The establishment of Škuc Gallery in 1978 as part of the alternative programmes of the ŠKUC offered an important foil to the dominant exhibition policy of the established national galleries and institutions in Slovenia.
Preparing approximately one exhibition monthly plus additional events and guest appearances abroad and at home, the Škuc Gallery has over the years become one of the most visited exhibition premises in Slovenia. Through close co-operation with international institutions, curators and artists Škuc Gallery has developed into an important public centre for exhibitions, events, publishing, research and documentation in the field of contemporary visual arts.
Former artistic directors
The Škuc Gallery was launched with a retrospective presentation of work by the conceptual art group OHO, curated by Tomaž Brejc. Its first artistic director was art historian and curator Taja Vidmar Brejc (1947–2016), later the director and the owner of Equrna Gallery. In the 1980s under the artistic directors Dušan Mandić (member of the group Irwin), Marina Gržinić, and Barbara Borčić (later the director of the SCCA-Ljubljana Centre for Contemporary Arts), the Škuc Gallery became the centre of alternative (sub)culture in Ljubljana, presenting various multimedia projects. Their legacy was followed by Boris Balant at the end of the 1980s. At the turn of the decade Tomislav Vignjević and Alenka Pirman as artistic directors continued into the 1990s with the concept of the following focuses: solo exhibitions of emerging Slovene artists; solo exhibitions (or projects outside the gallery) by established Slovene and international artists; thematic and group organised by guest curators, and socio-cultural documentary exhibitions. Between 1996 and 2003 the artistic director was Gregor Podnar who later on established his own commercial gallery. Art historian Alenka Gregorič lead the gallery for the following 6 years, expanded the international scope of the programme and continued with the previously established commercial activities. Tevž Logar led the gallery up to 2013. He introduced a new feature to the gallery’s programme – thorough monographic studies of the established artistic positions such as Željko Jerman or Ulay.
In recent years, the Škuc Gallery’s programme has relied mainly on integrating various segments and conceptual guidelines set by the artistic director, and combining them in a balanced programme presenting Slovene and foreign artists.
The programme is based on contemporary visual art complemented with projects of new media art and other contemporary artistic practices. Some of the programme is related to the history of the exhibition space to link the present and past, so to highlight the characteristics of a period that is inextricably linked with the exhibition and social spheres in which the gallery operates.
During the last decade, the following internationally-working artists have been presented in the gallery: Marina Abramović & Ulay, Rasheed Araeen, Maja Bajević, John Baldessari, Jože Barši, BridA, Attila Csörgő, Tacita Dean, Vlasta Delimar, Olafur Eliasson, Vadim Fishkin, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Ingold Airlines, Irwin, Sanja Iveković, Šejla Kamerić, Žiga Kariž, Zofia Kulik, Katalin Ladik, Juri Leiderman, Antun Motika, Olaf Nicolai, Ola Pehrson, Marko Peljhan, Goran Petercol, Cesare Pietroiusti, Tadej Pogačar, Marjetica Potrč, Sašo Sedlaček, Mladen Stilinović, Nebojša Šerić-Šoba, Nika Špan, [[Miha Štrukelj], Apolonija Šušteršič, Elulalia Valldosera, Matej Andraž Vogrinčič, Sislej Xhafa, … and many more.
Since 2000 the Škuc Gallery has been participating at the international art fairs. The gallery’s position is quite specific as its commercial involvement does not influence its non-commercial activities, which are carried out independently.
After 2003 the concept of commercial gallery activity changed into representation of selected artists that are coming from critical or even ironic situations towards the actual global problems like migrations, surveillance, urban planning, consumerism, terrorism, etc. Within the commercial branch, the Škuc Gallery cooperates with 11 international and Slovene artists such as Art Fun Club, Nemanja Cvijanović, Vuk Ćosić, Matej Andraž Vogrinčič, Alban Muja, Carina Randløv, Son:DA, Miha Štrukelj, and Sislej Xhafa. The gallery attends (mostly) European contemporary art fairs.