The Croatian Association of Fine Artists (HDLU) is a nongovernmental, not-for-profit, and politically neutral union of professionals established in 1868. Its membership consists of visual artists of all generations, working in all forms of expression and disciplines. Today, HDLU counts around 1.800 members. The basic aims of the Association are: to support and encourage contemporary visual expression, to improve and protect the freedom of visual expression, to organize exhibitions, and to participate in the making of the laws and rules regulating visual arts production and the social rights of the artists. HDLU promotes the development of visual culture by taking care of the social and financial status of its members, encouraging artistic creativity and excellence, and conceiving and promoting a dynamic exhibition program and international cultural exchange.
HDLU annually organizes or collaborates in the organization of approximately 40 exhibitions in four diversely profiled galleries. The exhibition program covers all segments of art presentation and production, ranging from large national (e.g. Youth Salon, Biennale of Painting etc.) and international manifestations to projects concerning new media pursuing experimentation. Many internationally known artists exhibited at HDLU, such as Vito Acconci and Peter Macapia, Peter Lindbergh and Luc Tuymans, to name a few. The exhibitions are accompanied by lecturing programs, workshops, and presentations.
The seat of HDLU is the famous Meštrović Pavilion, located on a beautiful square in central Zagreb. It consists of three exhibition spaces: Gallery Prsten (eng. Ring), Gallery Bačva (eng. Barrel), and Gallery PM (eng. Extended Media). Karas Gallery, the forth of HDLU’s exhibition spaces, is located on Praška Street by Ban Jelačić Square, Zagreb’s main square. HDLU also manages a Castle and Park of sculpture Jakovlje in the outskirts of Zagreb and several artist studios.