Artists of the former Yugoslavia in the UGM Collection
UGM Kabinet, Strossmayerjeva 6
20 June – 27 September 2020
opening: Saturday, 20 June 2020, 19:00

curator: Andreja Borin

The exhibition displays a selection of works created by artists from former Yugoslavia. It presents a very diverse material that found its way to the collection of the Maribor Art Gallery (UGM Collection) in various ways: as purchases, bequests, donations, transfers of the then funds for culture, or as acquisitions from the Maribor Regional Museum. The selection of works is adapted to the small exhibition space. It covers the period from 1958 to 2003. While some of the exhibiting artists are internationally renowned (Edo Murtić, Miroslav Šutej, Vladimir Veličković) and others are known only locally, the works of both have been exhibited in the context of the UGM Collection only exceptionally, some of them are most likely even shown for the first time. The reason lies in the mission of the gallery, which primarily focuses on collecting, studying, exhibiting, and promoting Slovenian modern and contemporary art. The exhibition of lesser-known works from the collection is therefore always a great opportunity for new insights that may be of interest to the professional and general public.

The research into the works by Artists of the former Yugoslavia in the UGM Collection reveals the importance of connections between the former republics, the reputation of individual artists, and the policy of exhibiting and acquiring the works. It shows that most of the ex-Yugoslav material in the UGM Collection pertains to Croatian art and that printmaking is the most represented genre. Graphic portfolios (both of individual artists and groups) occupy the largest part. Also revealing are the facts that photographs are not at all included among these works and that other genres are represented only individually. Another conclusion is that the acquisition of the works by ex-Yugoslav artists was rather a matter of opportunity (exhibition, gift, bequest) than thoughtful planning. And finally, the research shows that over 95% of the works by ex-Yugoslav artists included in the UGM Collection were created by male artists. Women from this region only rarely exhibited at the Maribor Art Gallery. An exception to this rule is the sculptor Milena Lah, who is included in the exhibition with two drawings thematising the female body.

Each artist and each displayed work are briefly presented in the exhibition.