milan golob



list of paintings ...


titles of ...
paintings not created yet ...



Andreja Borin   
Milan Golob: Paintings (of a female friend) and titles of paintings yet to be created (The accompanying text for solo exhibition bearing the same title in the UGM studio Maribor, Slovenia, 2023.)
Nina Jeza   
Milan Golob (from the catalogue: PRESENCES, Kibla, Maribor, 2018, p. 42, repro.; p. 43.)
Sarival Sosič  
Milan Golob - Fragments of Happiness (from the catalogue: Fragments of happiness in art, City Art Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2013, p. 128-130, 5× repro., p. 71-78.)
Meta Kordiš  
Die Toteninsel (from the catalogue: I, Here, Now, 2011, p. 72)
Sarival Sosič  
Milan Golob (from the catalogue: Drawing in Slovenia II, 1945-2009, p. 248, City Art Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2009)
Vladimir P. Štefanec  
A Marriage Between the Earthly and the Transcendental (Delo - Saturday, April 18th 2009)
Milos Bašin  
In the Circle of Heaven (from the catalogue: Milan Golob, Queens of the Night, City Art Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2009)
Petja Grafenauer Krnc  
A painting is a Painter's Friend (Dnevnik - Wednesday, 29th November 2006)
Vladimir P. Štefanec  
The Physical Formula for Love (Delo - Friday, 24th November 2006)

Milan Golob  
Paintings (of a female friend) and titles of paintings yet to be created (The accompanying text for solo exhibition bearing the same title in the UGM studio Maribor, Slovenia, 2023.)
Milan Golob  
My Friends (paintings) and Natalija (drawings) (the accompanying text for solo exhibition bearing the same title in the Equrna gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2006)
Milan Golob  
Škure via Kazimir (the accompanying text for solo exhibition bearing the same title in the Equrna gallery, Ljubljana, April 2001)
Milan Golob  
I couldn't Care Less for Artist (the accompanying text for solo exhibition Paintings in the gallery Equrna, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 1997)
Milan Golob  
The Test of Convenience (the accompanying text for solo exhibition PICTURES and Conveniences in the gallery Likovni salon, Celje, Slovenia, 1995)
Milan Golob  
Paintings and Duchamp (The accompanying text for solo exhibition bearing the same title in the ŠKUC gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 1994.)



Milan Golob: Paintings (of a female friend) and titles of paintings yet to be created

     Golob painted four circles at random for the first time about twenty years ago. They have been a constant in his work since then. In his small-size paintings, colour, background, painted circles, geometric grids, and other elements interact differently. Every detail is crucial. When the painting is finished, the artist assigns it a title that is just as important as the painting itself. He initially searched for the titles of the paintings among renowned personalities in the fields of art, literature, history, science, etc., but now the majority of them he discovers when travelling, particularly when visiting graves. The title of a painting could be, for example: Joan Beaufort (1407–1445), Zmago Jeraj (1937–2015), Sylvia Plath (1932–1963), Ljubica Rafajlovič (1932–1958), Boro Đukić (1951–2013), Hafsa Mouini (2014–2014), etc. A painting labelled after a Scottish queen, a Slovenian painter, an American poet, a male stranger, a female stranger, and a child — to take the above random selection as an example — can be found side by side at the exhibition in the same room and the same row. A sort of creative take on the danse macabre. In this dance, which recognises no boundaries of gender, age, place, or time, each participant joins with only a few coordinates: the first name, the last name, the year of birth, and the year of death. Four points, four circles on the canvas of a lifetime.
     Golob's paintings create an extraordinary network of connections through which we might intercept a glimpse of a higher order. The relationship between first and last names is both coincidental and intentional. The year the painting was created is both coincidental and intentional. The dash-drawn space between the years of birth and death is both hypnotically charged and incomprehensibly open to the unknown. At the intersections of these coordinates, we might perhaps sense the dimension and interplay of human existence in a given space and time — and also beyond.
     The artist's creative efforts are fuelled by numerous works on art, science, and spirituality. In his work, he innovatively combines a conceptual reference with traditional painting (which he works on at night). This way, his night-time effort gradually constructs a massive grid system of connections between earthly and otherworldly (inter)spaces on the thin line between an artist-weirdo and a philosopher-physicist. We are viewing these (inter)spaces as (un)intentional visitors in this exhibition — all candidates for the title of a painting. This connects us to the coordinate network more than we would like and raises our awareness of transience, preciousness, and uniqueness ... of us here, and of them there.

