This exhibition showcases the early design work of Zoran Didek, in particular the living room furniture designed by Didek for his cousin Ana (also “Anica”) Jančigaj. The furniture that had been given to her by her family as a wedding present was acquired by the City Museum of Ljubljana in 2017.
Zoran Didek is known as a painter, art theorist, and teacher, but also as an interior designer and designer. How important design was for him was best described by Vladimir Makuc, Slovenian painter: “Didek was teaching us something else; art for him was not only painting with oils but also designing aesthetically pleasing and functional objects. This was the truly difficult task he accepted, for each and every one of us wanted to become an artist in order to be able to paint using brush and canvas. Didek never tired of showing us the meaning and beauty of everything that surrounds us and can make our environment and life more attractive.” (“Sobotna priloga” Delo supplement, 14 January 1996). Didek is known for his graphic design, industrial design – objects made of ceramics and glass, and even gold – along with comprehensive interior design for public buildings.
Didek designed the living room furniture for Anica Jančigaj only a few years after finishing his studies in Zagreb, where he had acquired the theoretical bases of design. The furniture for the Jančigaj couple is Didek’s earliest preserved design work. Not only were Anica Jančigaj (1916–2008) and Zoran Didek related (they were cousins), but the cabinet maker Franc Kerin (1909–1983), who actually made the furniture, was also Anica’s brother and Zoran’s cousin.
Along with the furniture, three paintings by Didek are also put on display. Still part of the family collection, these art pieces once decorated the walls of the living room of the Jančigaj family, complementing the furniture.