Zoran Music - Fascination of Painting

Exhibition curator Siegbert Metelko, Mag.a Beatrix Obernosterer from the Stadtgalerie, gallery & co-organizer Wilfried Magnet, BGM Dr. Maria-Luise Mathiaschitz and LH Dr. Peter Kaiser
Exhibition curator Siegbert Metelko, Mag.a Beatrix Obernosterer from the Stadtgalerie, gallery & co-organizer Wilfried Magnet, BGM Dr. Maria-Luise Mathiaschitz and LH Dr. Peter Kaiser

The largest Zoran Music exhibition ever shown

The largest Mušič exhibition ever with a museum claim presents around 180 works by the international artist from 21 Italian, French, German, Slovenian and Austrian private collections, from the 1940s to his late work.

More than 600 guests were present at the opening on January 23, 2020 in the Klagenfurt City Gallery.

The show covers all subject areas: landscapes of Dalmatia, Tuscany and Umbria, portraits and genre scenes of farmers and fishermen, cityscapes from Paris and Venice as well as paintings from his famous Cavallini series. These representations of horses became a symbol of freedom and humanity. Also part of the exhibition: his touching and equally shocking works from the 1970s series “We are not the last” – testimony to the indelible trauma of his experiences in the Dachau concentration camp.

For the first time, works from the world’s most important COLLECTIONS will also be on display. The “Collectione LIA and MAURIZIO ZANEI” from Trieste, the collection “LAH CONTEMPORY” from Switzerland and the “Collectione SONJA STANGELJ” from Modena.

Note: As part of the large presentation in the City Gallery, around 50 paper works, a donation from Zoran Musicto to the city of Klagenfurt from 1992, will be shown in the adjoining rooms – LIVING STUDIO – from 23 January to 1 March 2020.


Parallel to the exhibition in the Stadtgalerie, the Klagenfurt Gallery Magnet, Theaterplatz 5 (Fuggerpalais) is showing paintings and oil paintings for sale.

This exhibition is open until 2 May 2020:
Tuesday – Friday: 2 – 6 p.m. and Saturday: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Closed on Mondays, Sundays and public holidays

Galerie Magnet pays tribute to Zoran Music with its own exhibition website!

Galerist Willi Magnet at the opening of the Zoran Music exhibition at the Stadtgalerie Klagenfurt:
About Zoran Music, Lower Carinthia and Peter Handke. (From the opening speech)

My interest in Zoran Music, an exceptional artist and special person, has deepened over the last 15 years. The “Bazillus-Music” has settled in me and this far beyond my art dealer activity.

Special features are to be noted in the biography of Music: his family moved it for 1 year and several months to Lower Carinthia, in particular to Griffen and himself also to Völkermarkt. After the end of the First World War (his father Anton Music served as a soldier on the side of the K.u.K. army) his father and mother, Zoran and also his younger brother Ljuban moved to Lower Carinthia, where his father taught in the elementary school Griffen.

The old elementary school, directly under the Schlossberg, was also the home of the small family. They set up there for an extended period of time. They lived in an area occupied by Yugoslav troops at the time. Yugoslavia wanted to annex Southern Carinthia to its new state. Anton Music had obviously been appointed by the SHS administration as a teacher in this Lower Carinthian area.

Zoran himself, just 10 years old, had left the elementary school and moved to a secondary school in Völkermarkt where he lived in St. Ruprecht in the convent of the school sisters, as in a boarding school, to attend the school there.

In the autumn of 1989, Music went back to his childhood in search of traces and, during a visit to Völkermarkt, made the remark to the school sisters that he had gone to school here.

In 1920, the Family left Music Griffen to live in Marburg/Maribor until 1923. Obviously, the national pendulum was now swinging in the other direction, because after the Carinthian referendum and the continued stay of Southern Carinthia with Austria, they were subject to some hostility.

