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HOMMAGE Á NEGOVAN NEMEC: THIRTY YEARS ON

Exhibition

16. August - 5. September 2017
Križevniška Church, Križanke

HOMMAGE Á NEGOVAN NEMEC: THIRTY YEARS ON

Possessing a remarkable gift for the perception of form, Negovan Nemec (1947–1987), an academytrained sculptor from Bilje in the Goriška region of NW Slovenia, would first capture an idea in a drawing or sketch and then later, after careful reflection and trusting his unerring sense for dimension, volume, surface, statics and the properties of material, would bring it to life in various dimensions in materials that, through their solidity and durability, challenged him to an intensive creative dialogue. While he most frequently worked in stone, he also worked a lot in wood and iron, as well as in clay. He also cast his works in bronze. He worked, in other words, in all those materials that, with their specific laws and properties, satisfied his desire to coax from them a desired form with the infallible touch of his hand. A hand that used physical strength to add or remove, to smooth or cut, coaxing seen and experienced organic forms – now gently, now aggressively – from the material. Forms of nature. Forms of the body. Most frequently the female body. Forms of life and death, that took on a new life of their own in a third dimension. The life of the permanently captured thoughts and feelings of the artist, that speak to us through the interplay of convex–concave, soft and hard forms, light and shade, colour and tactile strength. And also, perhaps above all, with an erotic charge in small and medium-sized sculptures in marble and bronze. Even thirty years later, Negovan Nemec’s works retain the same subtle and exciting, provocative and touching effect. At the same time, the recognisable thoughts of the sculptor mean that they speak to us profoundly. They are a living part of the geographical context that Nemec marked so forcefully in the 1970s and 1980s with monumental sculptures (Nova Gorica, Šempeter pri Gorici, Rožna Dolina, Kanal ob Soči), portraits (of a series of important figures from the Primorska region) and large public sculptures in stone, wood and iron. And of course with his small sculptures in Carrara marble and bronze, which in the eyes of many aficionados marked him out – more than his large-scale works – as a sensitive creator of aesthetic and harmonious but also expressive and organic sculpture. Although his works belong to a brief span of not even two decades, he created an important oeuvre that remains current and alive today and is also important to the environment it comes from: »Negovan Nemec,« wrote the eminent art historian Nace Šumi, »is the central figure of his generation in Slovenia and one of most prominent creators of modern Slovene sculpture in general. Through his numerous works he left a unique stamp on many places in the Primorska region, above all in Goriška, its northern part

Nelida Nemec

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