In the complete shade of the hinterland of Brtonigla, in the idyllic green scenery, one can find the gallery of the academic sculptor and painter Aleksandar Rukavina (1934. – 1985.). It is nicely nested and adapted to the mild descent, following the natural configuration of the soil. The Memorial Gallery shows the overview of works of this Zagreb-born artist, who had a special connection to the Istrian area and people.
An exhibition is staged every year, on the 16th of September, to commemorate his death.
The Gallery was founded a couple of years after his death and its permanent collection shows the intersection of his abundant work as a sculptor.
The verdant park surrounding the gallery emanates a special atmosphere of its own that daily enchants the inhabitants of this picturesque small town – for you it can be an excellent venue for a family picnic in the fresh breeze.
The gallery layout
The gallery's layout is centred on 37 sculptures preserved in the atelier. The gallery collection has been broadened with the work of the artist's colleagues: a bronze bust of Aleksandar Rukavina created in 1989 by academy educated sculptor Tonči Orlić exhibited at the entrance, and a portrait of the sculptor's mother painted by academy educated painter Alma Orlić in 1987.
The concept of the gallery's spatial organisation and layout is based on sculptures presented as characteristic of the chronological and formative phases in the artist's work. The gallery is conceived as a circular exhibition space encompassing four interconnected spaces and a small depository.
Although the gallery serves primarily as a memorial centre it also, from time to time, hosts exhibitions featuring other artists and musical and literary presentations, both inside the gallery and outdoors.
During the summer (June to August) the gallery is open three times a week:
- Wednesdays and Fridays from 5:00PM-8:00PM.
- Thursdays from 9:00AM-1:00PM. *Guests can also visit the gallery by making reservations in advance with the Tourism Board office. Separate visiting times can be arranged for organised group visits. Entrance is free of charge.
Ul. Aleksandar Rukavina 9, Brtonigla
Tel.: +385 52 774 307
About sculptor Aleksandar Rukavina
Rukavina cooperated with the master workshop of Vanja Radauš, one of the greatest Croatian 20th c. sculptors. He belonged to the younger generation of rebellious artists who announced the new trends in the then Yugoslav arts by their joint exhibition in the Zagreb Modern Gallery in 1960. He worked with various materials and motifs, and the centre of his interests was mostly the human figure. He used the contrast of the processed and raw surface of the material, mostly rock and wood.
Rukavina left Zagreb in early 1960s and moved to Istria. In 1960s he lived in Buje and taught arts in local schools, until he moved to Brtonigla in 1971. Throughout this time, he also worked as a sculptor and initiated many cultural projects.
The photo is of a monument created by Aleksandar Rukavina to commemorate fallen anti-fascist fighters, located in Plovanija and installed in 1981.