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Prešeren Awards

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Janez Boljka (1931-2013)
For his lifetime achievement

The creative journey of Janez Boljka, an artist with traits of an innovator departing from traditional themes of his surroundings, has been ongoing for more than a quarter of a century. Boljka has reached his maturity period, in both sculpture and printmaking. The working biography of this extremely dynamic artist includes some milestones, which are critical to the artist's personal development as well as the completion of the Slovenian plastic arts. Boljka was the first Slovenian sculptor who worked with iron in the early 1970s and created one of the most exceptional and intimate series on the subject of the National Liberation Struggle. In the second half of the 1970s, he started his animal series, to which he was continually drawn as one of the few Slovenian animalist artists. He devoted a number of his creative years to studying Cankar's image, making Cankar one of his basic themes and a specific national art chronicle, beside his older sculpture Man from Ribnica. Also vastly popular are Boljka's small sculptures, playful and light-hearted at first glance, but in truth, revealing the sculptor’s surreal and visionary dimension. Similar cosmic spaces are employed also in Janez Boljka’s prints. His works in both fields classify Janez Boljka under the most interesting figurative artists in the area of ex-Yugoslavia, both in terms of his reinterpretation of the human impression and his seeking out of archetypal animal forms.
Ribničan, 1958

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