Almost a century ago, in a region far away (the Balkans), an endemic avant-garde movement emerged. Zenitism had its peak in the 1920s, in Zagreb & Belgrade, using almost all traditional art forms, in a not-so-traditional manner. Defined by one of its founders as “abstract metacosmic expressionism”, it fiercely promoted anti-nationalist/bourgeois/war principles.
Today, twenty kilometers away from central Belgrade, an oasis of zenitism and Danubian avant-garde resides in a museum on the banks of the Danube. Owned & operated by a peculiar art aficionado Vladimir Macura since 2007, the cubic dark building strikes the eyes of the passers-by through Novi Banovci, tucked in the rare apple grove.
Besides zenitism, its collection is focused on Yugo-dada, Russian and Polish constructivism, Belgrade surrealism, Gorgona, high modernism, Viennese actionism, minimalism… Represented through paintings, sculptures, designer chairs, installations and video works, photos, drawings, letters and magazines.
Open May to October, the museum has its vast depot which is a place to see of its own, situated in a former wheat silage. It also includes a café where you can enjoy Macura’s signature lavender syrup drink and whatever food is available and get lost in the huge water and woods scenery below you while processing the impressions of the museum visit.
The garden features other interesting constructions, such as a “glass palace” and a chapel dedicated to artist Kazimir Malevich with an intriguing mobile roof.
Interested in a (half)-day trip? You should announce the visit via phone and you can take buses 706 (from Zeleni venac), 73 from New Belgrade/Zemun.