Human alienation theme of new show at Cukrarna
Works by 32 artists, spanning from Slovenian post-war existentialist art to contemporary figurative art, have been put on display at the Cukrarna art venue in Ljubljana in a show that discusses human alienation.
The exhibition, entitled The Figurative, Selected Examples in Slovenian Art, will run until 20 August, bringing together works lent by seven major museums and galleries as well as private collectors.
Figurative art has recently been in focus at major exhibitions and biennales, so it was important to spotlight it in Cukrarna as well, Blaž Peršin, director of the Ljubljana Museums and Galleries, told the pre-launch press conference on 6 April.
The curators Alenka Gregorič and Mateja Podlesnik first picked "obvious artists", Janez Bernik, Marij Pregelj, Gabrijel Stupica and Zoran Mušič, who are represented with one cannon work each.
They then started building stories around those works and the main question of human alienation.
Apart from the four artists, the others showcased include Marko Jakše, Tina Dobrajc, Silvan Omerzu, Maruša Šuštar and Staš Kleindienst, who won the Rihard Jakopič Prize this year.
The exhibition raises questions of anxiety, a sense of spiritual sterility and intellectual paralysis as old values and systems are being shattered in the face of climate change and war.
The artists were chosen because they portray both the real and the metaphysical world in a more or less mimetic way. Many works were selected after atelier visits, while the works by deceased artists were borrowed from museum collections.
The artworks in The Figurative are not arranged chronologically or by artist. Instead, artists of different ages, sensibilities or art styles communicate, so that works by one artist appear in different contexts and dialogues.
Some works and smaller sketches are featured in the gallery hallways that allow for a more intimate viewing experience.