Andreja Borin
(The accompanying text for solo exhibition bearing the same title in the UGM studio Maribor, Slovenia, 2023.)
(Translated by Ksenija Vidic)



Milan Golob

     Milan Golob (1963) graduated in physics, studied art history and graduated in painting in 1993 under the mentorship of Metka Krašovec. He is a studious artist, who is first and foremost a painter, but also deals with video art and space installations. His pictorial field is always in the small-sized format. His painting oeuvre contains a huge number of rectangular (or quadratic) formats of smaller dimensions. The image is abstract, yet well thought-out in terms of execution: at first sight, the works appear similar to one another, yet a more detailed (or longer) look reveals that all the paintings differ from one another in terms of color and positioning of elements. Usually the artist assembles them into a larger rectangular-shaped piece, which only adds to the complexity of structure. Golob's painting approach is very mystical; in his opinion, paintings should correspond to the "universal spirit", they must be beyond the here and now, beyond real time, and at the same time, a part of it. Only one selected work from 2015 is presented in Presences, entitled Ingrid Kahr (1964-2012). He titles his works after epitaphs found in various cities and villages. The names of people who died, written as painting titles, have affected the artist spiritually. He likes taking walks in old cemeteries, which emanate something special, to some people it's scary, and to others cemeteries are places of holiness, quiet, and serenity. As the artist puts it, cemeteries carry hundreds of years of memories. The project started in 2002, with Golob creating 58 paintings in the first year, and then increasing the number of works each following year, creating between 40 and 100 pieces annually, which adds to a total of over one thousand works (more specifically, 1.025 paintings) over the course of sixteen years. He has 5.491 titles still waiting. Currently the last on this list is Metka Krašovec (1941-2018).

Nina Jeza
(from the catalogue: PRESENCES, Kibla, Maribor, 2018, p. 42, repro.; p. 43.)
(Translated by Helena Fošnjar)



Fragments of Happiness

     Milan Golob has for some years now been creating smaller format works that are, despite the similarity of their themes, chromatically diverse and unrepeatable in their artistic structure and surface and in-depth address. The color field or condensed color matter as a basis can be smooth, rugged, dynamic in their texture or minimalistically static; they can be brightly highlighted or placed in a dark color scheme, in which case the paintings are mysterious, almost metaphysical. The various colors and structural color bases are occasionally intensified by horizontal, vertical, diagonal or criss-crossing compositional linear accents that enable an endless diversity of the visual impact among the paintings. The artist repeatedly, persistently and patiently installs four circles within this basis, a kind of emotional images that symbolize, upgrade and add depth to the artistic narrative and make sense of it as a personal, authorial and poetic story with carefully determined titles. Sometimes, the circles will be in pairs of two equally sized, other times, completely different sizes, while sometimes they'll all be almost the same. In some paintings, they'll float in visible orbits, accentuating the idea of the cosmos, infinity and the eternal recurrence of existence and the motions of nature. The circles within a visible orbit are like a solar or lunar eclipse, mighty and mysterious, repeatable and transient, more than just products of perception. They occurred as a result of personal or collective symbolization. The artist named every piece after a person who has once lived, existed at a time and place and with their work, their deeds or just their existence left a mark, an impression, most importantly an energy that the artist at some point impressed into the narrative of the four circles and carefully chosen titles. The energy of transience and of the past, of existence that has come to an end becomes a positive force through art, creating an atmosphere that delivers the power and the meaning of the artistic endeavor, enriching the meaning of life itself through the presented images. Positive energy based on transience is without doubt happiness at its mightiest, in all its simplicity and eternal recurrence of being of the individual as well as of society. Within his visual activity, the painter isolates a new frame of life, a symbolic unit that he titles with the name of someone deceased and the connection, through an active and systematic artistic process, gains a distinctly optimistic and happy identity. Through the act of creation, the artist continuously experiences time, space, life and death, gives these experiences meaning through the infinity of the circle, the abstract nature of the colors and the order of the composition in a memorial artistic act, a kind of closet full of works of art, created through the act of creativity. The transformation of a once real person into a work of art is subject to the positive energy of the artist, who comprehends the process as a joyful act, a happy creation and a happy artistic narrative. In the dense layout that Golob created, the recurring yet diverse circles and paintings are as a whole transmuted into something intangible, subject to pure idea or metaphysics in all of its vagueness, elusiveness and infinite recurrence, permutations and internal artistic intuition of the painting – the pure happiness of abstracted ambiguity and artistic freedom.

