UGM l Maribor Art Gallery, Strossmayerjeva 6
Opening: Thursday, 5 May 2011 at 19:00

Academic sculptor Dragica Čadež, one of the most consistent representatives of the Slovene Neo-Constructivism, spent her youth in Maribor where Gabriel Kolbič introduced her into the art of small-scale sculpture. In 1963 she graduated at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana.

Her sculptural oeuvre consists of several connected series in terms of structure and content, focusing mostly on a firm constructivism of the sculpture and considering the significance of the space. The artist turned her ideas into sculptures made of wood, which is one of the oldest materials man had been using in order to express his creativity. Gradually her precise arranged compositions start to interfere with the entire space in which they were set up, after having a well considered conversation about fullness and emptiness, light and shadow, round and angular structures… Early constructivists had been very socially engaged and always on the search for the vision of a better world. Dragica Čadež works on her rough wooden blocks reflecting on the man and his split nature, adjustment problems and even the dark side of his nature, which could harm the man, people around him and nature itself. She often applies conflicting elements of man’s feelings and perception, reflected in a number of symbolic connotations. In her series Shadows for instance the artist exposed a relationship between man’s physical body and its fictitious material existence – a shadow as a space defined and occupied by the physical body. Through her wooden objects the sculptor tells us everything about her experiences and at the same time she responds to the events of our present time. Therefore her objects are more and more twisted and stigmatized by the pain of war as well as emotional and material absence. The story of the tree is a well chosen title illustrating the artistic oeuvre of Dragica Čadež. On the one hand it associates on wood as the sculptures favorite material, on the other hand on organic growth, which symbolizes the retrospective of her work.  

The retrospective of sculptor’s art work in UGM is one of the biggest surveys of her art up to now. Dragica Čadez is well known for her complete sculptural series, which will again come alive in atmospheric setting designed for a particular space. The connection between the small-scale sculptures and space will establish a well considered spatial structure which will eventually lead into an interacting communication, dialogue and exchange of influences between the small-scale sculptures and the ambience. In such spatial setting the space becomes an active designer of the desired atmosphere and fine art articulation, offering creative challenge for the artist and pleasure for the observer.

curator: Breda Kolar Sluga