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Exhibitions and Projects
Revelations | 4. 2.–3. 3. 2021

Revelations: The Mušič Drawings

Yesterday's world for tomorrow

Zoran Mušič was a painter of the academic school; his education helped him to be equally dexterous with drawings, paintings and prints. He used to tell how he was drawing regularly already in his youth, at school or at home. At the end of secondary school, his drawings were stiff, filled with details and shadings and barely sufficed for his acceptance to the academy. He grew into a drawing artist under the influence of his professors at the Zagreb Academy, who deliberately emphasized the importance of drawing and the routine of its usage when depicting objects and persons. Practice merged with example. All graduates of the academy in the 1930s were excellent drawing artists. After a few years of study, Mušič’s colleagues and professors admired his self-confidence and clear line. The artist was working in changing times, before photography became so ubiquitous and when the tradition of the 19th and the previous centuries moved to new questions and, especially after World War Two, to new ways of expression.

The second academy the artist attended were the cruel months he spent imprisoned in Dachau concentration camp. For a time he was left without his pencil, clothes and without his human dignity. Like the rest of his comrades, the number 128 231 dealt only with existence, in its most brutal form. The phoenix was reborn when his innate empathy led him do draw the body of the dead after the liberation.

In his second life as a human, the artist rediscovered the sunlight of the Mediterranean, enriched with the waves of the sea or Alpine mountain ridges. The painter, like during his time of schooling, used the drawing as an instrument in his outings and jottings in the field. His drawing did not stop or become more restrained. His drawings in graphite and other pencils remained a sketch of memory, expressions of his inner vision. His lines were not just his notepad; they were a way of thinking, always an independent authorial vision, where an image is formed in one’s mind. His hand and pencil were only a conscious and subconscious tools that executed his idea. The idea was maturing to the very end of Mušič’s creativity, turning from Venetian cityscapes to the artist himself, with his body becoming a landscape, a graph of his inner storm and a labyrinth, recognizable without words. Yesterday’s world for tomorrow.

Author
Gojko Zupan

4 February–3 March 2021
National Gallery of Slovenia
Prešernova 24
1000 Ljubljana