Sarival Sosič
(from the catalogue: Fragments of happiness in art, City Art Gallery, Ljubljana, 2013, p. 128-130, 5× repro., p. 71-78.)



Die Toteninsel

     Installation Die Toteninsel consists of paintings Johann Mallovič (1819-1883), Arnold Böcklin (1827-1901), Ivan Marković (1850-1920) and photography of island Sveti Đorđe (Island of Saint George) in Boka Kotorska (Montenegro). For a decade the author has painted colourful structured paintings of small formats with four circles dominating various compositions. Nevertheless, as evident also from the current installation, the size of every painting is different, not a single circle is the same as another nor is any colour combinations repeated in other artworks. Every image has its own name and life that it lives autonomously or in an interaction with other paintings and photographs. The titles of Milan's artworks are inspired by real persons, more or less known individuals from the world of physics, literature, art …, as in the case of his first painting installation My Friends (paintings) and Natalija (drawings), 2006, or by the actual, although anonymous deceased, whom he introduced in the exhibition Queens of the Night, 2009, where the paintings were exhibited together with the photographs of tombstones featuring the name – title of the painting. Visiting cemeteries and gathering names of the deceased while taking photographs of tombstones is part of the artistic process. Milan creates his paintings with dedication and tenderness, and only chooses their titles subsequently, irrationally and relying on intuition, from the range of historical personalities or collection of his favourite people whom he mostly did not know personally. The story of the installation presented here is built on real individuals used by the author as the starting point of his narrative local legends and random associations. Around 1879 Arnold Böcklin and a certain countess allegedly visited Perast. Nearby is the island of Sveti Đorđe, where the town cemetery was located until 1866. The small island apparently inspired Böcklin (although the official sources claim otherwise) with his best known motif Die Toteninsel (The island of the dead), which was repeated in five variations (1880-86). The central painting of Milan's installation has thus been named after the symbolist. The two paintings on the left and right side were named after the deceased who lived in the town at the time of the painter's visit and most probably, speculates Milan, heard that the painter was in the town. Joahann Mallovič could have belonged to the Austro-Hungarian navy that was in the port at the time, and was depicted by a structure of gradual transition from dark to light pale turquoise green which serves as a backdrop to the bright English- red circles. Ivan Marković was perhaps a sea pirate, and is therefore depicted with the light Caput Mortuum circles on the background of the army–pirate green texture, intended to create mimicry. Under the three paintings there is a photography Sveti Đorđe, of the island which again united the dead and enchanted Milan Golob, who through the language of abstract painting and photography of a real location tells a story of potential reality and translates it into the actual reality of his own art context.

