The Radoslav Putar Award 2021 FINALISTS are shortlisted



The Radoslav Putar Award, the annual award for the best artist in Croatia up to the age of 40, has been awarded since 2002. The Radoslav Putar Award is part of the international network YVAA – Young Visual Artists Awards, which consists of organizers of similar awards in 12 European countries. The award was founded in 2002 by the Institute of Contemporary Art. Partners of the Radoslav Putar Award are HULU – Split, and Gallery S, Koprivnica.


This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Award and the 100th anniversary of the birth of Radoslav Putar.


Radoslav Putar (Varaždin, July 20, 1921 – Zagreb, July 18, 1994), a famous art historian and art critic, significantly directed the Croatian cultural scene towards the contemporary art language. His work is also important from a social point of view because he promoted the ideas of democracy and advocated dialogue, tolerance, freedom of expression and openness to other cultures. Today, it is difficult to imagine the extent to which his work was heroic, and we can confidently say that his contribution to the theory and practice is a key segment of contemporary Croatian art and culture.


Our initiative to name the award Radoslav Putar Award reflects our desire to promote clear attitudes, active participation and high professional standards, as tools for the affirmation of democratic processes, interdependent with the development of culture, cultural institutions and the arts in Croatia.


Radoslav Putar graduated from the University of Zagreb (1949) where he later taught at the Department of Art History (1951 – 1961). He was a co-founder and a member of the Gorgona group (1959-1966), head of the information department at the newly established CIO, the Center for Industrial Design (1964-65), curator of the Museum of Arts and Crafts (1968-1972). , director of the Zagreb City Gallery (1972-1979), editor of the magazine Spot (1972-1978), founder of CEFFT, the center for photography, film and television (1973,), and director of the Museum of Arts and Crafts. (1979 – 1983).



This year’s jury are:

Damir Sobota, the Winner of the 2020 Radoslav Putar Award, Zagreb

Jasminka Babić, director, The Museum of Fine Arts, Split

Michal Koleček, University Jan Evangelista Purkyně, Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic

Chelsea Pierce, PhD Candidate, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, UK, Open Call for curators up to 40 years of age, Dallas, Texas, USA

Neva Lukić, independent curator, Open Call for curators up to 40 years of age, Zagreb



This year’s finalists in 2020 are:


Vitar Drinković (1983, Zagreb)

Jelena Lovrec (1989., Zagreb)

Lana Stojićević (1989., Šibenik)

Ivana Tkalčić (1987., Sisak)




VITAR DRINKOVIĆ (1983, Zagreb) received his master’s degree in sculpture from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 2008. During the course of his studies, he took a semester at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA.

In 2014, he completed their Master’s degree in Animation and New Media at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, where he participated in a student exchange at the University of London Metropolitan, England.

He realised 21 solo exhibitions, 50 group exhibition, 7 sculptures in public space,  and was awarded many scholarships, grants, awards and recognitions in Croatia, Germany, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Austria, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, United States, Canada and France.


“In the last few years, my artistic practice has been focused on researching and creating conditions – circumstances for a different perception of everyday life, using interactive art apparatus, sculptures – inventions and installations as intermediaries, “filters” in communication between people.

I start from basic, simple, biological forms of communication – exchanges that affect perception and deconstruct the way it is created – shaped through the information we are surrounded by.

The fields that interest me and that I explore are: everyday life, the connection between perception – information and biology, the development and impact of technology on the development of human society, social systems, sustainability, the connection between art, science and economics…”



JELENA LOVREC (1989, Zagreb) graduated in 2014 from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. He lives and works in Zagreb. She has been exhibiting in Croatia and abroad since 2013, where she has received several recognitions and awards for her work.


 “My medium is documentary photography, video, installation, and performance. My work often questions and documents the current situation in the cultural, social, and more intimate, private part of life. All of my projects are process-based, and often become, or are conceived from the very beginning as lifelong, gradually evolving and changing according to the profile of the participants and my interests. Process documentation thus becomes an integral part of my work, often accompanied by official documents. Finding new ways of „solving“ the “unfavorable” situations around us motivates me in my work. Direct communication with people I meet during my artistic expeditions and their reactions to our meetings is what inspires me most and is the main part of my artistic research.”



