Despite his extensive oeuvre of book illustrations, which he started to create immediately after finishing his studies at the Ljubljana Academy of Fine Arts, Štefan Planinc (1925–2017) is recognized as the most consistent representative of surrealist painting in Slovenia. His motifs are taken either from the subconscious world, fantasies or dreams; usually, his works depict almost hyperrealist representations of real objects in unusual interrelations. Among his most renowned are the series Proto-World, Roads and Zoon politikon.
In 2005, Planinc donated a substantial portion of his extensive creative oeuvre to the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Koroška in Slovenj Gradec. It encompassed paintings and works on paper created during the period from 1958 until 2003. The donation contained as many as 603 artworks, of which there were 134 large- and medium-scale paintings on canvas, 274 works on paper and 195 original book illustrations.
A representative collection was first presented to the public in the form of an exhibition on the Slovene Cultural Holiday in 2006. In 2015, for the artist’s 90th birthday, the Museum produced and published a comprehensive collection catalogue that included a fundamental study of the artist (written by Milena Zlatar and Marko Košan). At the same time, the Museum organized an exhibition that presented a selection of paintings from the collection at the gallery in Slovenj Gradec, while a selection of drawings and illustrations was presented in the Ravne Gallery in 2016.
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