Koroška Gallery of Fine Arts

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Contact info
Koroška galerija likovnih umetnosti
http://www.glu-sg.si/
galerija@glu-sg.si
Glavni trg 24, SI-2380 Slovenj Gradec
Phone386 (0) 2 882 2131
Fax386 (0) 2 882 2130
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RegionSI-2
Founded byMunicipality of Slovenj Gradec
Andreja Hribernik, Director
andreja.hribernik@guest.arnes.si
Phone386 (0) 2 620 3651
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Katarina Hergold Germ, Curator and Public Relations
katarina.hergold@glu-sg.si
Phone386 (0) 2 620 3658
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Past Events
  • 13 June 2017
    A presentation of the The Second Explosion - Slovene Art of the 1990s research project and book launch by artist and curator Tadej Pogačar and photographer Dejan Habicht, coorganised by the P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Institute, Koroška Gallery of Fine Arts and the educational program for young curators INCUBATOR, at Die Erste Foundation in Wien, Austria
    programme
  • 8 December to 9 December 2016
    Mateja Lazar of the Creative Europe Desk Slovenia (Motovila Institute) and Andreja Hribernik (Koroška Gallery of Fine Arts) at the Creative Georgia Forum at Tbilisi Techpark in Tbilisi, Georgia
    programme
  • 25 October to 1 December 2013
    Transfer > Slowenien, a joint exhibition organised in the framework of an artists-in-residence exchange programme between Slovenia and Upper Bavaria also featuring works by Katja Felle, Jure Markota, and Uroš Weinberger (Koroška Gallery of Fine Arts), in Freising, Germany
    programme
  • 19 September to 13 October 2013
    The joint exhibition Augenräume - contemporary art from the Koroška region - by Zoran Ogrinc, Luka Popič, and Peter Hergold, and curated by Marko Košan (Koroška Gallery of Fine Arts), at Kunsthalle Feldbach in Feldbach, Austria
    programme


From its very beginnings in 1957, the central regional gallery institution Koroška Gallery of Fine Arts has been a platform for a diverse contemporary arts programme covering international, national and regional contemporary art. It started under the initiative of local academic circles with painter and pedagogue Karel Pečko at its forefront. Through his ambitious programme the gallery invited fine arts critics to co-operate as selectors, which in the 1960s was by no means an established practice in Slovene galleries. Several famous artists of the 1950s, 19060s and 1970s like Henry Moore, Ossip Zadkine, Daniel Buren, and Victor Vassarely exhibited there. Some of their artworks are now part of the gallery's rich collection comprising over 1000 items.

The ambition to bring Slovenj Gradec, a small town near the Slovene-Austrian border, to the international map of art as well as to connect Slovene and international artists continued effectively under the guidance of Milena Zlatar, who paid much attention to engaged art. In 2008 Marko Košan became director and offered space to the regional artists with the Small Gallery of Koroška Gallery of Fine Arts (opened in 2009), but the vision of the gallery located in the very centre of the historic town remains the same.

History

The institution was established on endeavours similar to Arnold Bode's idea for documenta in Kassel in 1955 – to create a fine arts centre out of a rural town like Slovenj Gradec. The very first exhibition, Swedisch Kitchen, was dedicated to modern industrial design and organised already in 1954. The gallery was officially established in 1957 having its own exhibition space in the old town hall on Glavni trg. In 1966 the edifice where the gallery operates and exhibits still today was built. In the same year the gallery's activities received the honorary patronage of the United Nations (received also in 1975, 1979, 1985, and 1991).

Collections

The gallery's rich collection focuses on regional authors, but also includes several donations, bequests, and purchases of international authors. Parts of the collection are on view temporarily, some works also appear in various exhibitions.

The collection is divided into several segments, some dedicated to the most important regional artists. Jože Tisnikar (1928–1998) matured as an artist while working in a hospital pathology department. His 43 paintings and drawings are best defined by the term "dark modernism" and together with documentary material on the artist's life, reveal Tisnikar's world, examining his iconographic theme of death. The collection Hommage to Tisnikar also includes works by other Slovene artists with a similar sensibility: Zdenko Huzjan, Mirsad Begić. In 2003 Bogdan Borčić (b. 1926) donated 40 paintings from 1986 to 2003, which have made the Koroška Gallery of Fine arts, together with the Božidar Jakac Art Museum, Kostanjevica na Krki which holds Borčić's graphic cabinet, the central institution to study the works by this vital experimentator.

