Moderna galerija is a national museum that works, in accordance with its mission, in the fields of modern and contemporary art. It was founded in 1947 as a museum of modern art. With Slovenia’s independence in 1991, Moderna galerija became the principal national institution of modern and contemporary art and an increasingly active link between the local and the international, in particular Central and Eastern European, contexts.
The concept of the museum advocated by Moderna galerija resists the existing hegemonic models. In the crucial period of the 1990s, Moderna galerija refused to become a postmodern museum of sensations and intense experiences. Instead, on the threshold of the new millennium it developed the concept of an art museum that advocates the plurality of narratives and priorities of local spaces that intend to enter equal dialogues with other spaces with only their own symbolic capital.
Since 2011, Moderna galerija has been open in two locations: in the original building of Moderna galerija (MG+) in the centre of Ljubljana, and in the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova (+MSUM) located on the renovated premises of former military barracks. As a museum of modern art it systematically explores, collects, and presents the art of Modernism and its traditions. It deals primarily with Slovenian 20th century art from the beginnings of Modernism around 1900, but also with contemporary artists who continue the tradition of Modernist trends. As a museum of contemporary art it covers contemporary practices in the field of the visual arts. It presents new contents and new ways of expressing, exhibiting and interpreting contemporary art. By regularly purchasing works by Slovene artists, it is building a permanent collection of the 21st century art and adding to the international Arteast Collection 2000+ by purchasing works by foreign artists.
Moderna galerija addresses both the museum of modern art and the museum of contemporary art from the aspect of multi-temporality derived from the critique of linear time and its universal validity. Moderna galerija attempts to develop a different model of a museum based on the criticism and redefinition of democratic institutions. Its priorities include the construction of a local context and dialogues with different localities that follow similar priorities and interests in developing different forms of institutionality and new models of cultural production.