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Exhibitions and Projects
18 June–20 September 2009

Works of Art from Prekmurje

From Romanesque Art to Modernism

Works of art are like birds: they inhabit a space making it seem as if their home really is here and there. But still: they pass from home to home, from generation to generation, from the visible into the invisible, from lightness into darkness. Where is their home then? Perhaps it is really only ever there and then, when with an openness and curiosity we adopt them for ourselves, for our own human growth.

The artistic currents and developments in the region of today's Prekmurje are marked by an exceptional spiritual diversity. Here many spiritual influences intersected which mirror far wider connections in the works of art and reflect the actual state of the spirit. In the course of the pivotal milestones of art historical development between the Romanesque period and Modernism, the Domanjševci Roman portal seems only an isolated instance since already during the Gothic period the space increased in the number of sacral monuments, architectural sculpture and exceptional wall paintings: the master from Gemer, Johannes Aquila, his workshop and the ducal workshop represent the first pinnacle in the artistic and spiritual development of Prekmurje at the close of the Middle Ages conspicuously adorned by the prominent winged altars from Murska Sobota, Selo, Grad (once Gornja Lendava).

The works of art can naturally be linked to patrician patrons, like the Szécsi, Bánffy, Nádasdy, Estérhazy, Zichy as well as the Szapáry from Murska Sobota. But all these, and too many other benefactors enveloped into anonymity, intuitively disclose their own spiritual ancestry in the iconographically meaningful works of art that inhabit the churches of Prekmurje. The former artistic riches, accumulated through the centuries by noble families and the church, therefore appear in the exhibition with works of art from public and private collections. Among them are “displaced” works of world ranking, charming Renaissance and Baroque art pieces, genre-influenced romantic pictures, pseudo-historical approximations, and right at the end, work by the Expressionism-immersed Ludvik Vrečič.

The works of art enveloped in secrets write their own stories and only in this way and here do they establish – spanning a period between the Middle Ages and Modernism – a true spiritual horizon of Prekmurje’s past.

Curator of the exhibition
Janez Balažic

Coordination of the exhibition at the National Gallery of Slovenia
Andrej Smrekar

Exhibits loaned by
Magyar Nemzeti Galéria/Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest; Museum im alten Zeughaus/Museum in the Old Armoury, Bad Radkersburg; National Gallery of Slovenia; National Museum of Slovenia; Restoration Centre – Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia; Maribor Regional Museum; Regional Museum of Murska Sobota; St. Ladislaus Parish, Beltinci; St. Nicholaus Parish, Dolenci; Parish of the Assumption, Grad; St. Benedict Parish, Kančevci; St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish, Lendava; St. Martin Parish, Martjanci; St. George Parish, Sv. Jurij; Parish of the Birth of the Virgin, Tišina; Parish of the Assumption, Turnišče; a private collector

Restoration and preparation of exhibits for the exhibition
National Gallery of Slovenia: Martina Vuga
Restoration Centre – Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia: Barbka Gosar Hirci; Nuška Dolenc Kambič; Lucija Stepančič; Jelka Kuret
Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, Maribor Regional Office: Bine Kovačič; Vlasta Čobal
Regional Museum of Murska Sobota: Boris Orešnik; Jože Varga; Milan Zver; Gorazd Bence

Milivoj Roš

Graphic design for the exhibition and catalogue
Snežana Madić Lešnik

The exhibition was made possible by
Municipality of Murska Sobota ; Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia; National Gallery of Slovenia; Municipality of Grad; Regional Museum of Murska Sobota

and sponsors
Pomurske lekarne; Vzajemna, d.d.; Saubermacher, Slovenija; Saubermacher & Komunala; Tiskarna Klar d.o.o.; Triglav d.d.

The exhibition was on view at the Regional Museum of Murska Sobota from 5 February to 30 May 2009
and at the Murska Sobota Art Gallery from 5 February to 5 April 2009

18 June–20 September 2009
National Gallery of Slovenia
Prešernova 24
1000 Ljubljana