Vladimir Makuc (1925)
He lives and works in Ljubljana. After obtaining a diploma in Painting at the Academy of Ljubljana and the specialization in Restoration he devoted himself mainly to xylography, a technique suitable for the experimentation of new and personalized printing methods. In the 1950s he devoted himself mainly to restoration and worked at the Narodna Galerija in Ljubljana, copying late Gothic frescoes. Between '55 and '57 he also tried his hand at book graphics and edited the Slovenian edition of Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea". In 1959 he received the first prize at the Mediterranean Biennial of Graphic Arts in Alexandria, Egypt. In 1964 he decided to definitively abandon the activity of restorer and copyist to devote himself exclusively to artistic production. In 1966 he was invited as an engraver with five other artists to represent Yugoslavia at the XXXIII Venice Biennale. In the '60s and '70s he set up numerous solo exhibitions of engraving and is often a guest of Italian art galleries. Unforgettable the personal exhibition set up in the mid-60s at the Galleria della Pro Loco in Gorizia, Corso Verdi. In 1978 Makuc executed a first series of tapestries and began to try his hand at painting using a technique that was certainly experimental at the time: in fact, the artist used tempera pigments wisely mixed with sands and shards of glass that he spread on wooden supports. In 1979 he was awarded the prestigious Prešeren prize.
His work is the subject of several retrospective exhibitions in important galleries and museums in Yugoslavia, Slovenia and Europe. In 1985, Goriški Muzej from Kromberk dedicated an extensive anthological exhibition to him, accompanied by a very comprehensive catalogue. In 1987 he was awarded the Jakopič prize. From 1990 to 1991 he created the stained glass window decorating the large hall of the Nova Gorica Theatre. In 1993, he was invited to hold a solo exhibition as part of the First International Triennial of Graphic Design in Cairo. In 1997 he was awarded a prize by the jury of the 22nd International Biennial of Engraving in Ljubljana, a city where the artist has lived and worked since the beginning of his artistic studies. In 2006 the Pilonova Galerija in Ajdovščina dedicated a review of drawings, graphic works, paintings and sculptures made from 1959 to 2005 to him. Makuc's complex production is inspired by rural life, the Slavic folk tradition, the relationship between man and animal, the laborious work of the land represented by symbolic images such as the bundles of dry branches carried on the heads of peasant women; the silhouette of the cow or beef; the mighty structure of the peasant house; the stylization of a sheep or a goat; the fragile figure of a bird chirping cheerfully.