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The Roški quarter: skivvy undergrowth, stones and wild creatures in painterly images of nature



Opening of the exhibition today at 19:00, it will be on view until June 10

In the Kočevje drevi art gallery, the group exhibition Roški kvartir is opening with the works of five artists who in their practice often depict nature and the forest ecosystem.

They present their works Tina Dobrajc, Mitja Ficko, Peter Gaber, Mito Gegič and Monika Slemc Klavžar.

Although the participating artists present works of larger and smaller formats, which are characterized by specific author’s styles and recognizable artistic language, in the foreground are nevertheless more monumental works, which, according to the curator Maše Žekš “they approach the atmosphere of mighty nature, the endless seam, the mysterious milieu, the beasts and their hiding places”.

Monika Slemc Klavžar, Uncut 17, 2023, acrylic on canvas.  Photo: Art salon Kočevje

To nature, every artist or the artist approaches from another stage and in a different way. As we read in the exhibition text, Mito Gegič paints the depicted forests through the prism of Slovenian hunting tradition. It critically and ambivalently tackles the power relations between regulatory bodies, unwavering toxic masculinity and capitalism in relation to moral ethics and compassion. In her characteristic works, Monika Slemc Klavžar delves into the geological composition and foundations of natural laws and explores the complex relationship between man and nature, which is even more destructive in a hectic technologically advanced society.

Tina Dobrajc intertwines saturated and dark forests with feminism and ambiguous folklore, and in addition to environmental issues, she also raises a more complex geopolitical question about the growing and recurring xenophobic tendencies in our environment.

Peter Gaber and Mitja Ficko are more of a dream. With his bold volumes and dark abstraction, Peter Gaber draws the viewer into melancholic spheres, illustrated in a primordial down-to-earth manner, while Mitja Ficko, with his thoughtful composition and placement of cute creatures, brings nature closer to us as an extremely inviting and varied habitat. Individual works on the border with abstraction are distinguished by the skillful layering of artistic elements, intense colors, the use of glitter and the rendering of specific night scenes.

Tina Dobrajc, Girl with Pink Cat, 2023, 20 x 30 cm, acrylic on canvas.  Photo: Art salon Kočevje

Between national pride and the horror of historical memoriesAccording to the curator, the exhibition with its images of a dark forest, mysterious undergrowth, rocks, hydrosphere, wild creatures and methodically placed anthropomorphic figures and their ambivalent implications for the environment brings associations and memories linked to the Kočevski primeval forest, pristine wilderness and, in general, the homeland, the land of forests.

The title of the exhibition and its placement in the Kočev art salon allude to the sung Karst plateau, which on the one hand is connected to wider (almost automated) national pride, and on the other hand evokes fear and political-historical debris, the curator draws parallels. The presented works show nature, which can be a field for the manifestation of various stories and reflections – somewhere in the foreground is admiration for beauty, elsewhere critical and more direct messages, he writes.

“In relation to the local space, their works are applied to the properties, atmosphere and identity of the environment, which is discovered and understood in layers – initially a completely logical, generally understandable, anyway desirable liking of forests and nature. This is followed by a pinch of appealing pedantry that hints to local hobbies, tourist attractions or driving through Dolenjka. The latter reality of labor migrants under the surface is complemented by a more internal, impudence-saturated suggestion of existing and historical issues related to the communities living there, Kočevski Rog and the southern state border.”

The exhibition will be on display until June 10.

Source: Rtvslo

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