Exhibition by Gasper Jemec


By naming his exhibition Two Thousand Thirteen Gašper Jemec puts the focus on the present moment. But let us not jump to conclusions. The present is only a starting point for viewing the actions from the past, involving the memory, being confronted with one’s own personal history, reinterpreting it and composing a holistic picture directed towards the future. The present installation of works exposes the painting themes Jemec has explored so far, as well as various media practices, two- and three-dimensional, between which he flows with equal ease and professionalism. What constantly remains at the forefront, regardless of the nature of the art object, is the aspect of working on the surface as Gašper Jemec is, first and foremost, a painter.

The artist emphasises the importance of the exhibition as an event which he considers almost a performance that foresees the concept of a spectator. This idea and the spectator are the reason for setting up a painting landscape composed of carefully arranged artworks – paintings or three-dimensional objects. His characteristic media instability, flexibility, the constant process of making choices and decisions, and projecting in all directions are excellent reflections of the sensibility of the time we live in, a time without any leading ideologies, beliefs, art movements, or religions. The painter’s restless, almost nervous, desire to transcend the borders is instantly visible in the important role of the edges of the colour fields, their sharpness and colour contrasts in his works.

Gašper Jemec defines his artistic mission as the absorption of the impressions from the world and their thoughtful rearrangement into visual wholes that have an opportunity to awaken their viewers and direct them into the thoughts of the future. As he enters the world of artistic creation (and life), his completely unburdened and even playful approach enables him to make out of each moment and out of each artwork, which is a sum of those moments, a unique experience. Another thing should be emphasised. In his peculiar way, he has set the development of the unique phenomenon of self-controlled freedom as his artistic mission. From the a priori canonised concept of personal freedom as it developed in the second half of the 20th century, our life course now runs in a controlled, self-made progressive environment. An individual within it is led by inner spontaneity and internalised control instead of imperative freedom dictated from the outside.

In the typical plurality of artistic themes, some are particularly emphasised; these are the revival of aestheticism, the challenge that design presents to other visual arts, and the question, how to respond to the environment in which technology and nature are intertwined. The artist seeks his mission in taking an attitude towards the glittering world of the present, as he does not want to take part in creating hypocritical art which exploits people’s distress and tragedy in order to address the moral superiority of the author. The glamour and the technically impeccable visual appearance of Jemec’s works is sometimes perplexing, as it shows instead of the expressive, introspective, and passive image, the concealed, overlooked side of Slovenian art, that is, its dimension which opens towards the world.

Although the painter follows his maxim of progressiveness, as he believes that art is what reveals the most visionary thoughts in society, his final, ultimate choice is not technology but nature. The present exhibition therefore invites us to a complex painting landscape which Gašper Jemec has set up for us, the viewers, in which to lose ourselves and then in which to find ourselves again in a harmonious vision for the future.


Nadja Zgonik, PhD

Ljubljana, March 2013


Author bio

Nadja Zgonik, born in 1964, is an art historian and art critic. She received PhD from the Department of Art History at the Faculty of Arts, University in Ljubljana in 1997. Since 1989, she is a lecturer of art history at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana. She was one of the founders and the first editor of M'ars, the magazine of the Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana. She has been the curator of several exhibition, some of them were projects for specific places (1995 – Gustav Gnamus at Spital's Chapel, Celje; 1997 – Wise Hand: Art – Science – Technology, Rihard Jakopic Gallery, Ljubljana; 1997 – The Cabinet of Found Objects – Exhibition of Artist's Personal Fetishes, Obalne galerije, Koper). She also curated exhibitions of contemporary Slovene art abroad (TAIEX, Bruxelles; Kunstforum, Bonn; MIB, Trieste). In 1994 she published a book Marij Pregelj. A Drawing into a Painting (M'ars Series, Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana), in 2001 a book about Slovene painter Zdenko Huzjan (Pomurska zalozba, Murska Sobota) and Images of the Slovene national identity (Nova revija, Ljubljana).