Drago Tršar: Monument

18. 05. 2019 – 08. 09. 2019

Sculptor and academician Drago Tršar is written in the patrimony of Slovenian sculpture as an important figure. His outstanding works, which extend from monumental public to small sculptures, can be found in all publications surveying Slovene fine arts of the 20th century. He is also recognised by works in various other fine arts media. Drago Tršar has also been a long-time professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana. On the occasion of the author’s ninetieth anniversary in 2017 and at the initiative of the Museum of Modern Art, the Božidar Jakac Art Museum joined the inter-institutional project entitled: Monument – Drago Tršar. A wide-ranging and in-depth professional examination of the author’s oeuvre, executed between 2017 and 2019 by seven museum institutions, resulted in a series of exhibitions across Slovenia, with the final exhibition in Kostanjevica na Krki.

The exhibition in the Božidar Jakac Art Museum, as the last in a series, includes ensemble of works from all creative periods, selected by the author. The layout in six rooms of the exhibition space focuses, in contrast with the layout of the exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art, on the sculptures of smaller dimensions in bronze, plaster and ceramics. The exhibition opens with depictions of the animal world, which is a permanently present theme throughout Tršar’s creative oeuvre, and continues with figural sculptures from his early period. The last room on the first floor is dedicated to the artist’s most recognisable cycle titled Multitudes, which shifts the focus from the field of intimate poetics and moves it to the public sphere. One of the works from this cycle, the Multitude from the 1960’s, comes from the collection of the Božidar Jakac Art Museum.

On the second floor, the exhibition (adapted to the space) continues with ceramic sculptures influenced by Picasso. Ceramics, which accompanied Drago Tršar throughout his artistic career are followed by the cycle of sculptures in bronze titled The Figures Within that redefines the meaning of dualism in relation to individual and the crowd. The space inside the sculptures is in comparison to the Multitude cycle completely different, as it no longer functions as the public space. Drago Tršar is well known as an exceptional portraitist and by this at the same time also as chronicler of the 20th century. A selection of portraits concludes the exhibition and draws a comparison and dialogue between unnamed “Multitudes” and figures from a public, more specifically cultural space, who are immanent to the multitudes, yet have through their own actions, deserved to be depicted.

Curator: Goran Milovanović

Photo: Tomaž Grdin, GBJ archive

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