Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Koroška

Slovenj Gradec

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Koroška galerija likovnih umetnosti (KGLU)

Glavni trg 24 SI-2380, Slovenj Gradec

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From its very beginnings in 1957, the central regional gallery institution Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Koroška (abbreviated as KGLU standing for Koroška galerija likovnih umetnosti) has been a platform for a diverse contemporary arts programme covering international, national and regional contemporary art. A rich collection fo artworks that comprises over 3000 items, includes also works by Henry Moore, Ossip Zadkine, Daniel Buren, Victor Vassarely, and other eminent figures who exhibited in the gallery in the 50s, 60s or 70s.

The gallery manages also the gallery in a nearby town Ravne na Koroškem.

History

The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Koroška (KGLU) started under the initiative of local academic circles with painter and pedagogue Karel Pečko at its forefront. Through his ambitious programme, the gallery invited fine arts critics to co-operate as selectors, which in the 1960s was by no means an established practice in Slovene galleries.

The institution was established on endeavours similar to Arnold Bode’s idea for documenta in Kassel in 1955 – to create a fine arts centre out of a rural town like Slovenj Gradec. The very first exhibition, Swedisch Kitchen, was dedicated to modern industrial design and organised already in 1954. The gallery was officially established in 1957 having its own exhibition space in the old town hall on Glavni trg. In 1966 the edifice where the gallery operates and exhibits still today was built. In the same year the gallery’s activities received the honorary patronage of the United Nations (received also in 1975, 1979, 1985, and 1991).

The ambition to bring Slovenj Gradec, a small town near the Slovene-Austrian border, to the international map of art as well as to connect Slovene and international artists continued effectively under the guidance of Milena Zlatar, who paid much attention to engaged art. In 2008 Marko Košan became the director of the Museum and offered a space to the regional artists with the Small Gallery located in the lobby of the Museum. The space opened in 2009 and was transformed into the museum’s shop after the big renovation of the Museum in 2011. In 2012 the Ravne Gallery was established and took over the role of the Small Gallery, focusing on the comprehensive presentation of current artistic production by artists from the Koroška region and from across Slovenia. With Andreja Hribernik, a new director since 2013, the programme further expanded into international field.

Collections

The museum’s rich collection focuses on regional authors, but also includes several donations, bequests, and purchases of international authors. Parts of the collection are on view temporarily, some works also appear in various exhibitions.

The collection is divided into several segments, some dedicated to the most important regional artists. Jože Tisnikar (1928–1998) matured as an artist while working in a hospital pathology department. His 65 paintings and drawings are best defined by the term “dark modernism” and together with documentary material on the artist’s life, reveal Tisnikar’s world, examining his iconographic theme of death. The collection Hommage to Tisnikar also includes works by other Slovene artists with a similar sensibility: Zdenko Huzjan, Mirsad Begić. In 2003 Bogdan Borčić (1926-2014) donated 40 paintings from 1986 to 2003, which have made the Koroška institution, together with the Božidar Jakac Art Museum, Kostanjevica na Krki which holds Borčić’s graphic cabinet, the central institution to study the works by this vital experimentator.

The collection of 19th- and 20th-century Slovene art reflects several decades of the gallery’s exhibitions programme, and features the work of Marko Šušteršič, France Mihelič, Riko Debenjak, Marjan Pogačnik, Božidar Jakac, Ive Šubic, Rudolf Kotnik, Kiar Meško, Dragica Čadež, Janez Boljka, and others. The most significant segment of the collection are works by artists who are natives of Carinthia or are in some way or another connected with the Mislinja, Drava, or Mežica valleys (Franjo Golob, Karel Pečko, Lojze Logar, Gustav Gnamuš, Anton Dolenc, Vida Slivniker, Štefan Marflak, Peter Hergold, Sašo Vrabič, etc.).

The collection not only presents the heritage from the 19th century onwards but also the most recent art trends. A special place is occupied by the works of Franc Berneker (1874–1932), the first modern Slovene sculptor and contemporary of the impressionist painters, and by the works by painter Oskar Pistor (1865–1928), whose portraits, genre and landscape paintings establish links between the Upper Drava Valley and cosmopolitan Vienna and Munich, and also depict the landscapes of the Tyrol and Carinthia which inspired Pistor. The collection also includes some works of former Yugoslav authors.

