Open Studio: Željko Beljan

March 4 – March 31, 2024.

We’re launching this year’s second Open Studio with visual artist Željko Beljan, who will transform the GMK space into a live studio. Here, he will develop new and finalize existing projects.

Beljan will utilize the gallery as a dynamic space, encouraging not only production but also interaction with fellow artists and cultural workers. In collaboration with GMK and artist Bojan Stojčić, he will initiate an art book project that sheds light on the history of the Borovo factory, highlighting its role in the development of women’s soccer in pre-war Yugoslavia. Notably, in 1938, Borovo hosted the first official women’s match in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia between teams organized within the factory itself, shortly before women were banned from playing soccer. This work is based on field research conducted in Vukovar in collaboration with WHW in 2023. The artist will also continue his work on the Arcade Project presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art, a series of games made from discarded wooden objects.

Special invitation to the public: Željko invites you to join his creative process daily, without prior notice, from 12 to 3 PM, Monday through Friday – until March 26. This offers a unique opportunity to experience the artist’s work process first-hand and participate in the creation. Additionally, two special events will be organized: a gallery event at GMK and a displaced soccer playing event at Grmoščica. Details and exact dates will be announced later.

The final results of the residency at GMK, including the publication, will be presented in December.

Željko Beljan is a visual artist whose artistic practice focuses on the phenomenon of manual labor and its position in contemporary artistic practices, exploring textiles and handcrafted techniques as an artistic medium. He explores the relationship between manual labor and amateur, hobbyist sports, emphasizing the participatory nature and involvement of the audience in the realization of works. He graduated from the Department of Animated Film and New Media at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 2021. He was a finalist for the Radoslav Putar Award for the year 2023 and an alumnus of the WHW Academy in the 2022 generation. Since 2011, he has participated in a significant number of group exhibitions in Croatia and the region, and he has also had a series of solo exhibitions. 

Organizer: GMK 
Curators: Maja Pavlinić, Antonela Solenički, Petar Vranjković
Producer: Tea Matanović 
Photography: Sanja Bistričić Srića  
Artist’s portrait: Iva Jurić

The Open Studio 2024 program is made possible with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia, the City Office for Culture and Civil Society of the City of Zagreb. 

The program of the Miroslav Kraljević Gallery is supported by the Kultura Nova Foundation.