Dragica Čadež: The Story of Wood and Clay

23. 04. 2021 – 15. 08. 2021

The retrospective exhibition The Story of Wood and Clay, presents an overview of the more than fifty years of creative work by the sculptress Dragica Čadež, who had strongly influenced the Slovene and broader regional cultural space ever since the mid-1960s. The visiting exhibition was originally set up by the City Art Gallery Ljubljana, however, the exhibition at Galerija Božidar Jakac includes more artworks than the original exhibition, as our gallery has the largest collection of her works from various periods: over 270 statues in total.

The exhibition that will be accompanied by a vast catalogue published by the City Art Gallery Ljubljana, will delve deep into the analysis of the various periods of her work, focus on the continuities and discontinuities that occurred in her creativity, and extract the main emphases of her artistic expression and meaning. Since the mid-1960s, when she participated at the Forma Viva international symposium of sculptors in Kostanjevica na Krki, Dragica Čadež chose to use predominantly wood to express her creativity, however, over the past twenty years or so, she has also started working in clay. The exhibition will thus focus on the various periods of her rich career, in which she, from the very beginning, created in the spirit of high modernism and moved towards spatial sculpture which does not focus on classically centred mass, but rather introduces a rounded sculpting ambience. Dragica Čadež has applied various modernistic traditions to her work, most of which are not linked to the constantly repeated Eurocentric classicism, but feed on cultures found on the outskirts of the artistically dominant milieu, which have never truly became a part of high art in their original form.

Dragica Čadež (1940) graduated from the Ljubljana Academy of Fine Arts (1963), where she also completed her postgraduate studies under professor Boris Kalin (1965). In 1982 she became the first female professor of sculpting in Slovenia and since 1989 she has been employed as a full professor at the Faculty of Education in Ljubljana. She mainly works in wood, but lately she had started working in clay and ceramics, and at various times in her creative past, she had also worked in bronze, plaster and concrete. She has been working and holding solo exhibitions ever since 1963. Between 1968 and 1972 she was a member of the informal group Neo-constructivists (1968-1972), which created geometric and minimalistic art. In 1986 she received the Prešeren award for her breakthrough series of sculptures Associations of Pompei. Dragica Čadež lives and works in Ljubljana.

Curators: Sarival Sosič (MGML), Miha Colner (GBJ)

Photo: Tadej Abram

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