Meta Kordiš, curator in UGM / Maribor Art Gallery
(Translated by Petra Shirley)



Milan Golob

     Through the dynamic play of mathematical derivations which tersely cover the soft and gently drawn images, Milan Golob explores the boundaries of visual expression's openness and fine arts relations. His drawings nostalgically evoke memories of classical Renaissance mathematical texts combined with many tiny lines. They indicate the ability of uniting and researching seemingly different fields, such as mathematics, physics and painting. The painter was attracted by manuscripts of highly sophisticated mathematical formalisms of modern theories in physics, and he began to incorporate them into his drawings. The exhibited works on hand-made sheets of different tints through an abstract visual play and the symbolic energy of mathematical signs enter the field of continuous and gradual change. The artist pushes the temporal boundaries of combining real mathematical formulas, numbers and signs into a uniform image, combining the concept of cyclic time, into which is included - through the sign code of modern mathematical formalism - also his personal, momentary existence.

Sarival Sosič
(from the catalogue: Drawing in Slovenia II, 1945-2009, p. 248)
(Translated by Primož Trobevšek)



A Marriage Between the Earthly and the Transcendental

(Milan Golob: Queens of the Night, the gallery Bežigrad 1, Ljubljana,
1 April - 28 April, 2009)

     Those coming to see the exhibition of Milan Golob encountered an unusual sight. All across the walls of the gallery were winding two horizontal, almost unbroken lines of exhibits, the upper consisted of small oils on canvass of different sizes, bellow each was a photograph with the same title. And on each photograph was a headstone displaying the name, surname, date of birth and death - these formed the titles of paintings. The exhibition could be viewed as continuation of the one Golob prepared about two years and a half ago in the Equrna Gallery in Ljubljana.
     At the latter he put on display only canvasses with four circles arranged so as to remind of »hotplates«. These, too, had titles made of names, dates of birth and death of various people, except that they were mostly known personalities from art history, literature, physics ... By integrating a form and colours into a whole, Golob tried to tune the »pertaining« pictures with the work, spirit, essence of individual persons from these »metaphysical portraits«. For the most part he managed to carry out this difficult task very sensitively, yet this time he undertook even more difficult one. Already in the Equrna Gallery he mixed celebrities and the pictures dedicated to the anonymous dead whose data were taken from their headstones, which provided the exhibition with an extra dimension, a kind of democratic inclusiveness. This time there were no recognisable names among those selected by Golob, yet each canvass was accompanied by the photograph of a headstone.
     The viewer thus plunged into the universe of anonymous lives from various geographical regions, amidst the painting »essences« of once living beings, now lost in the mazes of timelessness. The problem the viewer encounters this time has to do with the lack of any firm grips, unlike at the exhibition in the Equrna Gallery, where these were provided by famous names, so he/she could compare their essence with the author's attempts to interpret them with a brush, he/she could identify different degrees of compatibility, accordance, approximations ..., this time the viewer was deprived of all that. The departed whom Golob selected are more or less unknown even to himself, he created their visual »essence« on the basis of their headstones' appearances, the reflection on their surfaces, the structure of the material they are made of, their patina, the atmosphere which surrounds them, the etymology of their names, their sounds, the shape of their inscriptions ..., on the basis of various things which trigger associations. These are of course connected with all that is stored in the author, who constructs his artistic totalities on several planes and through the awareness about symbolisms and optical laws governing the circle, the ring, colours, the number four ... Golob thus creates an atmosphere, he provides viewers with a kind of confrontation between the finite and the infinite, the limited and the unlimited, the palpable and the impalpable, he leads them through time, he stages a marriage between the earthly and transcendental.
     Because of the already mentioned lack of any grips, the anonymity of the departed, and use of headstones, his endeavours are inevitably hermetic, subjected to coincidences, they require a very receptive viewer. It seems that the exhibition is permeated with the recognition how fragile our existence is, at the same time it represents an attempt for a deeper insight into its nature.

