Artist: Ivana Bajec
Venue: Ravnikar Gallery Space, Ljubljana
Curator: Piera Ravnikar
Photo: Mario Zupanov
Ivana Bajec, an artist of the younger generation, presents herself for the first time in the RAVNIKAR GALLERY SPACE with the solo exhibition August. In an ambitious painting production prepared precisely for her première presentation, she continues, on the one hand, a now rather convincing art practice that involves a – partly planned, partly intuitive – sequencing of impressions, insights and feelings from everyday life. In this manner, the canvases take on the effect of the artist’s visual diary; like any diary, it is intimate and introspective, and at the same time there is a clearly traceable thread running through it, namely the memory of the exciting and intoxicating, moving and ultimately melancholy bygone summer. On the other hand, the artist also tackles fresh, more refined and considered strokes, which seem to contradict her otherwise characteristic spontaneous and playful artistic expression. The analogy of the artworks as a visual diary inevitably reveals that this is a carefully thought-out attempt to document memories, an attempt to capture various fragments, bits of events and feelings from this unique episode of a summer idyll.
Despite the dreamy, self-revelatory touch, the most important guideline in the process of creating the artworks remains the desire for fun, which permeates the artist’s witty and sometimes provocative visual language free from any pressure of social commentary. Despite the individual recognisable figurative elements, her so-called visual diary can be read without a legend. The individual paintings are a jigsaw puzzle of abstraction and elusive images that create a pleasant visual disorder and are characterised by their soft and warm colour schemes. The visual world of Ivana Bajec is a paradise by the sea, where you can feel the inevitable melancholy atmosphere with which the artist captured the essence of the August nights when summer is in its last stages. She vividly conjures up before our eyes the sensual qualities of summer, which, due to their plasticity, evoke both a nostalgic and a physical reaction: the exhausting heat, grains of salt on the skin, a rugged feeling of dry grass and stones underfoot, suffocating cigarette smoke in heavy, humid air, the smell of hot concrete, simultaneously sum up the fantasy and the mournfulness of summer. Without the good dose of self-irony, the paintings may have only reflected the clichéd images of a turbulent love story, but thanks to the imaginative balance of witty sentimentality, they are meditative, sensitive and above all a fleeting and fading glimpse of an intimacy between two people.
Ivana Bajec (1990) works in drawing, printmaking and painting. She graduated in Painting from ALUO – Academy of Fine Arts and Design, where she also completed her postgraduate studies in Painting. She has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions in Slovenia, Croatia, Romania and Germany. In art, she highly values improvisation, novelty, experiment. As she says, it is hard to create something new for the world, so she insists on playing with and testing out things that are new to her. She is currently preparing a series of drawings for her upcoming exhibition at Hiša kulture in Pivka, due to open in 2021.the opportunity, will never forget.
ABOUT THE GALLERY
RAVNIKAR GALLERY SPACE is a contemporary art gallery based in the heart of Slovenia’s cultural capital, Ljubljana. Founded by Piera Ravnikar in 2017, the gallery’s mission is to open up a dialogue between artists and the public, as well as introducing a whole new audience to the world of visual art.
R—space provides a valuable showcase for a broad range of practices and creative backgrounds, including painting, drawing, sculpture and installation. The gallery is purposefully located in the capital’s cultural triangle, between the Museum of Modern Art, Academy of Fine Arts and Design and Cankarjev dom, a national center for arts and culture.
Representing established and emerging artists from Slovenia and international art scenes, R—space offers a venue for solo or group exhibitions, workshops and community-driven programming as well as a relaxed and social gallery space for locals and tourists to browse. The venue is closely connected to SKALINADA, an artist—in—residence project based in Croatia, Island Krk, which operates parallel to the gallery.
R — space provides an important gathering place and commercial platform for a thriving local community of visual artists, while boosting Ljubljana’s reputation as a capital city brimming with culture in the making.