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24th Anniversary of ACC Metelkova: Boštjan Novak – The Structure of Proper Proportions

08 September 2017 > 29 September 2017 Kindly invited to the opening of "The Structure of Proper Proportions" retrospective exhibition by Boštjan Novak, on Friday, 8th September, at 8 pm at the Alkatraz Gallery, ACC Metelkova. The exhibition is a part of 24th Anniversary of ACC Metelkova.

The exhibition of Boštjan Novak's "The Structure of Real Proportions" is a part of the program, which is being developed by the Alkatraz Gallery for a number of years and is aimed at presenting artists working in AKC Metelkova City. Through the process of presenting their artwork, we are trying to develop our research-in-progress, which started with the project A Mid Stop (2012) and The Closing Stop (2013) in cooperation with SCCA - Ljubljana. We are interested in whether Metelkova art exists: is this concept perhaps only related to a space that dictates specific conditions of artwork or is it related to some aesthetic categories? The conversation with Boštjan Novak, located in the catalogue, will offer some answers to these questions from the perspective of the artist.

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Since the very beginning Boštjan Novak has been an active figure in the process of designing of the ACC Metelkova mesto, as we know it today. He had been given a work place at Metelkova and since then operated as its member within the cultural artistic association Sestava, that conceived the transformation of a former prison into the nowadays globally famous Hostel Celica. Metelkova mesto as a community, integrating diverse views and beliefs, has, in a certain segment and to some extent affected the co-orientation of the stands of Boštjan Novak on the art within the community. The synthesis of common and controversial principles of operation and creation, that is immanent to open spaces akin to Metelkova mesto, reflects in Boštjan Novak’s works. Significant for him is a »sensible measure« of spontaneity, leading to clear proportions, representing the »modus operandi« of his creativity. He likes to create alone, in the peace of his studio space, as his work process itself requires a great deal of concentration. At the same time he is aware of the fact that art is part of a wider collective process, so he often gets involved in collective projects.

Boštjan Novak experiences sculpture through a rhythm, immersion and identification with the material and proper proportions. His artworks and creative process possess an awareness of the importance to observe the world and its phenomena, translated into accordant visual language of fine art, drawing upon the rich treasury of art history. The author affirmatively maintains the stylized figurative approach with an abstract key that enables him complex structuring and a prolific narrative. He begins with an abstract composition which serves him as a model, then – by the exploration of the material through the contrasting volumes, surfaces and lines he develops the content. The content is thus born through the work process.

His figurative compositions are a reflection of the »social scenography« that the artist defines through garments, details, colours and the movement of the figure. The transfer of everyday life into his works is carried out in accordance with a formal principle which balances the seemingly contrasting proportions and establishes harmony. His artistic objects – unnoticeably placed in the public space – serve as decoration and have been created with the aim to insert the artist’s idea of order into the space.

The author’s sculptures are multi-layered, as they allow the discovery of ever new content- and form-related connections in relation to the surroundings and the object. They have been structured for a cineastic onlook, composed of several diverse frames, linking the story integrally. The figures are packed with information put together in the neatly formed details of the garments, ornaments and the gesture. The feeling of saturation and a serpentine-like structure intensify the interaction between singular elements. In them the artist reflects the given realities; among them the confrontation with the lack of space inside and outside the artist’s studio, in the public space of Metelkova, where the visitors the artists and their works mix and overlay as they are to be found around every corner. This creative chaos is also reflected in his figures, especially those in the garments – an attempt to structure an order in the multiplicity of contrasting stimuli. In his work, Boštjan Novak attempts to harmonize the organic with the impulsiveness of the micro space of Metelkova; packed with contradictoriness and diverse creative energies as well as to structure an order in the creative chaos.

Jadranka Plut


Boštjan Novak (1966) - finished secondary School for Design & Photography inLjubljana (1984) and Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana (prof. Slavko Tihec). Lives and works in Ljubljana. Since 1993 he has participated in numerous group exhibitions (Almost Spring: 100 Years of Slovenian Art, UMG Maribor Art Gallery, 2012; European Trienal of Small-scale Sculpture: Joke, Satire, Irony and Serious Meaning, Murska sobota Gallery, 2007; Eye Try, Vision Center, Cork, Ireland, 2005,...). His solo exhibitions include: Poetics of Everyday Life, FO-VI Gallery, Strnišče pri Ptuju, 2015; exhibitions at Srečišče Gallery, Celica Hostel, Ljubljana, 2012;  Zavičajna Gallery, Banjole, Croatia, 2014; Small Gallery, Kranj, 2011, Kresija Gallery, 2009 and others.

Photos by: Nada Žgank.