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Janez Boljka
The sculptor and painter Janez Boljka was born in Subotica Serbia in 1931. After the Second World War, his family moved to Ljubljana, where he studied sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts and graduated in 1956. He completed a special course in sculpture with professor Karl Putrih in 1959, and one in graphic art with professor Riko Debenjak in 1961.Boljka is one of Slovenia’s great modern artists. His sculptures - surrealist figures - are popular as monuments, park sculptures, and intimate statues in interiors.Boljka is considered to be the pioneer of Slovene surrealist sculpture. He was the first Slovene sculptor who worked iron in the early 1970s and he created one of the most remarkable and intimate cycles on the theme of the National Liberation War. In the second half of the 1970s, he started working on his animal cycle, to which he keeps returning as one of the rare animalists in Slovene art. He dedicated several years of creative work to studying Cankar; along with the older sculpture Ribnica Man – the eternal wanderer – Cankar is a basic theme in the context of a specific national art chronicle. His highly popular statuettes, playful and light at first glance, nevertheless reveal the sculptor’s affinity for for surrealist, visionary dimensions. Boljka opens up similar cosmic spaces in his graphic art.Boljka received the Prešeren Award for the sculptures exhibited in the previous year at the exhibitions of the Slovene Fine Arts Association, and for the Hostages monument in the Ljubljana cemetery in 1966.In 1988 he received the Prešeren Award for his life’s work.Janez Boljka died in 2013.