Tone Lapajne: Objects (1968 - 1970) - A donation of Tone Lapajne's works to the Museum of Modern Art


Photo: Matija Pavlovec

5 March - 12 April 2015
Moderna galerija, Cankarjeva 15


Curated by: Martina Vovk

You are kindly invited to visit the exhibition of Tone Lapajne's early sculptures, which are going to be on view from 5 March on at the Moderna galerija, Cankarjeva 15, Ljubljana.

Dragica Čadež recently donated to the Museum of Modern Art four sculptures by Tone Lapajne (1933-2011) that belong to a relatively short but fruitful and contextually and topically interesting period of his work: Accent (Heavily Contrasted) or Product (Heavily Contrasted) from 1968 (both titles were used for the same work at the 1969 exhibition in the City Art Gallery), Shift of Verticals from 1969, Analysis of a Figure from 1969-1970 and Movement of Parallels from 1968. All four works were made between 1968 and 1970, and they can be described as minimalist works in the wider meaning of the word, or as neoconstructivist works in the narrow, specifically local art history context, if we think of Lapajne's active collaboration in the Neoconstructivists group between 1968 and 1972 (in this period, the group of that name participated in several exhibitions; in addition to Lapajne, it included Dragica Čadež, Drago Hrvacki and Dušan Tršar).

The donation of Lapajne's sculptures from that period is an important acquisition for the national collection of sculptures kept in the Museum of Modern Art, since until now it included only one comparable Lapajne work from this very interesting and previously rarely considered, even somewhat neglected period of his work. The addition of these works to the national collection and their current exhibition is also important for a more comprehensive understanding of the artist, since in his numerous group and personal exhibitions Lapajne was most frequently represented through his works from the later 'marsh' period. This also means that his later works indicate a turn away from more radical solutions presented in the transitory sculpting period of so-called neoconstructivism. Nevertheless, this period of the artist's opus should be understood as a temporary refining of sculpting procedures, as their intentional formal and contextual reduction and impoverishment were meant to lead to new foundations for his consequent work. However, the importance and uniqueness of this short intermediate period is therefore in no way diminished and no less worthy of elucidation - especially and also because of the fact that these works in question represent, regretfully, only a very small section of his works from that period (the majority of Lapajne's works from 1968 to 1970 showing a similar radical minimalist orientation had been destroyed or lost, preserved only as reproductions in the photo-documentation of the Museum of Modern Art, and also presented as such in the current exhibition). In the wider context of Slovene post-World War II minimalist sculpture, these works of Lapajne's - together with some works by Dragica Čadež - possibly represent the purest and most inventive local instance of Slovene minimalist sculpture.

The catalogue accompanying the exhibition includes an essay on Lapajne's sculptures produced between 1968 and 1970 written by the exhibition curator Martina Vovk, and biography and bibliography compiled by Bojana Rogina, and reproductions of the newly restored sculptures comprising the donation. The extensive restorations are the work of the art restorer Miladi Makuc Semion.

Moderna galerija owes a debt of gratitude to Dragica Čadež for this important and valuable contribution to the Moderna galerija national collection of sculpture.

The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia.

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