Valentin Oman: A Retrospective

06. 05. 2016 – 28. 08. 2016

This retrospective offers a review of Valentin Oman’s work over the past fifty years. Oman‘s impressively extensive oeuvre concentrates predominantly on painting and graphic arts, with particular emphasis on intricate, experimental expansion and combination of these artistic resources; his themes are human existence and the question of being, transience and transcendence. He has developed a distinctive pictorial vocabulary centred on the human figure and realized in exceptional techniques and evocative materials that formulate the figure as a symbol of a self-transcending metaphysical dimension. It appears, apart from traditional graphic works, in complex murals, material pictures and collages, and sculptures of metal and glass. This exhibition has collected examples ranging from the 1960s to today, including works from the Hermagoras Collection and the Carinthian Museum of Modern Art (MMKK); there is also a variety of travel sketches and landscapes, documentations of his countless works for public space, and an installation referring to his commitment to bilingual place-names in Carinthia – a particular concern of his, since he belongs to the Slovenian ethnic group.

Showing subsequently in the Carinthian Museum of Modern Art, the Vienna Künstlerhaus and the Božidar Jakac Art Museum, the exhibition is accompanied by a publication of 226 pages, with copious illustrations and essays by Martin Traxl, Milena Zlatar and others, in German, Slovenian and English.

Text: Christine Wetzlinger-Grundnig, MMKK

Curator: Goran Milovanović

Photo: Tomaž Grdin, GBJ archive

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