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Metka Krašovec author's photo

Metka Krašovec celebrated her 70th birthday in 2012 with the opening of a retrospective exhibit — the first such retrospective ever given to a female contemporary artist by the museum. This suggests the esteem in which she is held — not only in Slovenian and European art but around the globe. Indeed, her work has been exhibited extensively throughout Europe and the U.S., and two full-color books have been devoted to her work.

Born in 1941 in Ljubljana, Krašovec and her family moved several times throughout her childhood. She lived in Belgrade, San Francisco, and New York before returning to Ljubljana. She graduated in 1964 from the Ljubljana Academy of Fine Arts. She went on to complete post-graduate studies in painting and a Masters of Graphic Art, before continuing her education at universities in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. After returning to Ljubljana in 1977, she joined the faculty at her alma mater, becoming one of the youngest professors to teach there.

In 1978, Krašovec traveled to Mexico, where she fell in love with and later married the Slovenian poet Tomaž Šalamun, one of the most influential and prolific poets of Central Europe over the past few decades. She now splits her time between Ljubljana and her family home at Lake Bled in the Alps. Part of the intriguing story of their meeting appears in the title poem of Šalamun's book, A Ballad for Metka Krašovec (Twisted Spoon Press, 2012), which Andrei Codrescu called "sheer condensed delight." As Šalamun describes their romance: "I was constantly thinking about / the letter I'd gotten that morning from Metka/...I collapsed under the table." Over the years, Metka created covers for several of &Scaron:alamun's books. She illustrated his Blackboards with "Trak," a series of images that traverse a long paper scroll.

As critic Jože Osterman wrote in Sinfo (May 2012), sumarizing Metka's career:

"As a one-of-a kind artist, whose paintings are immediately recognizable, Metka Krašovec created a number of entirely new poetics in fine arts, first with the prevailing reds in her early creative years and, subsequently, with her striking figures featuring strange heads, a kind of premonition of beings hailing from other galaxies. Finally, there are her new explosions of color, characteristic of her third creative cycle. The search for beauty as an absolute ideal we can come close to, but cannot quite reach, is, according to the organizers of her retrospective, the essential thread that runs through her fairly heterogeneous poetry of painting."

Metka's work has been exhibited throughout Slovenia and in London, Stockholm, Milan, Graz, Belgrade, Trieste Tunis, Paris, Zagreb, Bonn, Brooklyn, Bucharest, Coventry, San Francisco, Chicago, Alexandria, Brussels, Subotica, Los Angeles, Madrid, Tiblisi, Damascus, Berlin, Dakka, Dubrovnik, New Delhi, Chattanooga, Fredrikstad, Nairobi, Dusseldorf, Rijeka, New York, Bombay, Lisbon, Helsinki, Skopje, Manchester, Budipest, Cambridge,, Athens, Venice, Vienna, Sarajevo, Teheran, Marburg, Florence, Bonn, Harkov (Ukraine), Treviso, Zurich, São Paolo, often as publicly commissioned work. Her stained glass windows and frescoes are in the Church of St. Lawrence, Kokrica, Slovenia.

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