Bogoslav Kalaš | Berlin 2011



July 1, 2011 – September 3, 2011

Galerija Gregor Podnar is pleased to announce the opening of Nudes and Landscapes, a solo exhibition by Bogoslav Kalaš.

The exhibition brings together a wide selection of Kalašʼs earlier and more recent works, created between 1971 and 2010, all relating to the genres of the nude and the landscapes.

Since the late 1960s, Bogoslav Kalaš has focused on classic subjects, which art history traditionally categorizes by genre, e.g. the still life, the landscape, and the nude or, more generally, the portrait. His work is notable for the remarkably unique way it continues and develops the tradition of figural painting within the field of graphic art.

This painting-like quality can be seen even in Kalašʼs early silkscreen prints, which transform the underlying photographic female portrait into pictures of schematic black and white hatching. In 1971–1972, working with the technician Vojislav Pavlovič, Kalaš invented a painting machine that was able to transcribe the visual information of a photograph onto canvas. Using this digital method, which Kalaš calls aerography, he is able to control and modify the resultant emerging image with each new application of paint to a much degree than is possible in silkscreen printing. This transfer of information can take weeks or even months to create an individual work, since the aerography technique has only a single final product.

In the early seventies, Kalaš substantially expanded the notions of painting and art, as well as the concept of the print. This was a time when, in connection with the greater attention given to Walter Benjaminʼs essay ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’ more questions were being raised about the status of photography in contemporary art.

“Thus, the machine, which—Kalaš insists—is in essence a tool no different from a regular brush, paradoxically makes us more aware of the artistʼs agency. In a truly Duchampian twist, the apparatus exerts a huge amount of energy, electric and otherwise, to point at a classical nude and say, “This too is contemporary art.” And, as if to push the irony further, Kalaš himself muses that “possibly the only conceptual element [in his work] is the choice of classical genres.”
– Ksenya Gurshtein, 2009

Bogoslav Kalaš (b. 1942) lives and works in the town of Radomlje near Ljubljana. Since 1982, he has taught at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana, where he served as dean from 1998 to 2005. He has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana (1968, 1975, 1996), the City Art Museum in Ljubljana (1995), the Art Salon in Celje (1998), and the Cultural Heritage Institute in Ljubljana (2006).

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