Viewing Croatian contemporary art in the historic environment of old military and industrial architecture is one of the ‘must-do’ things in Zagreb. If you are interested in culture and art and want to learn more about some of the best Croatian artists from the 1950s up to today, Lauba is a place for you. Even if you are just passing by, the black facade of Lauba will get your attention and make you slow down and take a better look. Lauba is a privately owned gallery dedicated to contemporary art situated in the west part of the city of Zagreb, in Črnomerec.
The House for People and Art, was established in 2011. It’s privately owned by Tomislav Kličko, an avid art collector and an art patron of Croatian artists. The Lauba collection is focused on contemporary Croatian art from the 1950s up to today. More than 100 artists in different art fields are represented in the collection. It holds art pieces from some of the most recognisable Croatian artists such as Oton Gliha, Ivan Kožarić, Vojin Bakić, Marija Ujević Galetović as well as important art groups from Croatian art history such as Exat 51, Informel and such. Lauba is also a home of some younger Croatian artists like Lovro Artuković, Matko Vekić, Kristian Kožul, who enjoy its art patronage.
The glossy black building in which Lauba found its home is a piece of art itself. It was built in 1910 as a riding arena for Austro-Hungarian cavalry, and later it was converted into a textile-weaving mill, functional until 2008. Today, it is a protected cultural monument. From the outside, it is an impressive dark building with big windows. Inside, it is an empty square of tall brick walls with movable full and mash grey aluminium panels designed to exhibit pieces. In front of the main entrance is a small yard and, to enter the main exhibition space, you have to pass through a cozy bistro restaurant. At the top gallery, there is a flexible space for art and business.
The reconstruction was nominated for one of the most prestigious architectural awards in Croatia, Bernardo Bernardi. The reconstruction took two years to finish and was made by ‘AGP dizajn’ and architect Morana Vlahović with her team. One curiosity is that space doesn’t have a square centimetre of usual white colour, inside or outside.
Besides its own collection, Lauba hosts different art-related events such as boutique art fair Nesvrstani sales exhibition where one can buy art from established contemporary galleries and/or young independent artists. There is also the Kolektart project, a sales exhibition where one can buy art from their art patronage of younger Croatian artists. And, if you can’t decide for just one piece, Lauba offers to rent art with the help of their experts, which confirms their well-chosen motto of the house for people and arts.
Kuća za ljude i umjetnost Lauba Prilaz Baruna Filipovića 23a 1000 Zagreb