From the 1980s Peter Handke, himself born Griffner, came across Zoran Music and these special similarities. This was soon followed by Handke’s visit to the studio in Venice and then the essay “Four Notes on Zoran Music and his Paintings” was published in May 2019 in our book “Zoran Music – Fascination of Painting” after 25 years and at the same time as all three other texts were translated into Slovenian, Italian and English.

Wilfried Magnet

Excerpts from the opening speech by the curator of the exhibition, the music expert and art curator Siegbert Metelko:

…”This exhibition is neither the result of the enjoyable arbitrariness of the professional aesthetes, nor is it influenced by a dealer or gallery owner. For the first time, a music exhibition shows the view of 21 European collectors on the work of Zoran Music according to the motto “we show the best of our collections”…

…”It is also new that the artist himself is quoted by personal notes and statements on individual works and groups of works”…

…”If you want to understand the work of Zoran Music, you also have to deal with the question – where does Zoran Music come from? ….. What influence did his birth have in what fateful space we call Central Europe?” …

…”There is a fascination with this work, which must be worked on. Whoever does not engage in the personality of the Master and his history will not find access to his world…”

…”The birthplace of Gorizia was still part of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. They spoke Slovenian, German and Italian.

To give an idea of the mythical-historical concept of Central Europe, let us take a look at the city of Gorizia/Gorizia/Gorica. It is a city that cannot be defined ethnically or historically: metropolis once a county to which both the blessed Collio belonged, as well as the valleys of today’s East Tyrol. Gorizia bordered on the Republic of Venice, was culturally connected to the lagoon city, but politically hostile. On the one hand the house of Austria, heritage of the Counts of Gorizia, on the other the Venetians in their star-shaped fortress Palmanova. Due to the mixed Italian-Friulan-Slavic population, he has become the painter of that mythical continent, which we call Central Europe. The motifs of the art field of Veneto and Dalmatia and the aesthetics of the Byzantine tradition of these eastern areas formed the basis of his art. And finally, fate, which can be summed up in a single word. DACHAU.”

“Music paints a requiem on human civilization, whether in serene Paris, whether in the Karst or on its Altane in Venice”…

…”Music was a respectful figure, nothing could shake him any more: he had been looking death in the eye every day for months.

Music allowed death and death into the picture. She experienced the great closeness of death—music, not in the provocative tickle of Russian roulette, which makes death a calculable risk to a social game, but in existential experience. To be more precise, he had looked into the eyes of thousands of corpses, piled up in the snow like firewood to hills in front of the crematorium of the Dachau concentration camp. If a stack was burned, came the next delivery. Music drew these mounds of corpses, secretly, if he could find a piece of paper…”

Zoran Music survived.

When he returned to Venice, he wrote in the catalogue of the Naviglio Gallery:

“Finally the great light, finally the sun, infinite sky to the low horizon of the lagoon, all this belongs to me, here I can breathe freely… Is it really true that no one is monitoring me? Is it reality that I am free to paint?”

“From a few sentences speaks the happiness of a person who has lived in a world beyond all imaginations, in a world where DEATH was “normal”, where the horror was everyday life”…

From then on, Music looked at nature from this point of view. The lovely hills of Tuscany seemed to him like needlessly concealed corpse mounds, heaps of skeletons. And again and again the silent cry from the open mouths of the dead came to him: “We are not the last, non siamo gli ultimi…” Until his own death, the artist will never stop articulating this cry in his paintings…

Decades after the real-life horror images, the night-time faces of the deadly eclipse have caught up with the painter.

And yet, Zoran Music rested unwaveringly in itself. Where did he draw his strength of soul, I have often wondered. Perhaps he had become strong because he had seen many deaths in his life and therefore many deaths had died in advance. Perhaps he was similar to Dostoyevsky, who had been arrested as a revolutionary-inspired young poet and, wrapped in dead clothes, stood in front of an execution squad. A sham execution. Then the pardon was read to him and the verdict: exile to Siberia. Under this impression he became a prophet among Russian poets… Zoran Music became a prophet of Central Europe……

Latest press releases:

KRONEN ZEITUNG, 24.01.2020
KRONEN ZEITUNG, 24.01.2020