Zdenko Huzjan: Zatišne lege / Still Sites
19. 6.  10. 7. 2020
ACE KIBLA / artKIT, Glavni trg 14, Maribor

Greetings back to you, thanks for the encouraging letter. The time we are living in now is unpredictable, and perhaps that is why it is also interesting. Although we are full of anxiety, we are encouraged by some distant morning that will start differently, and new values will emerge. Maybe that morning we are waiting on will be friendlier and there you can find our exhibition.
Z. Huzjan, 19 March 2020

Already in a short conversation with Zdenko Huzjan, one can feel his experience of the world, which could be described as In melancholy and nostalgia wrapped hopefulness. His perceptive nature absor-bs the surroundings and the happenings in it and presents feelings on canvas or paper, sifted through a sieve of isolated motifs, in which he found a story worthy of presenting. A story deals with his own rejection and acceptance of the inevitable.

Zdenko Huzjan’s work is immersed in thinking about the outflow of a life. He is a figuralist who places the oversized bodies of his figures in spacelessness. By floating in an intangible void, they are fre-ed from the time flow and trapped in a vacuum of »now.« In a time without distances. However, the attempt to escape from changing, ageing, disintegration … from death is unsuccessful. Sad portraits of large skulls, dark eyes, withering faces, and shrunken bodies still show signs of relentless passing.

Artist’s works reveal his split between desire and reality. The desire to freeze the moment, seeking some better, former state and the reality of an unstoppable and unrelenting cycle of time. Aware of the contradictions between the two poles, the artist surrenders to resignation. At first glance, grotesque images, most often wrapped in earthy tones, sink into an intangible serenity. Into the peace that comes with reconciliation – a theme that is one of the central motifs in Huzjan’s poetry as well.

In a series of works, Still Sites from 1999, he hid verses on small canvases under the layer of wax, which were additionally covered by dark lines and stains. Waxed words were thus sealed between material and artwork, secured in timelessness. Poems from the Still Sites collection are also looking for this kind of shelter but in vain. His words convey helplessness, but not despair. With them he weaves verses, that find solace in motifs from nature. In those which let him know that at some point, everything returns to its original natural state. The sonority of the verses intensifies impressions from nature, and the minimalist expression projects the poet’s awkward digging of the palm of time and chewing his death into short, dissected verses. He often refers to the animal world phenomena, such as snakes’ shedding skin and bird migration, the cultivation of fields, the seasons, the change of day and night – symbols of transformation, and above all, representations of the natural cycle of life and death. While obser-ving and describing nature, he always finds beauty in the tragedy of the living experience, which gives value to life precisely because of time’s unpredictability and the certainty of the end.
– Deja Bečaj

Zdenko Huzjan is one of the representatives of Slovenian modern art in the field of painting. He was born on September 13, 1948, in Lendava. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, Department of Painting in Ljubljana (1972), where he also attended a specialization in painting (1972–1974). In 1988, he received the Recognition of Important Works of Art at the University of Ljubljana. He was appointed full professor of painting and drawing at the University of Ljubljana in 1997.

He is recognizable as a painter, graphic artist, sculptor, and poet. He has exhibited in more than 120 solo exhibitions, of which 6 were retrospective (Zdenko Huzjan. Grafike 1983–1994, review exhibition. Gallery of Fine Arts, Slovenj Gradec, 1994; Zdenko Huzjan – retrospective exhibition. Moderna galerija, Ljubljana, 1995 (transferred to the Maribor Art Pavilion). Zdenko Huzjan – a retrospective exhibition of drawings. International Center of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana, 2000; Huzjan. Monografska razstava. Murska Sobota Gallery, Murska Sobota, 2000; Zdenko Huzjan Paintings. Murska Sobota Gallery, 2008; Zdenko Huzjan. Paintings and drawings 2000-2008. Mestna galerija, Ljubljana, 2009) and over 420 group exhi-bitions in Slovenia and abroad. He has received 30 awards and recognitions for his creative work. The most important are the Prešeren Fund Award, Ljubljana 1988; Rihard Jakopič Award, Ljubljana 2002; Župančič Award for Outstanding Achievements in the Field of Culture, Ljubljana 2005; Award of the Expert Jury of the Association of Graphic Artists of Hungary, IV. International Biennial of Drawing, Plzen 2004; Honorary Diploma, IV: International Art Triennale, Majdanek 94. Panstwowy Muzeum na Majdan-ku, Lubin 1994; Albertina Purchase Award, 2. Biennial of Slovenian Graphics, Otočec 1992, Purchase Pri-ze of the Modern Gallery. International exhibition of original drawings, Rijeka 1986, Redemption Prize of Nikšič, 4. September Youth Art Salon, Nikšič 1982, Prize, Panonia 77, Szombathely-Eisenstadt-Murska Sobota 1977.

Huzjan’s works can be found in the collections of museums and collectors in Slovenia and abroad (selection): Moderna galerija Ljubljana, Mestna galerija Ljubljana, Mestni muzej Ljubljana, Umetno-stna galerija Maribor, Muzej in galerija Murska Sobota, Muzej Lendava / Lendva, Obalne galerije Piran, Mestna galerija Ingolstadt, Albertina Wien / Vienna, Graphics Cabinet JAZU Zagreb, Art Salon Cetinje, City Gallery Nikšič, NLB Ljubljana Collection, BTC Collection, Mercator Collection, Riko Collection, and private collections.

His creativity also passes into literature; he is recognized as a poet and essayist. His poetry collecti-ons: Mačuhice (1992), Znamenja (1993), Živalice (1994), Solea krema (2004), Priključki (2006), Zapestja (2008), Tišinasto (2012); proza: Mušji ples (2019).