For fifteen years, Bojan Kovačič (19492017) led printmaking courses in the National Gallery of Slovenia. Before his unexpected death in late 2017, his courses were attended by one hundred students. In 2009 Bojan Kovačič donated his entire production of prints to the National Gallery of Slovenia. Last year his widow Elena Martello Kovačič completed his donation by adding prints produced between 2011 and 2017. The exhibition is dedicated to the teacher's memory and to his students at the National Gallery of Slovenia.
In comparison to other members of the Ljubljana Printmaking School, Kovačič experienced a different kind of training. He was a student at the Brera Art Academy and at the same time worked in printmaking workshops that produced prints for some of the most outstanding members of the School of Paris. His printmaking routine was focused on technical control, while improvisation and experimentation with the medium paved the way to innovation. He was the first to print from perforated plates, a feature Bogdan Borčić, one of his teachers, systematically integrated into his working method.
As a teacher, Kovačič knew how to listen to the needs of each of his students, found out his/her specific inclinations, understood his/her potential and thus stimulated his/her graphic expression.
The original idea of Professor Marjan Pogačnik was for an experimental workshop on intaglio printing techniques to come to life at the National Gallery of Slovenia. In addition to Pogačnik’s graphic oeuvre and documentary material, Marjan and Bogica Pogačnik also donated to the National Gallery of Slovenia two of the artist’s printing presses and other printmaking equipment, which made up the material foundation for setting up the workshop.
Upon the donor's request, the mentorship and running of the workshop was taken on by Professor Bojan Kovačič, who based his approach on a typical studio working process in an intaglio printmaking workshop. The educational programme included training in classical intaglio printmaking techniques, such as drypoint, etching, aquatint, vernis-mou, sugar-lift aquatint, and their combinations.
Between the years 2004 and 2018, more than a hundred printmaking enthusiasts were initiated into the mysteries of the procedures of intaglio techniques. Many participants attended the workshop for several years. Among them were students, professors, curators, restorers, architects, art teachers, art historians, textile designers, lawyers, pensioners ... We have put a selection of their best prints on show.