential strategy, which in its autonomy and differentiation resembles comparable methods of contemporary art.
With numerous sketches and texts the work reveals the artist’s excellent visual thinking, which permanently corresponds with paintings and drawings. Initially Sava Sekulić worked only figuratively, in the course of the years, however, his motifs became more abstract and complex, whereby the boundaries often are fluid. From picture to picture ever-new mutations and cycles unfold. Often humans, animals, and plants form a formal or contentual connection. They equally embody growth and transformation but also challenge and destruction. During his entire life Sekulić was fascinated by cities, which he often represented as letters or organisms. His own childhood, family, and historical events as the basis of the human existence play just as important a role in the artist’s work.
Born in Bilisani, Croatia, Sava Sekulić (1902–1989) lived last in Belgrade, Serbia. He lost his father early, a traumatic event for him – just as the everyday life, which was characterized by poverty. In 1917, he served at the Austrian-Italian front, was wounded and was blind on the right eye since then. Around 1924, he began to write poetry. Around 1932, the first paintings emerged. After his retirement in 1962 he dedicated himself completely to art.
During his lifetime, the collector Charlotte Zander had the wish to show a retrospective of the artist. At the end of the 1970s, she noticed Sava Sekulić’s paintings for the first time and began to collect him intensively. She acted as a broker for his work in her gallery, on international fairs and exhibitions. Shortly after his death in 1989, Charlotte Zander managed to save part of his estate, among it sketches and poems. She advocated for the reappraisal of Sava Sekulić’s artistic oeuvre. In 1993, she published the only existing comprehensive monograph of the artist and produced a film about him which can also be seen in the exhibition.
The exhibition “CCC – Sava Sekulić Self-Taught” was conceptualized by Susanne Zander.
The publication Sava Sekulić, edited by Charlotte Zander, 1993, is available in the museum shop (50 €).