International collection

The international collection includes works by Ossip Zadkine, Victor Vasarely, Maria Bonomi, Toon Wegner, Gene Chu, and Paolo Minoli. It consists of paintings, prints, photographs, original architectural drawings, statues, and documentary material on installations, including performances. The donation of the works by Italian artist Pino Poggi (donated in 1998) provides the basis for a developing an International Museum of Social Aesthetics.

Open-air collection

The open-air gallery on the edge of Štibuh Park is also arranged as a venue for cultural events. In the 1970s its cultural function was further enhanced with the installation of sculptures by selected artists (Ivan Meštrović, Drago Tršar, Josip Diminić, Jordan Grabuloski, Ivan Sabolić, Ratko Vulanović, Ana Bešlić, etc.) under the slogan “For Peace”.

Exhibition programme

The KGLU Art has organised several repercussive international exhibitions and events, starting in the mid-1970s. In 1979 the International Fine Art Exhibition exposed the problems of the socialisation of art and psycho-formation, it dealt with the peripheral areas of fine art, and touched upon the alternatives in contemporary architecture in the 1970s. An exhibition featuring works from Ossip Zadkine’s collection in Paris took place in 1991. The sculpture “Memorial to the Apologist of Cubism – the Poet Guillame Apollinaire” (1937, bronze), which Zadkine presented as a gift to Slovenj Gradec at the first international fine art exhibition in 1966, was transferred from Paris – with the permission of the foundation – as late as 1990, and in the same year it took its place in the atrium of the gallery.

In the 90s and up to 2010 the KGLU has featured various thematic international exhibitions (The Artist and an Urban Environment (1997); The Kitchen – From the Idea to Excession (1954–2004) (2004), 2 LIVE on the dilemmas of our existence and being, 60 years after the end of World War II (2005) – here the primary focus was on photography – a medium that decisively marked the 20th century; Thread [Nit] with 33 Slovene and foreign artists, curated by Maja Škerbot, marked the 50th Anniversary of the KGLU in 2007. In 2008 Jernej Kožar and Rado Poggi curated Necessary Discourse on Hysteria on the issue of social hysteria with artists experiencing the process of an exhibition-installation, and in the remaining 3 weeks joined by performances, discussions, theatre, talks, speeches, and video works.

Slovenj Gradec Culture House

Slovenj Gradec

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Kulturni dom Slovenj Gradec

Francetova cesta 5 Francetova cesta 5, Slovenj Gradec

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The Slovenj Gradec Culture House features facilities for presenting theatre performances by Slovene theatre houses and puppet shows, concerts in collaboration with the Hugo Wolf Association, weekly programmes of art films and teen films, as well as other events. As a cinema hall, the Slovenj Gradec Culture House is a member of the Art Cinema Network, which distributes select films across Slovenia.

Radlje ob Dravi Public Library

Radlje ob Dravi

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Knjižnica Radlje ob Dravi

Koroška cesta 61a SI-2360 , Radlje ob Dravi

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Attaining the status of independent public institute in 1994, the Radlje ob Dravi Public Library traces its roots back to 1950. It runs branches in Muta, Vuzenica, Podvelka, Ribnica na Pohorju, and Kapla. In addition to lending book and non-book material, the library houses a reading room and a local collection department, which contains various writing on the region. A notable feature is the collection of Ferdo Leitinger, also comprising approximately 3000 old books – the oldest from 1662 –, as well as other documents and photographs. The collection is kept at the library and available for viewing by request.

As a cultural and information centre, the library hosts literary evenings, lectures, book presentations, story-telling hours, creative workshops, and exhibitions. In doing so, the library strives to foster reading culture and lifelong learning.

Ksaver Meško Library Slovenj Gradec

Slovenj Gradec

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Knjižnica Ksaverja Meška, Slovenj Gradec

Ronkova 4 SI-2380 , Slovenj Gradec

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The institution established in 1949 as the Regional People’s Library was renamed to Ksaver Meško Library Slovenj Gradec in 1974, and relocated to new premises in 1980. It operates branches in Podgorje, Pameče-Troblje, and Mislinja. The wide spectrum of books, periodicals and other materials the library offers can also be accessed in the reading room. It features a number of special collections, such as a local book and document collection on the region; a rich collection of books (mostly in German) donated to the library by Joseph Arech, a citizen of Slovenj Gradec; and a UN collection, which encompasses materials on the said organisation. Events for young and adult library-goers are held at the library on a regular basis, for instance, lectures, exhibitions, literary evenings, creative workshops, and story-telling hours. In an effort to accommodate members who are unable to visit the library for medical reasons, the staff provide a home library service.

