Contemporary Artists from Trieste
A miscellany of exhibitions at Rajhenburg Castle
Rajhenburg Castle, 19. 10. 2019–19. 4. 2020
The KONS Art Association from Trieste is the successor to the Association of Artists of the Slovenian Minority, which operated in Trieste and Gorizia in the past decades. The Association is active within the field of visual art in the broadest sense of the word and brings together painters, sculptors, photographers, graphic artists and multimedia designers, directors, architects, amateurs and art lovers; in short, all who “respect art”. All the featured artists are members of the Association.
The exhibition has been conceived upon the initiative of the KONS Association, with the wish to present the activities of its members to the audience in their home country. As a member of the Association, I was asked to curate the exhibition and select the artists, as well as choose an appropriate exhibition space. Krško Cultural Centre recognised the significance of presenting the so-called Slovenian Minority artists, who rarely exhibit in Slovenia, and accepted the proposal of installing their works on the premises of Rajhenburg Castle.
The exhibition is conceived as a group of personal overview exhibitions in one space, and not as a group exhibition. Included among the selected artists are the most prominent Trieste artists of Slovenian origin, Slovenian artists from Italy therefore: the late sculptor Bogomila Doljak, along with painters Jasna Merkù, Sandi Renko, Deziderij Švara and Franko Vecchiet. There are many decades of artmaking behind them, each of them has a characteristic, rich and recognisable artistic oeuvre, which is not so well known in the Slovenian arena, even though all artists are well established on the Italian and international art scene. Most of them were educated in Italian art schools and some continued their education in Slovenia. From their work, one can feel that they originate from the Italian creative environment, but they were nevertheless influenced by their sense of belonging to the conscious Slovenian community and the rich tradition of the Slovenian “minority” artists, especially Černigoj, who liked to encourage and direct young artists.
The main common feature of all the artists gathered here is their exploration of various materials and the expressive possibilities that they offer while encroaching into the space, into the sense of space or into the object within the space.
The works of these artists are a reflection of the time or to summarise Franko Vecchiet: the driving force of the production of the works is in the past, but they strive for the future. As can also be seen in the older works from the artists’ oeuvres, the works did not exhaust themselves during the period of their production but resist time, and continue to be topical.