Sculptor Ivan Štrekelj (Glince near Ljubljana, 23
September 1916 – Ljubljana, 10 June 1975) was a distinctly figural artist and
mostly depicted girl and less often male figures. He worked in stone, baked
clay, plaster and bronze.
After completing a school for deaf children, he
attended the Secondary Technical School with professor France Kralj between
1932 and 1935. In 1938, he was accepted to the Academy of Fine Arts in
Belgrade. Because of the war, he interrupted his studies and returned to
Ljubljana, where he worked in a stone masonry shop in Žale cemetery and financially
supported the Resistance. After the war, he attended the Academy in Ljubljana,
where his professor was Frančišek Smerdu. In 1949, he finished the sculpting
specialization with Boris Kalin. Štrekelj was a master of working with stone
and his mentor Frančišek Smerdu often entrusted Štrekelj with preparing his
stone maquettes. Štrekelj created his best works in the 1950s and in 1957
collaborated with painter Floris Oblak for an exhibition in Jakopič Pavilion.
He was friends with Stojan Batič and in 1962 helped him with a monument to
Boris Kidrič in Maribor. Štrekelj is also the author of Monument for the Hostages by Večna pot road in Rožna dolina,
Ivan Štrekelj’s body of work has not yet been
presented in a monographic exhibition. Ivan Štrekelj was marked by a sensory
specific, since he completely lost his hearing when he was seven. He tried to
make a living with occasional commissions, but lived in poverty. He was helped
by members of the society of the deaf and by his artist friends. He died while
crossing the railroad in Tivoli.