Koroška Central Library Dr France Sušnik, Ravne na Koroškem

Ravne na Koroškem

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Koroška osrednja knjižnica Dr Franca Sušnika, Ravne na Koroškem

Na gradu 1 SI-2390 , Ravne na Koroškem

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Named after Dr Franc Sušnik, who ran the library for the first three decades of its existence, Koroška Central Library performs the tasks of a regional library. In 1949 a study library was established together with Ravne Grammar School in Ravne Castle. Today this library has more than 8,000 registered readers and holds more than 250,000 library items. It heads a network of 9 branch libraries in the Mežiška Valley: Kotlje, Prevalje, Žerjav, Črna na Koroškem, Podpeca, Strojnska reka, Strojna, Leše, and Mežica. The library is the seat of the Library Association of Koroška.

Collection and activities

As a public library it is organised to suit different groups of users, and besides various cultural and literary events, it also hosts diverse thematic exhibitions, workshops for children, and lifelong education courses.

The library puts great focus on collecting old books and materials, having established the local collection department already at the very beginning. The collection comprises around 9,700 units including books, articles, pamphlets, audio-visual materials, periodicals, photographs, postcards, bibliographies, and manuscripts. One of the most valuable books in the collection is Jurij Dalmatin’s translation of the Bible from 1584.

The library also houses the Prežihov Voranc (1893–1950) and Leopold Suhodolčan (1928–1980) memorial rooms dedicated to 2 renowned Slovene authors. International cooperation is established with Slovene institutions in nearby Austria.

Gestapo Prisons at Dravograd

Dravograd

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Gestapovski zapori

Trg 4. Julija 7 SI-2370, Dravograd

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The Gestapo Prisons located in the cellars of the Municipal Offices of Dravograd are a memorial to the severe suffering of the Slovene people during the German occupation 1941–1945. The museum was opened to the public soon after the war. In 1982 the memorial museum underwent a thorough renovation. Five prison cells featuring the graffiti of prisoners’ final messages before execution and testimonies of those who survived are on display, while the memorial room on the first floor provides more information on the events in the region of Dravograd during the Second World War, with maps presenting German occupation of the area, partisan resistance, and actions and strategies where Germans countered partisan activity. There are also uniforms and documents on the Gestapo interrogation and warnings. The Gestapo in Dravograd were notorious for cruelty over the civilian population and Russian prisoners who were building a hydro electric plant on the Drava River. Torture cells could be filled with water so prisoners had to stand without sleep for days at a time if they did not want to drown. Prisoners suffered severe thirst, because the water they were standing in was contaminated.

Literature

Dravograd Library

Dravograd

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Knjižnica Dravograd

Koroška cesta 47 SI-2370, Dravograd

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Tracing its origins back to 1921, Dravograd Library has stood as an information and cultural centre of the Municipality of Dravograd since 1966, playing an important role in enriching the social life and fostering reading culture. In addition to the main activity of lending library material, it hosts literary evenings, story-telling hours, reading hours for special needs individuals, lectures, exhibitions, book clubs, and also maintains a local collection department. Participating in a number of Slovene and European lifelong learning projects, the library features a lifelong learning point, which provides free Internet access, as well as language, computer, and other courses.

Cultural heritage

Bukovje Manor House

Dravograd

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Dvorec Bukovje

Bukovje 13 SI-2370, Dravograd

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The Baroque Bukovje Manor House is one of the most important monuments of the historicistic castle architecture in Slovenia, dating back to the beginning of the 18th Century. The chapel of the mansion is protected as a cultural monument.

Today the Bukovje Manor House is a cultural events venue as well as a popular set for wedding ceremonies.

Background

The Puchenstein Castle on the Pukštajn Peak dates to the 13th century. It was severely damaged in a 1706 fire. Only ruins have been preserved until today.

In Yugoslavia, the Puchenstein Manor was used as barracks of the Yugoslav People’s Army, and was owned by the Slovenian Ministry of Defence until 2008.