Fulvia Grbac: Against nature |

Herman Pečarič Gallery, Piran |

7th of June 2019 – 25th of August 2019 |

Opening: Friday, the 7th of June 2019, at 19.00 pm 

Castelvenere, 2019, polychrome woodcut, 35 x 35 cm

Borders III, 2019, drypoint, 70 x 100 cm

With the cooperation of the Italian Community Giuseppe Tartini of Piran and the Autonomous Community of Italian Nationality of Piran, Herman Pečarič Gallery organizes every year an exhibition dedicated to artists belonging to this historical minority. This year during the summer will be on display the solo show of Fulvia Grbac, an academic painter form Sečovlje. She graduated in 1991 at the Venice Academy of Fine Arts, with a degree on the graphic work of Lojze Spacal. Since then, she has continued improving her artistic skills, through graphic workshops and courses in Slovenia and abroad. She currently serves as an art educator at the Pietro Coppo high school in Izola.

The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual catalogue with a note by curator Nives Marvin: “Nowadays, modern technologies are widely used in contemporary graphic production, enabling artists to make digital printing easier and faster. In the last decade, Fulvia Grbac has been using classical graphic techniques, despite graduating in painting at the Venetian Fine Art Academy. Thus, she joins the circle of artists who preserve this noble craftsmanship, which was one of the most successful hallmarks of Slovene art during the second half of the last century (Ljubljana Graphic School). Currently, graphics is becoming more and more popular among contemporary artists, especially for the ones of the younger generations. Fulvia’s research in the field is seamless, and continues experimenting with different techniques, continuing to deepen her knowledge and expertise”.

The exhibition presents the mature period of the artist, a weighted and balanced choice of graphic techniques (woodcut, drypoint, monotyping); she also pays great attention to the dimension and texture of the matrix and the sheets of paper she prints on. The chosen medium constantly challenges her to discover new possibilities of expression and artistic effects. Her engravings capture her most sincere and intimate mental states; this is noticeable through her chromatic choices, which range from the classical black-and-white woodcuts to the sophisticate shades of blues, greys, and greens, capable of creating a unique and extraordinary atmosphere. The variety and unpredictability of her graphic production, in addition to her experimental attitude, continuously take her towards new discoveries and forms of expressions. The artist considers her “graphic ritual” like a sort of peculiar alchemy, a meditation happening in complete silence in her atelier in Izola, FolarT.

Fulvia Grbac lives in Sečovlje, a small town in Slovene Istria, in the western edge of the country, an area caressed by wonderful natural light and with a unique atmosphere. It is a melting pot, where different cultures and national borders meet, next to the astonishing Sečovlje Saltpans. The nature of this place, its ever-changing vegetation, the childhood memories, and the daily observations linked to this special environment are the main inspirations to Grbac. Human figures rarely appear on her artworks: it is nature itself to take the leading role, as is visible in the series Dendrotipia, In Rubis, Memory of the Saltpans, and Landscapes. The compositions are apparently simple and delicate, but in the works of the last three years we can notice the appearance of a barbed wire, a new kind of border, a tangible obstacle. Trees and barbed wire are her most used metaphors, through which she reveals her deepest feelings on past and present, on society and politics. The single sheets of paper are connected and related to each other and displayed in a creative art installation that bears a universal and present message.

Through her graphic process, Fulvia Grbac compares every fascinating element of nature with the legacy of our ancestors, a tradition that is disappearing due to the shameful guilts of our species. The information provided by the mass-media and the barbed wire she sees every day from her house are what led her to question herself about the mental and emotional limits that everyone carries within themselves and that too often lead to inhumane, cruel, and dishonourable practices for such a highly developed society like the one in which we are living today.