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Miha Maleš
Academic painter Miha Maleš was born on 6 January 1903 in Jeranovo near Kamnik, where his father owned a mill. He was first taught by F. Tončič in Kamnik, then he attended art school in Ljubljana, the sculptural department (1919–1921; Professors A. Repič and S. Šantel), later he attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb (1921–1923; painting department – Professors J. Kljaković, F. Kovačević, T. Krizman; sculptural department – Professor R. Valdec), private school in Vienna (1922; Professor L. Fröhlich) and in the end the special art college in Prague (1924–1927; Professors A. Brömse and F. Thiele). After graduation he returned to Ljubljana and together with Stane Cuderman he held his first exhibition in the Jakobič’s Pavillion in Ljubljana. In the year 1928 he founded a group of artists, called “Četrta generacija” (“The Fourth Generation”) (O. Globočnik, N. Pirnat, Mira Pregelj, F. Pavlovec, J. Mežan) and he held several exhibitions with them. Then he collaborated in art group with G. A. Kos and F. Gorše and he presented his work by holding independent shows for domestic and foreign public (in Prague, Rome, Paris etc.). In the Modern Gallery in Ljubljana a retrospective exhibition was organized for him in 1974. In 1977 he received a Prešeren award for his lifetime work and achievements. The hundredth anniversary of his birth was honoured with exhibitions in the Miha Maleš Gallery in Kamnik, Modern Gallery in Ljubljana and Pilon’s Gallery in Ajdovščina. Miha Maleš was travelling and holding exhibitions at home and abroad and he returned home with new ideas and suggestions for his graphic and painter’s opus (for instance from travelling around Western Europe in 1951, journey around ex-Yugoslavia – Macedonia in 1948, Jadranski motivi (Adriatic motifs) 1961). He was occupied with journalism and publishing. He founded his own bibliophilic publishing house in Ljubljana. There he published several graphical folders and books with his own work and works of other artists, among which the most responded was the book “Rdeče lučke ali risbe o ljubezni” (”Red lights or paintings about love”) in 1929. He was art editor of the magazine “Ilustracija” (“Ilustration”) and the editor of the first Slovene art magazine “Umetnost” (“Art”). In Ljubljana he opened an art shop, called “Umetniški salon” (“Art Salon”). His life and work rank him among the most important Slovene artists of the 20th century and at the same time, along with Božidar Jakac, among the founders of Slovene art graphics. He was one of the leading artists, who popularized art, and one of prime organizers of many exhibitions. His world of art is distinguished for its elegancy and easiness, linearity and lyrical mood of motifs and experiences, taken from reality, which he formed into gentle love motifs, especially in his young years. The youth part of opus was marked by lyrically perceptible expressionism, and was later replaced with the un-exchangeable personal artistic manuscript and peculiarly colourful realism. This sometimes proceeds towards oversimplification and stylisation, which remain within the boundaries of recognisable motif. In the thirties of the 20th century his opus of black-and-white drawings and graphics was enriched by many colourful monotypes and paintings. A brilliant set of portrayal photography originated from the period of “Art Salon” in 1930, when Maleš had a studio in Tivoli. Miha Maleš died on 24 June 1987 in Ljubljana.