LANA STOJIĆEVIĆ (Šibenik, 1989) graduated in painting in 2012, at UMAS, Split, where she now works as an Assistant, external associate, at the Department of Fine Arts and Fine Arts. Since 2011, she has exhibited at a large number of exhibitions in Croatia and abroad and has received several awards, nominations and recognitions for her artistic work. Her works can be found in several public and private collections. He most often expresses in the medium of photography, textiles and architectural models. Thematically, her work reflects typical symptoms of social change, especially in the region in which she lives, where tourism, urban development and “apartmentization” are spreading uncontrollably and wildly, influencing the change of cultural, social, economic and environmental relations.



 IVANA TKALČIĆ (1987, Sisak) graduated from the Faculty of Economics in Zagreb in 2012, and from the Academy of Fine Arts in 2016, and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich (2014-15). She has been exhibiting since 2016, and has won a number of awards, recognitions and scholarships in Croatia and abroad.


“From where I’m standing, it’s important in the field of artistic research to connect many different practices, theories, and media, to exchange gained knowledge with others in the community involving them in the process.

In approaching the artistic practice, I don’t see the media as some fixed and insurmountable element. In the process of creation, I see the medium as a fluid and changeable tool with which can different ideas and concepts be realized.

Some ideas feel more comfortable as a short film, some as photographs, and some as an installation. The whole process of artistic practice takes place in a similar state (of mind) as in playing. The playing is a good method for going deeper into the practice. The playing as learning how something works, how it behaves, how it cooperates, sets and solves problems. The playing encourages us to experiment, to discover new alternative ways of perceiving. The playing opens up the space for unexpected moments.

During my practice as a visual artist, I acquire experience in this field of research by collaborating with scientists, curators, artists, and institution from a similar field of research.”



Congratulations to all the selected finalists and we wish each of them every success in the further course of the competition!


The Finalists’ Exhibition is scheduled to open on, June 14, 2021, at 8:00 pm at the Galić Salon / HULU – Split, where the jury after the second round of competition and discussions with each individual finalist should announce the winner of the Radoslav Putar Award for 2021.

We invite you to follow our web site, where we will inform you of all news related to the programs of the Institute for Contemporary Art.


After the first 15 years, several novelties have been introduced in the competition, so the winner of the Awards is given an extended two-month stay in New York, organized by Residency Unlimited. The age limit for competitors is raised and all artists up to 40 years of age can apply. Workshops for interested candidates are held in Zagreb and online for candidates outside Zagreb at several terms, and in 2018., we have opened a call for one place in the jury’s membership for curators up to 40 years of age.

In cooperation with the Institute of Art History from Zagreb, we also published two textbooks: Radoslav Putar: Kritike, studije, zapisi 1961 – 1987.


We thank all the artists and curators who have applied for this year’s competition and invite all those interested to attend and participate in the work of the Radoslav Putar Award.


In addition to staying at Residency Unlimited, NY, the winner also receives a production of one multioriginal work, thanks to the Gallery S from Koprivnica, a solo exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Zagreb and the place in the jury of Radoslav Putar Award in 2021.



Damir Sobota, the winner of the Radoslav Putar 2020 Award, travels to New York, Residency Unlimited, on April 1, 2021, where he will stay until the beginning of June. Predrag Pavić, the winner of the Radoslav Putar Award 2019, plans to use his term in New York in the summer of this year.


Radoslav Putar Award is part of the international network YVAA – Young Visual Artists Awards.


The Competition and the Radoslav Putar Award are made possible this year by the Ministry of Culture RH, the City of Zagreb, Department for Culture of the City of Split, the Trust for Mutual Understanding, New York and the Institute for Contemporary Art, Zagreb in collaboration with the HULU – Split, Galley S, Koprivnica and Residency Unlimited in New York.


Past Winners of the Radoslav Putar Award:
Tanja Dabo 2002; Nika Radić 2003; Igor Eškinja 2004; Antun Božičević 2005; Tina Gverović 2006; Vedran Perkov2007; Marko Tadić 2008, Goran Škofić 2009, Davor Sanvincenti 2010, Marko Marković 2011, Miran Blažek 2012; Dina Rončević 2013; Igor Ruf 2014., Niko Mihaljević, 2015.; Dino Zrnec 2016., Matej Knežević, 2017., Ana Kuzmanić, 2018., and Predrag Pavić, 2019., Damir Sobota, 2020.


So far, more than 500 artists and curators have participated in the competitions of the Radoslav Putar Award, and 82 artists and 85 members of the jury in the finals.