maja babič košir
02. 10. – 05. 11. 2018
Having lived and worked abroad for ten years, illustrator, painter and sculptor Maja Babič Košir returns home to present her first solo exhibition (of paintings) here. As is typical for her, the works displayed will reflect the author’s search for beauty in life rather than pain and sorrow. Her work remains committed to intimate existential experience, always embarking on an introverted search for personal and private happenings and moods. The artist’s research into art as therapy has led to impulsive images, which, in most cases, were hiding a strong emotional charge. The cathartic drawings and paintings yet contain the traces of a sculptor, such as thick layers of paint on canvas. Intuition, evocation and connection with (past) feelings and longing have enabled an unconscious appearance of words. When appearing in her works, they have a spontaneous, playful and relaxed effect.
In the exhibition “I have to go. Bollocks”, Babič Košir continues to pose questions of identity, the perception of women and femininity, sexuality, (disillusioned) love and longing for love. According to herself, she knows no censorship when creating. Her figures are not the only thing she lays bare: she also shows us how to break free of social norms, rules and the weight of “normality”, and how to cause the draught, at least, to aerate the patriarchal mustiness.
04. 09. – 01. 10. 2018
A new generation painter and illustrator, Ana Popescu is one of the most active young artists in the international visual culture. She has been paving her way by means of solo exhibitions and having her works featured in a number of publications, art magazines and other media. For a number of years, she has been exploring spaces, which began as she was drawing her most intimate space – her own home. Her artworks fundamentally derive from the heritage of Bauhaus aesthetics, which, to the author, is a nostalgic reminiscence of native Romania, having been influenced by the German architectural style after World War I, and also from modernist houses known for their large geometric shapes. Having replaced the previously commonly applied Indian Ink, simple shapes and strong colours that now cohabit on the surface. The artist has succeeded in overcoming her respect but also bashfulness towards colours by taking the most daring shade she could find and subsided to the process without much thought. As a result, fictitious homes are being created, reminding us of childlike joy that retains all elements playful and lively, often also adding a touch of summer. According to the artist, she wishes to create images hinting at something realistic without being such themselves. Views into spaces without the human presence, skewed dimensions and prominent colours help us keep our distance from our own reality.
Fictional homes is an exhibition that comprises a selection of works from the eminent series Homes and new works in which the artist shifts and explores new and new ways of creating them. Her latest works feature certain details that enable views of a small number of elements in composition, communicating with the light. A series of illustrations depicts a multifaceted play with depth and surface, whereas a playful figured pattern is faced with a surreal landscape, rendering an essentially simple scene quite complex. Fascinating images made in a wonderful colour palette entice us with their utopian view of the concept of a home devoid of all personal characteristics of its inhabitant.
08. 06. – 14. 06. 2018
With selected art posters and a documentary film, the lovest, revisited presents the project the lovest, which lived and breathed from 2011 to 2014. Strategically and in terms of content, it is a continuation of the project I’m Culture, with which the visual artist JAŠA left a significant mark on the Triennial of Contemporary Art in Slovenia in 2010, curated by Charles Esche. The artist developed a strategy of the relationship towards the entire exhibition and space, focusing on the unused areas. He carried out a series of events that took place in all areas and functional groups. They were set in the between-space, the coat check and the non-functional café, among the toilets, next to the lecture hall and elsewhere, opening up a chaotic world, diametrically opposed to the orderly exhibition aesthetic that dictated the walls of the gallery one floor up. The entire happening attracted a new, younger audience to the Museum of Modern Art, excitedly paying close attention to the happening, full of fun, humour, subjugation, destruction and shock. With the intervention nearly merging with the space, it seemed a shame for the project to come to a sudden end.
A mere two weeks after the conclusion of the triennial, the project evolved into a new one, called the lovest. Together with his collective, the artist established an alternative entrance through the window, allowing visitors to enter and exit freely, and painted the windows of the gallery basement in bright colours. With both interventions, he aimed to soften the façade of the “old lady” and/or the dilemma that turned many away before even entering the gallery. He soon moved his studio into the gallery, building form and structure on a daily basis and leaving his doors open during the official gallery opening times. The installation attaining a satisfactory form was followed by organised events that soon competed with all the other Friday night gatherings. The period coincided with a broader “renaissance” of the club scene in Ljubljana and elsewhere. Over time, the lovest became an excellent instrument of active experimentation in combining individual media into a whole of events that – regardless of the debauchery, happening, concert, dancing, performance or other raging – always ended with the same words by the legendary gallery doorman: “The museum is closing.” The author aimed to utilise the form of a club or party as an artistic form, a participatory Gesamtkunstwerk. As he adds today: “Speaking about the lovest is speaking about life as we saw and lived it.”
