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Exhibitions and Projects
12 February–8 March 2009

A Spanish Vision

A Documentary Exhibition on the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Zoran Mušič

The documentary exhibition A Spanish Vision will be opened on the ground floor of the National Gallery of Slovenia on the evening of 12 February 2009, exactly on the 100th anniversary of the birth of painter Zoran Mušič. The exhibition featuring documents, quotations, original articles and some rare preserved works from the period of Mušič’s travels to Spain calls attention to the so-called Year of Mušič, which has been supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia.

All Slovene galleries and museums that keep Mušič's work in their collection will prepare a series of encounters with the painter's sketches, prints and paintings on the occasion of the 100th anniversary. Events will run their course throughout the year, up till the autumn retrospective exhibition in the newly refurbished Moderna galerija (Museum of Modern Art) in Ljubljana.

The National Gallery of Slovenia with director Janez Zorman was the institution that recognised Mušič's talent and intellect already in 1934 and made it possible for him, together with a scholarship awarded by Maribor Municipality, to undertake his study trip to Spain in March 1935. Upon his return, it was Fran Windischer, patron and supporter of the National Gallery, who purchased the painting Castilian Ladscape, bestowing it into the gallery's collection as a gift in as early as 1936.

The documentary exhibition about Spain wishes to highlight the less known chapter of artistic maturation during Mušič's key year after the completion of his studies in Zagreb, and before serving military service in Bileća. The painter’s visit to the Iberian Peninsula is known by the descriptions in his letters published in the daily paper Slovenec and Umetnost magazine, as well as in interviews and other accounts. Three of his copies of famous paintings were known (Goya: The Clothed Maja, The Inquisition; El Greco: The Resurrection), as well as some preserved drawings. Shown for the first time in an exhibition will be his two paintings Bullfight and Procession, as well as a series of documents from the painter’s birth register, to his letters to friends. 

Mušič matured with his study of Goya, El Greco, Velázquez and the Spanish landscape in terms of his search for the harmony of colour and giving sense to his shortlisted selection of motifs. The significance of the painter’s Spanish experience and vision is above all in surpassing Babić, his teacher and mentor. He upgraded his scholastic, academic influences and directed himself on his own creative path to the Karst and Dalmatian landscape to depict the inner illuminated figure within its own life, contemplation or suffering. He went on to gradually develop his personal visual language and expression, which remained his until the late Venetian years. The atmosphere of Spanish colour and vivacity of the exhibition will be, along with the documents and Joco Žnidaršič's exceptional photo portraits, designed by Meta Hočevar.

Project leader, exhibition curator and catalogue editor
Mateja Krapež

Author of the exhibition
Gojko Zupan

Exhibition set-up
Meta Hočevar

Graphic design
Peter Skalar

Works of art and documents lent by
Diocese of Koper; France Stele Institute of Art History, SRC SASA, Ljubljana; Maribor Art Gallery; Maribor Regional Archives; Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana; private owners

The exhibition was supported by
Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia
Tift d. o. o.

12 February–8 March 2009
The exhibiton is prolonged until April 19th 2009.

Narodni dom Gallery
Cankarjeva 20
1000 Ljubljana