Ludvik Pandur: A Retrospective
UGM | Maribor Art Gallery, Strossmayerjeva ulica 6
27 November 2021 − 20 March 2022

Curated by: Jure Kirbiš

This major retrospective exhibition provides an overview of the ongoing creative practice of painter Ludvik Pandur from the early 1970s to the present. This is the first time the artist's entire body of work will be comprehensively presented and evaluated on such a grand scale.

"In my painting, there is always an eeriness; it ranges from the beautiful to the grotesque; that delineated beauty that teases and provokes." (Ludvik Pandur)

The painter's work is defined by constant shifts between figure and landscape, mimetic and abstract, lyrical and epic, intimate and mythological. From his hometown of Maribor, through his many travels, Pandur responds with great sensitivity to the mood states of his environment. The mysteriousness of Maribor's city park and the profusion of its marketplace, the landscapes of fiery Castile and romantic southern Bavaria, London's Soho, and New York's Manhattan are all sources of inspiration for him. He is remarkably erudite and a great connoisseur of the canon of Western art, particularly painting, but also mythology and literature, poetry and music, as well as film and photography.

Pandur's paintings are replete with quotations, with Ovid's Metamorphoses and Perceval's myth of the Holy Grail, serving as the artist's primary sources. Current sources of inspiration, ranging from Antonio Machado's poetry to Michelangelo Antonioni's cinema, enter, above all, under the influence of space and time in this everlasting metamorphosis and eternal search. The characteristic Pandurian vertical (e.g. figure) and horizontal (e.g. landscape), through which the creative trace of European painting from the Renaissance to the present day is drawn, give expression to his inspirations from the start.

"Exuberantly baroque, sublimely tremulous, grotesquely Baconian, expressively de Kooningian. Titian and Botticelli, Klimt and Schiele, Auerbach and Appel. Pasty ruffled fields and azure floating sfumato. Ludvik Pandur has been searching for his Holy Grail, the ideal form of his own expression, through all of these realms in his almost daily painting practice for the past fifty years. He feels like he has already approached it at times, as he admits." (Jure Kirbiš)

Ludvik Pandur (1947) was born in Slovenj Gradec into a bourgeois family from Lendava. He and his family relocated to Maribor when he was a child, where he attended school until his graduation. His paternal uncle and father Lajči Pandur were both artists, therefore painting was literally laid in his cradle. He chose to study painting at the Zagreb Academy rather than the more conventional Ljubljana Academy, where his father's Zagreb colleagues taught, in order to "return to the root," as his father had already been trained there. He joined the master's workshop of painter Krsto Hegedušić in Zagreb after finishing his painting studies. Pandur returned to Maribor after his father's death in 1973, where he has remained prolific in his studio on Maistrova Street, with regular breaks, travelling abroad and attending colonies in Slovenia. He has been featured in various exhibitions at home and abroad, from Ljubljana, Piran, and Ptuj to New York, Munich, and Madrid, since his first solo exhibition in Maribor's Rotovž Exhibition Salon in 1971. He was a popular professor at the University of Maribor's Faculty of Education until his retirement. Pandur married the fashion designer Božena Pandur in 1980, and now the artistic succession lies in the hands of his daughter, dancer Ana Pandur Predin.