UGM | Maribor Art Gallery, Strossmayerjeva 6
Opening: Thursday, 12 November 2009 at 19:00

The drawings of Roman Zel possess an essence that is very difficult to define. With their power of presence they attract attention but at the same time they are unobtrusive and tend to go unnoticed. The substance of their origin is dark and almost menacing, but this threat fails to reach us completely and remains as a premonition instead. This menacing nature transforms itself in an unexpected way into an amazing aesthetic image, which overwhelms us with its eruptive power, impulsiveness, beauty, harmony, melodiousness and fragility. The revealed points address the viewer with gravity but at the same time they move the viewer, for the beauty in Roman Zel’s work can be experienced in its creepy stillness. In viewing his work our experience continuously oscillates, if the what from which the image is made of is serious, dark and fathomless, then the how is surprisingly pure, deep and stark. The drawings of Roman Zel exist on an amazingly thin line between darkness and purity, between dramatic feelings full of angst which appear in the process of their creation and independent images full of pure inner landscapes inhabited at an imperceptible turning point. Like the artist his works exist and persist on the edge, the lightning of purity and beauty finds its full expression upon the background of the dark places from which they originate, but one step further and the darkness would absorb this lightning and imprison it in a dense inescapable form. The drawings of Roman Zel are exhibited in the Knight’s Hall of UGM and accompany a major exhibition on view at UGM, Drawing in Slovenia II, 1940-2009.

Roman Zel (b. 1969, Maribor) studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana. He graduated in 1998. He lives and works in Maribor:

Curator: Andreja Borin, curator at Maribor Art Gallery