New CreArt Partner: HDLU. The Croatian Association of Visual Artists

News & Events

New CreArt Partner: HDLU. The Croatian Association of Visual Artists


The  Croatian Association of the Visual Artists (HDLU), is the  oldest and most prestigious visual artist association in the region, and is composed of 1464 artist members  working in various media and disciplines which define the Croatian contemporary arts scene. HDLU annually organizes or collaborates in the organization of approximately 40 exhibitions in four diversely profiled galleries, events and special programs that cover all segments of art presentation and production, ranging from large national and international manifestations to socially engaged creative experiments and fairs.


The building is composed of three galleries: the Barrel gallery, the Ring gallery and the PM gallery. Each has its own specific function, and can work as both a separate entity and a whole.  The singularity of the circular form along with the ideological context that has always been included in the history of this monument and building are often the reason for various interventions, performances and site-specific installations.


The Barrel gallery is the central gallery on the bottom floor, with a diameter of 18.34 m and a ceiling height of 8 meters, creating a total surface area of 264 square meters. During Meštrović’s time, this central gallery was imagined as a space for exhibiting sculptures. Its monumental character and special natural lighting have made it the ideal for ambitious site-specific exhibitions. Since it’s founding, the gallery has hosted various domestic and international exhibits, including international artists such as Michelangelo Pistoletti and Nam June Paik.  It is a unique exhibition space not only in a Croatian context but also internationally.


On the upper level of the building are located the PM and Ring Galleries.


The PM gallery was created in the beginning of the 1980’s in the previous location of the Croatian Association of Artists on the Starčević Square.  It was created as a unique space to present contemporary art and multi media projects.  Just the name of the gallery (PM Extended Media) suggests its separation from the classical fine art techniques and its evolution in the postmodern age. The PM gallery was relocated within the pavilion in the 1990s and is located above the Barrell gallery and below the glass cupola.  It has a diameter of 18.7 meters and a width of 3.62 meters, with a total surface area of 171 square meters.  Since the 1990s it has been a place of site-specific interventions and through the years it has been lead by reputable Croatian artists such as Mladen Stilinović, Antun Maračić, Sabina Sabolović, Iva Radmila Janković, Ana Janevski and Iva Kovač. In the thirty years since it’s founding, the PM gallery has become one of the most prestigious exhibition spaces for avant-garde, contemporary, conceptual, and multi media exhibitions.


The third and largest gallery in the building is also located on the top floor, and creates a ring above the PM Gallery, hence its name. The Ring Gallery has a 130 meter diameter and 8.25 meter width, accounting for a total surface area of 740 square meters. Mostly used for retrospective and group exhibitions.


In April of 2010, the Croatian Association of Artists named  Gaella Gottwald as there new director. Her diverse and varied background made her an ideal candidate to help the association transition prior to Croatia’s entry into the European Union.  She is places an enormous effort in developing private funding, diversifying the uses of the building, and creating a wider audience for the association. Her vision is to make HDLU the center of creative fermentation in town—a place that is inclusive to all creative expression. Through various projects and events she is   giving a new life and a diverse functions to the building, and hopes to elevate the status of the pavilion as a unique site-specific exhibition space in Europe.


More information: