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Behind the Scenes
Exhibition of the UGM Restoration Workshop
UGM Kabinet, Strossmayerjeva 6
6 May – 4 June 2023
opening, Saturday, 6 May 2023, 11:00

exhibition curator: Brigita Strnad
exhibition team: Katja Rus, Simona Šuc, and Boris Rajh

What is included in the lifespan of an artwork? The creation of an artwork by the artist probably involves the shortest period of its journey. Paintings, sculptures, or installations frequently move from one location to another, including studios, apartments, museums, depots, transportation vehicles, exhibition halls, and possibly even back to the studio or another workshop. There may be several hands involved in the procedure. In addition to harm that can result from carelessness or a simple accident, the original materials will inevitably deteriorate. Even though the artwork is handled professionally and given ample space, it is not immune to the ravages of time. It is consequently an essential aspect of an artwork's life to take care of it on a regular basis, to guarantee proper spatial conditions, and to safeguard it as much as possible from the inevitable marks of passing.

The UGM Restoration Workshop, headed by restorer and conservator Katja Rus, takes care of the UGM Collection, which includes over 9,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, and installations by Slovenian artists from the 20th and 21st centuries. The restorer and conservator's job is to check, assess, prevent, and recover works of art from damage and other signs of time. The work necessitates a thorough understanding of art, mastery of techniques and materials, keeping up with new advancements, and a high level of precision, patience, and a sense of responsibility for cultural heritage.

The exhibition Behind the Scenes in the UGM Kabinet of the Maribor Art Gallery provides a glimpse into the restoration process, from damage detection to the final outcome. We are displaying paintings in their reacquired original form by Ferdo Vesel, Jože Tisnikar, Ivan Kos, Janez Vidic, and Fran Tratnik, as well as a "new" plaster sculpture, The Girl by Vlasta Zorko (c. 1959). We will dive into the restoration process through photographic and video documentation, and we will follow the restoration of one of the paintings from the extensive UGM Collection "live."