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Exhibitions and Projects
June–August 2011

Luigi Spazzapan 1889−1958

Donation by Nuša Lapajne

Lojze Špacapan / Luigi Spazzapan
(Gradišče / Gradisca d'Isonzo 1889 − Torino 1958)

Luigi Spazzapan is one of those Slovenian artists of the 20th century who have shared their cultural identity on the western border of Slovenia. If he could capitalize on his multicultural origins, that same multiculturality left intolerable gaps in his biography after his death because of the particular circumstances of his turbulent life. Just as the track of his Slovenian pre-history was lost in the new environment, audiences in Slovenia have had no knowledge about his work after his move to Turin.

He started his creative career in Vienna just before the First World War, in its aftermath he joined the activities of the “Youth Club” (Klub mladih) in Ljubljana, which proved suffocating to his ambition and made him turn to the circle of the futurists in Trieste. His fate was similar to that of his friend Veno Pilon, who left their native Goriška region for Paris because of increasing Fascist terror. By the whim of fate, Spazzapan got stuck in Turin on his way to Paris in 1928, where he soon joined a circle of young artists and successfully exhibited with them in Paris only three years later. The drawing medium was congenial to his eruptive character. Line became his favoured expressive means and decisively marked his entire oeuvre. A passionate debater and charismatic conversation partner, he charmed the intellectual elites with his erudition and difference which he owed to the Central European culture − then a complete nonentity in the consciousness of Piedmont.

The recent study by Irene Mislej on the sources for Spazzapan’s balanced biography, published in the catalogue of donation of Spazzapan’s work in the Pilon Gallery in Ajdovščina, opened on 24 May 2011, is an important contribution to closing the gap between the two cultural contexts.

Spazzapan’s daughter, Mrs Nuša Lapajne, donated her father’s works to the Pilon Gallery and the National Gallery of Slovenia.

June–August 2011
National Gallery of Slovenia
Cankarjeva 20
1000 Ljubljana