Due to the low public and private investment in art in Serbia in the past three decades, there have been only a few remarkable additions to the cultural map of Belgrade, and quite a few remarkable subtractions, like the National Museum and Museum of Contemporary art.
Probably the most exciting new(ish) spot in greater Belgrade’s museum scene is a temple to 20th century avant-garde perched above a bend of the Danube in Novi Banovci. The museum and its grounds, are a sanctuary of bold and transformational ideas of modern art movements, such as Zenitism and Yugo-dadaism, and house an extensive collection amassed by Vladimir Macura, a Serbian art collector and dealer who resides in Vienna.
The exciting artworks display transgressive creativity that fermented in Yugoslavia out of the ambition of local artists to both connect with new movements brewing in Paris, Zurich and other European cultural centres, and to also use their liberating ideas to create authentic local movements.
The grounds are a work of art in their own right as well as a statement of Macura’s ambition. The museum building, designed by Ivan Kucina, is an elegant monolith: part mid-century modernist Bond villain’s cove, part cabinet of curiosities.
Finally, the visit is an experience in itself. Before seeing the collection, the visitor is warmly welcomed and offered coffee and home-made lavender syrup. While sat in the wonderful garden one is expected to admire the view of the Danube majestically meandering through the woods and fields, connecting Belgrade to Mitteleuropa farther afield–a metaphor for Museum Macura’s own ambition.
Opening hours: May – October only, Saturday – Sunday, 12pm – 6pm, by appointment at +381 64 47 29 629