16. 05. – 05. 06. 2018
For the Love Story exhibition, Ron Preinfalk artistically redesigned the handwoven Gobelin tapestries made by Slovenian artist Petra Varl (1965) that feature two city dwellers, Zvezda and Odeon. The characters were first presented by the artist in cooperation with Maja Gspan in the Zvezda Park, Ljubljana in 1995 in the city calendar (as part of the “Ljubljančani” project in the framework of Urbanaria), where their mood was adapted to the season and month in question. Based on a simplified portrayal of their intimate world, the well-known characters interfered with the life of the city and touched the viewers, the coincidental passers-by. They also sneaked into other projects, thereby occupying, seizing, settling in and capturing practically all the media and presentation spaces available. Having been stitched in the Gobelin technique by the artist’s mother, Nuša Varl, Zvezda and Odeon made their last appearance at an international contemporary art exhibition in Salestat, France in 1996. A few years ago the characters again became the focus of the artist’s attention, but she made the decision to forward her Gobelin tapestries. She gifted them to Ron who has since been writing a new chapter in the story of Zvezda and Odeon.
With his exhibition project featuring ten carefully selected works of art, he thus wishes to pay homage to two creative generations and a love story that combines two artistic expressions: Gobelin stitches and felt-tip pens. According to the (co-)author, Zvezda and Odeon have been together for 23 years, their Love story reminding us of all loves that have since been felt, some of them also grown out of. Two souls flirting with each other, dancing, sunbathing, skating, riding a motorcycle, always seeking their place under the sun, still remind us of true closeness, of the decisions taken, opportunities lost, minor mistakes and forgotten moments.
17. 04. – 14. 05. 2018
A younger generation painter, Urška Rednak, is a master of combining surface, colour and composition ratios. Embroidering wool on canvas, she has been introducing the old and traditional into contemporary painting. Combined with layers of acrylic paint and other media, the final result is calm, yet playful abstraction. In the past, the artist was exploring the relationship between image and text, which resulted in embroidered text on canvass. In her recent works, she has been avoiding previously expressed internal recreations and feelings. However, they still contain statements that pay no attention to their image, rather functioning as elements of the painting’s abstract composition. Her excursion into the world of abstraction was a spontaneous move based on the idea of combining wool with acrylic paints. Relief paintings that contain wool lead to a transition from two- to three-dimensional art space, while also containing smoothness introduced by the presence of wool, which begs to be touched. According to the artist, she combines colours to form a composition like a writer combines words to form a text. “You spend a long time looking for the word, replace it with another one, delete, add or substitute it. You should end up with a sensible composition.”
The exhibition On the surface guides the viewer’s gaze to the surface of paintings, inviting them to explore the compositions made of wool and acrylic paint, of various colours and shapes, and to succumb to the flow of own imagination and interpretations. Rather than sporting strictness, severity and unwritten rules, her works evoke ease. The artist having been liberated by the harmonious colour abstraction, the exhibition provides insight into the backstage of the process, in which the combination of wool and colour offers a fix for everyday anxiety.
06. 03. – 09. 04. 2018
The ZEK crew was established in 2001. It was primarily a graffiti crew, attempting street art and turning later on towards design. Today, 9 members form this all-round creative collective, including graphic, type, industrial designers, graffiti writers, illustrators, an architect and a VJ. The crew has participated in several exhibitions and graffiti jams around Europe, with its work being featured in publications such as Los Logos, Stickeraward, Graphotism and Concrete magazine. It is also famous for its StripGenerator, an award winning online comic generator. The crew always tries to incorporate wit, humor, and clever ideas into its artwork, mixing minimalism with kitsch, combining old styles with contemporary approaches, but not neglecting the tradition through the use of improvisation. The variety of members enables the crew to take up any task, always in search for new visual sensations.
16. 01. – 28. 02. 2018
Nina Čelhar is among the most promising Slovenian painters in today’s generation of young artists. She lives up to this promise relentlessly following a series of solo and group exhibitions both locally and abroad. Her work has also been included as part of several collections (inter alia ESSL and RIKO) and she has been awarded an array of international prizes, like the esteemed ESSL Art Award CEE. To her, art is a space for self-realisation where she gives meaning and colour through her painting. Through her works, she explores the current architecture that wraps around people’s living spaces, transforming the latter into a venue of tranquility. Between the external and internal physical spaces, she also leads the viewers into a psychological space – stripped off all tangible distractions, where viewers can pause in its serenity and question their own existence in a calm context.
The exhibition Light on Light uncovers ´an existential experience´ that takes us on a journey, from a flat, two-dimensional view of the house into a deeper interior on smaller canvases, where walls and other intimate details also play a prominent role. Minimalism is the key operating concept. Through the homogeneity of contents and colours, the viewer is invited into a safe and secure space, into a feeling of peace, opening the valves for reflection.