The France Mihelič Gallery is a separated unit of Loka Museum and can be found on the first and second floors of a former granary in Spodnji trg at Škofja Loka. There is a permanent collection of graphic prints, drawings and paintings of the big Slovenian painter and graphic artist France Mihelič (born 1907, died 1998). It was founded in 1994, when the artist made an extremely generous donation of 59 art pieces to Škofja Loka, in memory of the native Virmaše and early childhood years, which he had spent in here.
France Mihelič stands as the most distinctive and original Slovenian master of fantastic art and as one of the main representatives of Slovenian partisan art. He studied painting at ALU (Academy of Fine Arts) in Zagreb (1927-1931), where he was strongly influenced by the Zagreb group Zemlja. In 1945 he became a professor at ALU in Ljubljana, where he had been teaching until his retirement in 1970.
Two floors of the Gallery host the artist's work from the postwar period, mainly from the '60s and '70s, which represent Mihelič's very productive creative period. Through the original iconography Mihelič's world of fiction tells stories, filled with dream-like visions, metamorphoses, but also melancholy, imbued with existential questions about birth, death, dying… . On display are some of his most recognisible motifs of famous 'kurent', musicians, and also mythological scenes, which he always like to form with passion. The expressive images derive from author's real and dream world, from painter's memories of childhood, his native Virmaše, Ptuj, where he was teaching and where he first met Kurent. The work is distinguished for its exquisite drawing through which the author's sense for the authentic grotesque and caricature is revealed.
France Mihelič Gallery, Spodnji trg 1:
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