In art history, the notion of ‘regionalism’ is largely associated with a movement in American art in the decade before the Second World War, when artists strived to establish a genuinely American art, one that would not succumb to European influences. Therefore, in their works, they focused on the rural iconography of the countryside and provincial life. The leading representatives of this movement included Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood, as well as Edward Hopper.

Due to their historical, political, economic and geographical position, fine arts in Slovenia depended on nearby regional centres, which relationship imbued art of various styles with local ‘dialects’. In popular conservative variants of folk art, regional idiosyncrasies that were firmly rooted in specific closed milieus persisted for unusually long stretches of time and only seldom merged into a unified idiom that might serve to signify the entire Slovenian space. In this context, the Koroška region is characterised by strong links to the mediaeval tradition, from times when important trade and art routes ran through the region – consequently this tradition left a strong and decisive mark on these places. However, this strong attachment to traditional forms, which not even the subsequent enlightened baroque could displace, found a peculiar expression that is still visible today, and is permeated with a local or larger patriotic commitment to identify closely with the local character. If we were to look for some common features in the character of the Koroška artist we might find them precisely in the utterly individual approach and a certain solemn absorption, always underscored by a special melancholy, which, on the outside, is sometimes steeped in a kind of coarseness, but is in fact, on the inside, lyrical and mellow.

“Discovering Art” is an educational portal where you can discover interesting facts about art and museums of art.

The online portal Discovering Art is the collaborative effort of four institutions:

Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb, Fundació Antoni Tàpies from Barcelona, Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina and Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Koroška from Slovenj Gradec.

The portal is part of the European project Performing the Museum.