Parallels. Novi Sad / Timisoara
Based on the belief that museums are a kind of fortresses of peace and bridges that connect and unite us, the Gallery of Matica Srpska and the National Art Museum in Timişoara created unusual exhibition, connecting their rich collections, and making parallels between artists, themes, ideas and artistic visions of former common cultural space. The reason why both collections keep famous self-portrait in a tavern by Stevan Aleksić, the similarity between Sava Tekelija and Zsigmond Ormos and the link between Novi Sad and Timisoara are revealed in the exhibition Parallels. Novi Sad / Timisoara, presented in the Gallery of Matica Srpska from July 8th to September 4th, under the programme arc Fortress of Peace of the European Capital of Culture.
In 2016 Novi Sad and Timişoara won the prestigious title of European Capitals of Culture for 2022 and 2023, awarded by the European Culture Commission. Quite naturally, the National Museum from Timişoara and the Gallery of Matica srpska recognised each other as related keepers of their national artworks and museums with similar identities and visions about the role of museums in contemporary society. The collections of National Art Museum and the Gallery of Matica Srpska have comparable histories that can be seen in the personalities of their founders, artists, and artworks they collected. Both collections were founded in mid-19th century from the initial bequest of the extraordinary individuals, two benefactors and representatives of the epoch of Enlightenment – Sava Tekelija (1761‒1842) and Zsigmond Ormos (1813‒1894). On the other hand, both originated from the reputable scientific societies. Therefore, a joint exhibition has been created on those foundations – a collection of an imaginary museum of the European Capital of Culture. That “collection” confirms the strong historical connections of two cities, similarities of social circumstances and artistic space in which the cities developed during the 18th, 19th, and 20th century.
The exhibition displays sixty artworks – icons, portraits, landscapes, still-lives, and abstract compositions, of artists such as Stefan Tenecki, Teodor Ilić Češljar, Pavel Petrović, Konstantin Danil, Stevan Aleksić, Uroš Predić, Zora Petrović and Vasa Pomorišac. The Treasury of the Serbian Orthodox Bishopric of Timişoara has also been considered for the exhibition as an ecclesiastical-art collection kept in the Bishop’s Palace in Timişoara, since it also possesses important artworks and represents a link between the Serbian and Romanian cultures.
Artworks kept in the collections of two museums and one Treasury confirms the strong historic links between the two cities that belonged to unique cultural context of the Habsburg Monarchy and the Archbishopric of Karlovci. The reasons for the creation of these works as well as their mutual connections differ, which supports the possibility of recognizing the simultaneous existence of different parallels between them. The exhibition is conceptually completed by works created after 1918, when, due to socio-political circumstances, Novi Sad and Timișoara were no longer within the same state.
After almost one and a half century of existence, these respectable museums became symbols of their cities. Therefore, both institutions have a key role in the promotion of the title European Capital of Culture, which was given to the cities at the same time.
Authors of the exhibitions are Aleksandra Čelovski, PhD, from the Gallery of Matica Srpska and Mihaela Irimesku, from the National Art Museum in Timisoara.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue in Serbian, Romanian and English language, written by prof. Jelena Todorović, PhD, Viktor Aleksandru Babuščak and Aleksandra Čelovski, PhD.
The exhibition was supported by the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic od Serbia and the Foundation “Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture”.
- Suitable for: all age groups