Ornamental motifs were a source of inspiration for the
graphic layout of the international art exhibition of Slovene
art and artists in Cork, Ireland.
could find connected with Slovenia and its culture.
||Ivan Razboršek - ornamental artist
(1924 – 1998)
Born of Slovenian parents in the year 1924 in faraway
Skopje. He and his brother knew Slovenia only through
books and the tales told by their parents, deepening their
love of the distant homeland and rich ethnic heritage.
He started to collect anything he
In 1943 he decided to begin collecting systematically, editing,
studying and making drawings from ornamental arts. He never
fulfilled his wish to study at the art academy. Having never
had a formal education, he was not burdened by fine arts theory
and could feel the primal poetry of ornamental figuration, which
he then imparted with painstaking detail to his own decorative
In 1954 he came to Slovenia to live, settling in Ljubljana and
residing there until his death in 1998.
At home he tended to the artistic upbringing of his children,
enjoying working with schoolchildren and visiting the elderly
in homes, encouraging their creativity.
He worked for his own inner enrichment and wished to share the
treasures he discovered with others. Disappointed with the relationship
others had to his work, using it many times without permission
and forgetting the artist himself, he took refuge in his art
and created his most beautiful works. The wish of my father
was that his work would help both preserve and enrich our cultural
heritage as well as to encourage contemporaries to contribute
their own creative works, not by blindly copying his original
ornamentation, but by creating their own.
Dr.Cene Avguštin, well-known art historian and critic as well
as personal friend, wrote these words: "… Ivan Razboršek
combines various ornamental figures into new compositional units,
thereby creating new ornamental patterns, unprecedented in the
history of ornamental art. That is the special contribution
of Ivan Razboršek to our times, and this contribution has become
a part of them…"
The exhibition "Gallery of the Ornamental Arts of Ivan
Razboršek" opened on the 26th of November, 1987, in Castle
Sevnica, presenting his drawings, objects and plates, engraved
and decorated. He unearthed the foundations of his collection
in the field, in farm homes, in churches, in craftsmen and in
nature. From this ethnic tradition, which he fished from Lethe,
his own style developed, which is always recognizable by his
distinctive touch, even when unsigned with his monogramm "IR".
He once wrote: "…it is the authenticity of an ornament
which allows the development of ornamental and folk art, unfalsified
cognizance and shared understand between nations; it is a wonderful
culture bridge, which opens possibilties for nearness and understanding
between folk cultures and between one person and another. Ornament
has its own language which anyone who has the desire to listen
intently to it can understand…"
His interest in folk ingenuity did not stop with Slovene ornamentation,
but reached to the work of all the world's folk.
There where periods when he dug into the rich culture heritage
of Africa or the native cultures of South and Central America;
at other times he was enchanted by the delicate figurations
of Japan and China. He always returned, renewed, to his beloved
Slovene ornamental arts.
His unique ornamental motifs were realized on paper, textiles,
wood, ceramics, enammel, and engraved into glass and metal.
In his last period, he concentrated on small grafic works and
He exhibitted at 170 solo exhibitions, both at home and throughout
the wide world, as well as participating in some 100 group exhibitions,
about twenty of which took place in Europe, with exhibitions
in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Taiwan and throughout China as well, his
work finding admirers wherever it went, for ornamental art in
all its forms is a wonderful cultural bridge between nations
After many years he realized, with sadness and bitterness in
his heart, that Slovenes do not know how appreciate their own
cultural heritage as other nations do, and are sometimes even
ashamed of it. However, in his last years, he saw with joy that
this relationship was changing, even if he was not happy with
the fact that the renewal leaned too heavily toward commercialization
of its themes.
His artistic heritage is tended with pride by my mother Maria,
my sister Maja and myself, that his artistic spirit will live
on, enriching the future, an inexhaustible source for our own
His last exhibition took place in the gallery at the Prežihov
Voranc library in Ljubljana, June 1996. At that exhibition were
to be seen the ornamental motifs which were a source of inspiration
for the graphic layout of the international art exhibition of
Slovene art and artists in Cork, Ireland.
The of ornamental motifs chosen have a rich history obviously
dears to my father's heart, for in the collection I discover
some of his central motifs.
I do not know for sure when my father created this chosen ornamental
motifs, but in printed matter we find it among his vignettes
in a Slovene calender for 1982, which was printed for emigrants
of Slovene descent. In the year 1986 he made linocuts for printing
on paper and textile, which I have discovered in printed bookplates
as well. He used them in his numerous lectures as well, which
I have been able to date from academic materials. The most recent
was published in his book "Slovene Ornamental Art",
on page 110, published by Mohorje Society of Celja in 1992 and
was reprinted twice.
Here a story begins and end happily, successfully intertwining
the traditional and the contemporary, the result of which can
be seen in the graphic design. Good luck in Cork!
Prepared by Eva Razboršek, udia