The international collection includes works by Ossip Zadkine, Victor Vasarely, Maria Bonomi, Toon Wegner, Gene Chu, and Paolo Minoli. It consists of paintings, prints, photographs, original architectural drawings, statues, and documentary material on installations, including performances. The donation of the works by Italian artist Pino Poggi (donated in 1998) provides the basis for a developing an International Museum of Social Aesthetics.

The collection of 19th- and 20th-century Slovene art reflects several decades of the gallery's exhibitions programme, and features the work of Marko Šušteršič, France Mihelič, Riko Debenjak, Marjan Pogačnik, Božidar Jakac, Ive Šubic, Rudolf Kotnik, Kiar Meško, Dragica Čadež, Janez Boljka, and others. The most significant segment of the collection are works by artists who are natives of Carinthia or are in some way or another connected with the Mislinja, Drava, or Mežica valleys (Franjo Golob, Karel Pečko, Lojze Logar, Gustav Gnamuš, Anton Dolenc, Vida Slivniker, Štefan Marflak, Peter Hergold, Sašo Vrabič, etc.).

The collection not only presents the heritage from the 19th century onwards but also the most recent art trends. A special place is occupied by the works of Franc Berneker (1874–1932), the first modern Slovene sculptor and contemporary of the impressionist painters, and by the works by painter Oskar Pistor (1865–1928), whose portraits, genre and landscape paintings establish links between the Upper Drava Valley and cosmopolitan Vienna and Munich, and also depict the landscapes of the Tyrol and Carinthia which inspired Pistor. The collection also includes some works of former Yugoslav authors.

Collection of Franc Tretjak (the African Collection)

Franc Tretjak (1914–2009) spent nearly 20 years in Africa as an economic consultant of the United Nations and donated to Slovenj Gradec his African collection consisting of domestic artefacts (vessels, ladles, calebashes, fans, baskets, musical instruments, tools, arms, etc) and items which have an ethnological value (cult objects including masks and statuettes, fetishes and amulets, objects of white and black magic, Nomoli statues and rare "antiques" from the African continent).

Open-air collection

The open-air gallery on the edge of Štibuh Park is also arranged as a venue for cultural events. In the 1970s its cultural function was further enhanced with the installation of sculptures by selected artists (Ivan Meštrović, Drago Tršar, Josip Diminić, Jordan Grabuloski, Ivan Sabolić, Ratko Vulanović, Ana Bešlić, etc.) under the slogan "For Peace".

Exhibition programme

The gallery has organised several repercussive international exhibitions and events, starting in the mid-1970s. In 1979 the International Fine Art Exhibition exposed the problems of the socialisation of art and psycho-formation, it dealt with the peripheral areas of fine art, and touched upon the alternatives in contemporary architecture in the 1970s. An exhibition featuring works from Ossip Zadkine's collection in Paris took place in 1991. The sculpture "Memorial to the Apologist of Cubism – the Poet Guillame Apollinaire" (1937, bronze), which Zadkine presented as a gift to Slovenj Gradec at the first international fine art exhibition in 1966, was transferred from Paris – with the permission of the foundation – as late as 1990, and in the same year it took its place in the atrium of the gallery.

In the last 20 years the gallery has featured various thematic international exhibitions (The Artist and an Urban Environment (1997); The Kitchen – From the Idea to Excession (1954–2004) (2004), 2 LIVE on the dilemmas of our existence and being, 60 years after the end of World War II (2005) – here the primary focus was on photography – a medium that decisively marked the 20th century; Thread [Nit] with 33 Slovene and foreign artists, curated by Maja Škerbot, marked the 50th Anniversary of the Koroška Gallery in 2007). In 2008 Jernej Kožar and Rado Poggi curated Necessary Discourse on Hysteria on the issue of social hysteria with artists experiencing the process of an exhibition-installation, and in the remaining 3 weeks joined by performances, discussions, theatre, talks, speeches, and video works.

Small Gallery for artists of the Koroška region

In 2009 gallery director Marko Košan initiated an exhibition room intended to focus upon regional artists.

In 2009 the project Libri of Italian sculptor and politically engaged conceptualist Pino Poggi, tightly connected with Slovenj Gradec, was on view, followed by the newest setting of the project At the Golden Thigh [Pri zlatem stegnu] by authors Nataša and Katja Skušek, and Mladen Stropnik.

See also

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