Dušan Tršar: A Retrospective

31. 03. 2017 – 20. 08. 2017

A retrospective exhibition, which was prepared on the occasion of the artist’s life jubilee – 80th birthday, presents the most important works from his opus, which has been created over more than sixty years. A chronologically conceived layout presents in the first section Tršar’s earliest works from the first half of the 1960s, formed in plaster, terracotta and lead, which the artist created after he had finished the Academy of Fine Arts. These were followed by works in welded iron, in which the artist shifts from realistic manner to the creation of more and more schematic forms of the human body. In the second half of the 60s the artist creates silhouettes made of wooden lamellas, wire and iron rods, which are bent at the upper end and thus preserve the memory of the human form.

The 1970s are marked by sculptures made of fluorescent Plexiglass, which the artist illuminated by neon light. The design of his objects and a cold industrial character of the chosen material are enriched by the use of colour, which becomes an autonomous artistic element. In this period Tršar joined a group of young Slovenian artists called “Neo-Constructivists”. The group originally consisting of Dušan Tršar, Dragica Čadež, Drago Hrvacki and Tone Lapajne was later joined by Vinko Tušek and Slavko Tihec. The group shared the methodological approaches related to the construction of spatial structures and constructivist and minimalist design principles, as well as their fondness for modern materials. Since the second half of the 1970s, the sculptures are becoming monochromatic, which is emphasizing the transparency of the works and permits a viewer to look through them. The final stage of this artistic period is represented by works in which the Plexiglass frame is filled with glazed baked clay or bronze forms, which are gradually outweighing the Plexiglass.

A relationship between the sculptor and the matter consumes the artist, who is creating almost entirely in bronze, from the 90s onwards. His sculptures, in which we can recognise flora and fauna forms, vary from small to monumental dimensions. In Tršar’s sculptures one can certainly feel a certain measure of intimate symbolism. The subtlety of the modelling establishes a special relation with the picturesque surface, which can be seen in the delicate play of light and shadows. The forms captured in bronze are permeated with distinct original poetics, which speak to us of eternity and timelessness.

Photo: Tomaž Grdin, GBJ archive

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