Menu Shopping cart
Your basket is empty.
Support us


Exhibitions and Projects
Revelations | 4 Apr. 2024 – 8 May 2024

Revelations: Čoro Škodlar (1902–1996)

Testimonies from the Prison 1951–1955

"There are two spheres in every artist, the one we know from his exterior and the other, which comes to life and gains strength only through the act of artistic creation, and which is completely different from the first, and certainly independent of it," wrote Čoro Škodlar (1902–1996), who, as a man and an artist, merged the two extremes in his relationship to the circumstances of his time. He was rebellious and defiant by nature, which in interwar years brought him close to the communist movement. In the partisan Resistance Movement, during World War II, he became a key figure in Slovenian partisan film. He directed a reportage on the Ninth Corps, which Lado Ambrožič Novljan described as: "In the bag of a war reporter thus found itself a great treasure and a documentary that promised to be of exceptional value to the world public." After the war, this treasure disappeared inside the Soviet Union; the Slovenian General Staff handed it over to the Soviet mission to have it developed in their studios, where all traces of it were lost. But Škodlar felt painting was his true calling.

His drawings from the post-war prisons, where he found himself after he parted with his former comrades, have a special place in his oeuvre.
As such, they are a significant and shocking historical document of a complex period in Slovenian and Yugoslavian history, and more. Through these drawings, the painter directly confronted himself and in this juxtaposition, he saw everything around him in a metaphysical bareness. Everything in these jottings is seen as if removed from the world, even parts of the panorama one glimpses through the window of a prison cell. His prison still lifes, in their solitude and silence, are almost reminiscent of Giorgio Morandi. In a physically cramped space, the painter touches on eerie distances with profound contemplation. This vision of enforced solitude in a place where time passes infinitely slow, through Škodlar’s subtle draughtsmanship, at times deconstructs matter itself so that the objects scattered around the prison cell in diffused light hoover in the distance, which represents the innermost essence of these objects. In the space that is so enclosed, in the space that has been deliberately constructed as a space of confinement, things are finally seen as they are: unreachable. This is pure existentialist bareness.

Author: Miklavž Komelj      

4 April – 8 May 2024
National Gallery of Slovenia
Prešernova 24
1000 Ljubljana