On October 2, 2019 in Home of HDLU, popular Meštrović Pavilion, opens the fifth edition of important cultural manifestation The Biennial of Painting, which will remain open until December, 8. Through the works of 40 selected artists and 5 invited artist a cross-section of the prominent Croatian painting scene in the last two years will be represented.

Traditionally, within The Biennial of Painting, the exhibition of foreign authors is also hosted, which, according to the guest curator’s concept, represents the cross-section of the painting art scene of one of European cities (2011, “I am Berliner”, Berlin; 2013, “Vienna Calling”, Vienna; 2015, “Exporting Gdańsk”, Gdansk, Extended Painting Prague). This year’s Biennale hosts the exhibition THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION under the curatorial concept of Mark Gisbourn. The exhibition reveals a rich variety of works that are meritorious for the international status of four generations of prominent Leipzig artists.

Recognizing the growing number of artists who express themselves in the medium of murals, represented in numerous public locations, and the importance and quality of works this This year, the Biennale introduces novelty and introduces this form of artistic expression.

Additionally, in collaboration with the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb at the Šira Gallery, the most prominent student works will be presented as part of the accompanying program.



Pavle Pavlović, Red Baron, 2019


The Biennial of Painting was established by Croatian Association of Artists (HDLU) in 2011 with an idea of presenting the current state of Croatian painting scene with an exhibition that represents a wide section of artworks from generations that actively shape it.

The Biennale follows the development and current achievements of Croatian painting scene, featuring recognizable performances and authors in the last two years. The Biennial of Painting provides the wider public with the opportunity to meet different generations, heritage and poetics employed by the painting scene in one place.

Selection committee of The 5. Biennial of Painting: Tomislav Buntak, Danko Friščić and Zlatan Vrkljan selected 40 artists to be represented on 5. Biennale of Painting:

Aleksandar Bezinović, Anabel Zanze, Andrej Tomić, Damir Sobota, Domagoj Rogina, Đuro Seder, Emanuela Lekić, Fedor Fischer, Gordana Meštrović, Grgur Akrap, Ivan Marković, Ivan Prerad, Jasmina Krajačić, Josip Tirić, Jurica Pušenjak, Katrin Radovani, Lea Popinjač, Luka Kušević, Maja Bachler, Marija Matić, Marko Zeman, Martina Fabijanović, Matej Pašalić, Matko Vekić, Milić Zdravko, Monika Meglić, Nataša Vuković, Nikica Jurković, Pavle Pavlović, Predrag Todorović, Radovan Kunić, Sebastijan Dračić, Sibel Latin, Stipan Tadić, Stjepan Šandrk, Tara Beata Racz, Valentina Supanz Marinić, Viktor Daldon, Zlatan Vehabović, Željka Cupek

and invited 5 artists:

Bojan Šumonja, Martina Grlić, Vatroslav Kuliš, Zoltan Novak, Željko Kipke.


The involvement of Croatian Postal Bank as the general sponsor of The 5. Biennial of Painting has made possible to grant two monetary awards for outstanding artists: HPB Grand Prix (15.000,00kn) and HPB award for young artist (10.000,00kn). At the initiative of the anonymous philanthropist, inspired by the opus of the young artist Iva Vraneković, in her memory and as a stimulus for work and production of young artists a monetary Award Iva Vraneković – artist to the artist will be given.


At the Ring Gallery, for the first time, a selection of the most significant street art creations and a cross-section of the most prominent recent murals from Croatia will be presented.
Following artists will be presented: Damir Sobota, Goran Rakić, Jelena Bando, Lav Paripović, Melinda Šefčić, Miron Milić, Sanja Stojković (Tifany Rubi), Slaven Lunar Kosanović, Stipan Tadić, Tomislav Loncarić (Lonac), Tomislav Buntak, Vladimir Tomić (Mosk).

