15 Oct 2013
3 Nov 2013
Germany Ingolstadt Städtische Galerie im Theater Ingolstadt
The fine art exhibiting activities began in Murska Sobota already in 1965, with the opening of the exhibition pavilion by architect Franc Novak, forerunner of today's Murska Sobota gallery. Early exhibitions of regional art were dominated by the work of artists from the immediate area, but the programme was later expanded to include exhibitions of work from the rest of Slovenia and from abroad.
The pavilion became the first host of the Pannonian International Art Exhibition, for the first time organised in 1967 and entitled The Pannonian Landscape and People. It presented works by artists from Austria, Croatia, Hungary, and Slovenia. Until 1971 Murska Sobota was the principal organiser of this exhibition, but it later continued in Hungary (at the Savaria Museum, Szombathely in 1973) and Austria (at the Landesgalerie Schloss Esterhazy, Eisenstadt in 1975). An exhibition is now a triennial event in which Austria, Croatia, Hungary, and Slovenia participate.
In 1973 the pavilion also launched the first Yugoslav Biennial of Small Sculptures, which in 1999 developed into the European Triennial of Small Sculpture. Cf. the archival article about the Trienninal.
Between 1965 and 1992, visual arts activities in Murska Sobota were managed under different regional structures: before 1971 the exhibition pavilion operated within the Murska Sobota Regional Museum, and was then taken over by the Workers' University of Murska Sobota until 1978, when it was merged with Murska Sobota Regional and Study Library, Murska Sobota Regional Museum and the Park Cinema to form the Miško Kranjec Cultural Centre (as the centre, one of the first in Slovenia, was called until 1983).
In 1980 the exhibitions moved into a purpose-built gallery space in Kocljeva ulica, and in 1992 the Municipality of Murska Sobota established an independent public cultural institution under the current name Murska Sobota Gallery.
The programme is based on solo exhibitions of regional, national or international artists. Exhibitions are curated by both house and sometimes freelance curators, for instance the exhibitions of sculptures by Mirko Bratuša and Drago Tršar, or paintings by Franc Mesarič, Sandi Červek, Gustav Gnamuš, Marjan Gumilar, Robert Černelič or Ladislav Danč (1932–1979).
Art historian and a curator Janez Balažic curated the exhibition Works of Art from Prekmurje with the aim to present the main milestones of art history from romanticism to modernism in the region.
Today the permanent collection of Murska Sobota Gallery comprises more than 686 art works by Slovene artists (mainly from the local milieu) plus donations and purchases from past Biennials of Small Sculptures.
Since the gallery's premises are intended for temporary exhibitions and there is not enough space for the presentation of a permanent collection, the gallery exhibits selected works periodically, but almost as a rule there is one exhibition term per year dedicated to a curated insight in the collection and its sections: paintings, sculptures, and works on paper (drawings, graphics and artistic photography), including the newest acquisitions of the year.
During the last decade the collection was enriched by acquisitions of regional and national artists like Natalija Šeruga, Martina Bohar, Žarko Vrezec, Zdenko Huzjan, Drago Tršar, Robert Černelč, Vesna Drnovšek, Igof Banfi, Dubravko Baumgartner, Nataša Kos, Mirko Rajnar, and Dušan Šarotar.
The pedagogical programme focuses on pre-school children and primary school pupils with the course The First Time in the Gallery. Its main aim is to introduce children to art in a relaxed and entertaining manner. The Explore the Current Exhibition and Getting Familiar with World Famous Art Work activities are addressed to the primary and secondary school students. Art Workshops linked to the current exhibition have been also organised.
The gallery also offers guided exhibition tours as well as lectures and classes of classical art history and topical issues in contemporary art, usually held by the curators of the Murska Sobota Gallery, occasionally also by invited guest lecturers.