Compliments to Metka Krašovec

May 2012

The fact that Metka Krašovec is the first female painter to been afforded the opportunity by the Museum of Modern Art to hold a retrospective exhibition of her work to honour her 70th birthday points to the deep furrow she has made in ploughing new ground in Slovenian fine art.

Metka Krašovec. Photo: STA archive

Metka Krašovec is one of the most prominent artists from the generation of artists born immediately after the breakthrough that was made in Slovenia by the Ljubljana Graphic Arts School, following the release of social realism’s firm grip and the opening of the door to creative freedom of expression. She graduated in 1964 under the renowned Prof. Gabrijel Stupica , under whom she also completed her post-graduate studies in painting. She obtained a master's degree in graphic art under Prof. Riko Debenjak  and continued her education in the US and the United Kingdom and in 1977 became one of the youngest professors at the Ljubljana Academy of Fine Arts .

As a one-of-a kind artist, whose paintings are immediately recognisable, Metka Krašovec has created a number of entirely new poetics in fine arts with the red colour first prevailing in her early creative years and, subsequently, with her striking figures predominantly featuring strange heads, a kind of premonition of beings hailing from other galaxies, and then with new explosions of colour, which is characteristic of her third creative cycle. The search for beauty as an absolute ideal we can come close to, but cannot quite reach, is, according to the organisers of her retrospective, the essential thread that runs through her fairly heterogeneous poetry of painting.

One of the most important figures of Slovene painting for decades

Krašovec at the exhibition. Photo: STA/ Nebojša Tadić

The artist explained the diversity of her paintings to the Slovenian media as follows: "Of course people change over time; even if the direction and the idea remain the same, there are various ways of attaining the realisation. I am not afraid to take a new path; perhaps the fear that you follow the same path, even after it has run its course, is even greater."  The self-critical concern of finding herself stuck in a rut is thus one of her basic creative premises. "When the path I walk comes to an end or has run its course, I hit a dead end and get a feeling of being walled in...  Then it's time to take a hammer and knock down the walls that have surrounded me, so I can escape from captivity and take a step forward towards something that is beyond me," she told Mladina magazine. This speaks of an artist who firmly and, above all, stands with curiosity in a space, drawing on every moment to inspire new creative challenges. Her constant search for something new is a result of the surprising fact that she has managed to paint continuously for four decades, her creativity facing no longer time gaps during which she would have to struggle to find new challenges.

The comprehensive exhibition

Krašovec with the President Dr Danilo Türk, his wife Barbara and on the far right Moderna galerija director Zdenka Badovinac. Photo: STA archive

The retrospective includes 65 large-format paintings and 120 drawings on paper. The show also includes her red paintings from the period between 1970 and 1979; the drawings and paintings on paper from the New Image period in the 1980s; the "Neo-classicist images" of faces since the late 1980s. The exhibition also features her final period, in which her Neo-classicist manner developed in painting and drawing into an iconography of angelic figures in landscapes, labyrinths with cypresses, and Mediterranean groves.

Text by Jože Osterman, Sinfo May, 2012 

Photo: STA archive

Other sources:
Museum of Modern Art ( , )