Exhibition of students of the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb
Šira Gallery
October 9 – 29, 2019
The Academy of Fine Arts of the University of Zagreb at the Šira Gallery will present an exhibition of works by students of the graduate study of the Art Department and works of students of the graduate study of Fine Arts in the Art Education department realized within the main artistic subject of Painting.

Guided tours of the exhibition:
During Biennial, every Thursday at 5.30pm a guided tour of the exhibition will be organized. Meeting point is in front of Bačva Gallery, Home of HDLU, Trg žrtava fašizma 16, Zagreb. The tours are free of charge with presentation of the exhibition ticket.






Matthias Weischer, Bau 2, 2019


A show of paintings by artists trained in Leipzig over the last twenty-five years represents something of an aesthetic phenomenon. Entitled The Leipzig Connection the exhibition reveals a rich diversity of works representing the international status of four generations of important artists. While in the current presentation the pictorial focus has been placed on the post-communist painting generations. That is to say beginning with those who studied at the Leipzig Academy, in the 1980s and through the end of the GDR (German Reunification took place in 1990). However, visual insights into the progenitors of the School, and material to its development, have also been included. From the 1960s onwards what began primarily as a Book and Graphic Arts Academy became a major painting tradition within Eastern Germany. Whether speaking of the early Communist masters such as Heisig, Tübke and Mattheuer, and following on through the “second generation” students Rink, Stelzmann and Gille, a significant and long-lasting figurative tradition of painting was established in Leipzig Academy of Visual Arts. With the eventual end of Communism and official determinist “socialist realism” art policies, forces of creative diversity allowed the Leipzig School to induct a rich diversity of young potential artists from across Germany throughout the 1990s up to today. As a consequence the painting practices (free of ideology) in figurative painting became extended in many diverse and innovative directions. Whether speaking of the transitional 1980s to the period immediately post-Communism student-practitioners (Rauch, Aichinger, Krause and Schröter) and later the  “third generation” of independent Leipzig trained painters, Weischer, Schnell, Baumgärtel, Kobe, Ruckhäberle, et al., new avenues of inventive realism, experimental narrative, and essays in pictorial fantasy came into focus garnering many international exhibitions and collectors across the world. Hence, and since that time, continuous contemporary forms of figuration have developed in many directions, the magic realism of Krüger, the collage paintings of Hofmann, the personal existential realism of Brandl, or the optical realist semi-surreal fantasies of Gernegross. Over four generations an extraordinary range of figurative painted images and creative material practices has been transmitted. The aim of The Leipzig Connection exhibition is therefore to introduce the rich diversity of Leipzig-trained figurative painter-practitioners to the public in Zagreb, and to do so in the context of the Croatian Biennial of Painting. The fact that HDLU has a permanent residency programme in Leipzig witnesses a continuous connection, and in doing so opens the two places to different painting traditions to further stages of fruitful interaction and hybridisation. Commensurate in both size and scope Zagreb and Leipzig represent in other aspects a shared history of related Communism manifested in subtlety different ways of exigency. As an exhibition The Leipzig Connection is should to be seen as an overview of half a century of creative expression, yet at the same time it should be read as an example of liberation, an institutional regeneration from the false hypotheses of ideological painting.

©Mark Gisbourne

Curator “The Leipzig Connection.”


Curator: Mark Gisbourne

Hans Aichinger, Tilo Baumgärtel, Christian Brandl, Falk Gernegroß , Sighard Gille,  Rayk Goetze, Bernhard Heisig, Julius Hofmann, Martin Kobe, Axel Krause, Markus Matthias Krüger, Corinne von Lebusa, Akos Novaky, Gudrun Petersdorff, Ulf Puder, Arno Rink, Johannes Rochhausen, Christoph Ruckhäberle, Rigo Schmidt, Annette Schröter, Volker Stelzmann, Miriam Vlaming, Matthias Weischer, Doris Ziegler.


Mark Gisbourne – biography






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