February 8 is Prešeren Day in Slovenia marking the death of its greatest literary figure, France Prešeren and celebrating Slovene culture.
He who from fate receives but blow on blow,
Who, like myself in her disfavour stands,
Although he had a hundred mighty hands,
Would vainly strive for riches here below.
His paths are strewn with thorns where’er he go;
And where he looks for home there soon expands
A sea of woes: against its stormy strands
Waves roll and splash in unremitting flow.
Pursued and tossed about by Care, by Need,
He finds no peace from worries on his road,
Though to the farthest place his search may lead.
And only in the quiet, cold abode,France Prešeren
Which after weary life’s span is decreed,
Will death relieve him of his toilsome load.
Translated by Janko Larvin
The Prešeren Award was established in 1945 to raise the cultural consciousness and the self-confidence of the Slovene nation and declared a work-free day in 1991. On February 7, the eve of the holiday, the Prešeren Awards, the highest Slovenian recognition for cultural achievements, are conferred.
The 2022 Prešeren Fund Award went to Dušan Kirbiš. According to the University of Ljubljana, where Kirbiš is head of fashion and textile design,
“Painter Dušan Kirbiš receives the Prešeren Fund Award for the exhibition On the Origin of Images in the Ptuj City Gallery, which was on view between March and May 2021. He presented his best works from four decades of creation, which we accepted as exposed iconic works of Slovenian contemporary art, as well as the latest paintings-objects, with which the painter intervenes in the very essence and the very beginning of artistic thought, writes in the explanation of the expert commission for fine and new media arts.
An extensive monograph of the same title with an accompanying study by Nadja Gnamuš was published alongside an analytically designed review exhibition.
According to the explanation, Kirbiš is a top creator and an in-depth thinker on theoretical issues of art. Due to his theoretical knowledge and understanding of art history, art historian Tomaž Brejc described him as the “guardian of tradition”, who, although he easily uses modern visual technology, is always a painter who delves into painterly metaphysics.
His works are represented in most public collections and monographic reviews of Slovenian modern and contemporary art, as well as in a large number of selected review exhibitions at home and abroad. ”
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