artist / participant

press release

Nikolaj Pirnat (1903–48), a multi-faceted visual artist, a representative of the so-called Fourth Generation (Ccaronetrta generacija) and the Independents (Neodvisni), made a mark on Slovenian art with his witty records of his time. An extensive exhibition honouring the 100th anniversary of his birth, set in the Cankarjev dom Gallery, the National Museum of Modern History and the National and University Library will attempt to clarify some less known chapters from Pirnat’s artistic opus. The exhibition will later visit the Municipal Museum of Idrija, Pirnat’s birthplace. Nikolaj Pirnat (1903-1948) is widely recognized in Slovenia as and excellent painter and sculptor, and above all as a witty recorder of his times. Most of his works are housed in the Museum of Modern History of Slovenia, many are part of private collections and in the possession of different institutions. The purpose of the exhibition is to collect and thus document his extensive oeuvre, and organise a presentation in two institutions (CD Gallery and the exhibition space of the Museum of Modern History) as well as publish an extensive catalogue with art historic study and essay on the artist’s life and work. Enclosed to the catalogue will be an extensive documentation of the artist’s work.

Curators of the project are Marjeta Mikuzcaron and Nina Pirnat Spahic´, the study in the catalogue has been composed by Dr Jure Mikuzcaron.

One of the segments and a significant part of the fine art collection of the Museum of Modern History are works by a versatile artist Nikolaj Pirnat (the museum houses as many as 1,261 exhibits, mostly donated by the artist’s wife, that had never been processed in detail or presented to the public). With the exhibition at the centennial of the artist’s birth the documentation and copying process of this extensive collection will also be concluded. Thus, from the museological point of view, the mounting of the exhibition has dual significance of arrangement, documentation and proper housing of the works from the collection, their publication in the catalogue as well as presentation of an important segment of Slovene cultural heritage to the public. The exhibition will predominantly focus on the undisclosed moments of the artist’s life and work.

At the project’s current stage it can be noted that Cankarjev dom will display Pirnat’s intimate works (paintings, watercolours and drawings) as well as portrayals of famous personalities from the Slovene cultural arena (sculptures, drawings), while the Museum of Modern History will place emphasis on the works from the wartime period (drawings, caricatures produced in the captivity and later on the partisan period), the partisan graphic oeuvre, posters, sketches for puppets, etc.

During the initiation stage Cankarjev dom has been financially involved in the project by contributing professionally to the processes of collecting and documenting the material, while during the realisation by providing the setup to the exhibits, mounting the works in its gallery and by organising the entire promotion of the exhibition for both exhibition spaces.

In cooperation with the Museum of Modern History, the main organiser of the project.

Nikolaj Pirnat - the centennial anniversary of the artist´s birth