FROM THE TOWN OF CELJE, A SELECTION OF ARTWORKS FROM THE PERMANENT COLLECTION OF THE CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY ARTS CELJE
>> The exhibition will be opened on Thrusday, 13 April 2023, at 7 p.m. by the mayors of Slovenj Gradec and Celje, Mr Tilen Klugler and Mr Matija Kovač.
>> Curator: Maja Antončič
Artists: Andrej Ajdič, Emerik Bernard, Janez Boljka, Jože Ciuha, Jure Cvitan, Dragica Čadež, Matej Čepin, Peter Černe, Avgust Černigoj, Tomaž Črnej, Andreja Džakušič, Tomaž Gorjup, Herman Gvardjančič, Anton Herman, Maja Hodošček, Robert Hutniski, Zmago Jeraj, Boris Jesih, Narcis Kantardžić, Dušan Kirbiš, Rudolf Kotnik, Bojana Križanec, Simon Macuh, France Mihelič, Tomaž Milač, Jožef Muhovič, Boris Kobe, Tone Lapajne, Sonja Lamut, Avgust Lavrenčič, Floris Oblak, Nikolaj Omersa, Lajči Pandur, Iza Pavlina, Janez Pirnat, Štefan Planinc, Mark Požlep, Marij Pregelj, Ratimir Pušelja, Franc Purg, Maksim Sedej, Vida Slivniker Belantič, Mojca Smerdu, Tinca Stegovec, Ana Straže, Branko Suhy, Gorazd Šefran, Janez Šibila, Tanja Špenko, Marko Šuštaršič, Ive Šubic, Jože Tisnikar, Konrad Topolovec, Drago Tršar, Marijan Tršar, Željko Opačak, Milan Todić, Milena Usenik, Manja Vadla, Jana Vizjak, Melita Vovk, Karel Zelenko, Dalibor Bori Zupančič, Jelica Žuža
The collection of the Center for Contemporary Arts Celje, which today comprises almost 380 works, began in 1963, shortly after the foundation of Likovni salon Gallery, the first organised and still active exhibition venue in Celje, to which the Gallery of Contemporary Art was added in 1993. After the organisationally exhausting initial years of operation and until 1980, the collection policy was primarily tied to the exhibition programme (almost every exhibition was accompanied by a purchased work of art) and to the creative endeavours of the entire Slovenian arena. After 1980, the collection policy focused intensively on the acquisition of works by artists who had a significant influence on the local, Celje-based art scene. In the 1990s, the pace slowed and only a few acquisitions were made, most of which involved funding from the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia or donations from artists. Since 2006, however, the selection of artworks has been almost exclusively linked to the expansion of the collection to include artists from Celje who have their studios in the Art Quarter, which, among other things, calls into question the adequate representation of artists in the collection.
The exhibition consists of two parts: a look at the works of prominent Slovenian artists who have been active since the 1960s, mainly in the fields of painting, sculpture and printmaking, and a look at the creativity of the Celje region, which could be said to lead several parallel lives. The academy-trained painters of several generations who have left our region and continued their path elsewhere are joined by artists who have remained in Celje and today form a more visible part of the local art community. They complement the formally established fund of artworks with vital attempts to go beyond purely classical art forms, while in terms of content the works reveal contemporary stories and faces of the city at the expense of their work in the local environment.
With the guest exhibition at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Koroška, we can once again look back on sixty years of uninterrupted institutional activity and at the same time reflect on the possible filling of gaps and voids in the permanent collection, as well as on the past productive initiatives of the profession and the progress and efforts of many artists who are building our art scene. The attempt here is to provide an insight into one of the smaller Slovenian art collections and the creativity of the city of Celje, where one can find visible art achievements, almost forgotten artistic endeavours and small but significant shifts in the field of visual art in Slovenia. If, in his conceptual action The Town of Celje in 1973, Bori Zupančič exhibited everything that existed in the city at that time – that is, the city itself – this overview shows what can be placed on the map of the visual heritage of the Celje arena at this time.