Vladimir P. Štefanec
(Delo - Saturday, April 18th 2009.)
(Translated by Primož Trobevšek)



In the Circle of Heaven

     Memorials to the dead tend to serve as reminders of the eternal circle of life and death, as do artistic images sometimes. The points of departure in Milan Golob's latest series of paintings, Queens of the Night, are tombstones erected in commemoration of specific people, identified by the details of their names and dates of birth and death.
     Death is often associated with darkness and gloom, but what Golob's images suggest is eternity, either with the simple form of a circle, in itself symbolizing perpetuity, or with the surface of the background. Dominant in the foreground of all the paintings are four circles in a row; they seem to reflect light or radiate brightness and, to a greater or lesser extent, eclipse the multi-layered background. This seems like a mise-en-scene with its explicit pictorial depth, like a psychological membrane bearing the stamp of the artist's perception of his chosen motifs and creating a particular atmosphere, or like a diaphanous veil that allows the gaze to explore the interior of the image. The circles are also projected onto the background; their shadowy forms elude one's gaze and draw it into probing the different layers of the image. Eventually, one's gaze returns to the foreground, to the circles that command it.
     There is a certain hierarchy in the representations of the circular forms and the layers of the background; in the image as a whole, however, these elements have equal status. The circles have distinct rings painted around them, further underscoring the symbolic meanings of eternity, timelessness, and infinity. In its allusion to endlessness, the circle can also symbolize the everlasting passing between heaven and earth, the alternation between life and death, perfect and unchanging, without beginning or end, symbolizing time.
     The photographs of tombstones clearly display the inscriptions on them, the exact beginnings and ends of the lives of individuals who, as a rule, are complete strangers to the artist. The transience of human earthly existence and the limited time of life emphasized by the photographs are confronted with endless time and space in the paintings. What is captured in      Milan Golob's paintings is eternity, while the photographs document real points in time, reminders of lives gone forever.

Miloš Bašin
(from the catalogue: Milan Golob, Queens of the Night, 2010)
(Translated by Tamara Soban)



A painting is a Painter's Friend
(Milan Golob: My Friends (paintings) and Natalija (drawings), the gallery Equrna, Ljubljana,
14 November - 9 December 2006)

     The gallery Equrna is today in the wider Ljubljana region one of the few serious galleries which continually monitor painting. By the current exhibition My friends (paintings) and Natalija (drawings) it presents Milan Golob, the artist born in 1963 in Ljubljana, who during his studies combined art and science, he graduated from painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana, as well as from physics at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics. Despite the variegated media opportunities open to an artist with such broad education in the field of modern art, Golob remains faithful to the traditionally dominant art technique and remains a painter.
In the exhibition's title the artist refers to pictures as his friends. If we understand the title as a sincere artistic statement devoid of any irony, then a picture means to the artist more than just the result of his work - a painting. In view of the fact that Golob consistently remains faithful to painting and that he presents at the exhibition no less than 300 variants of the same motif, we can take his statement extremely seriously. A painting is a friend of the painter, there is an intimate relationship woven between the artist and the material layer of paint on the canvas.
The mosaic of 300 small paintings, mostly in oil, at first sight appears as a vivid, decorative and colourfully pulsating wall paper. Individual paintings in form appears as a kind of exercises in shades of colours with the repeated pattern of four circles, arranged as dots on a cube. The mosaic at places contains discretely positioned framed drawings behind glass. This is Natalija. Natalija is insoluble. She is written by a mathematical riddle which always results in zero and the contour of a varying mass resembling a shell, the mystery locked into a drawing. Natalija is the blurred element of the motif with four circles, it is the palimpsestic remnant of the painting. Natalija is not a real friend, she is not a friend like paintings. Yet in order to solve the riddle of Golob's exhibition of paintings, which is no longer merely a wall decoration, we must take into account also the last element of the exhibition. Under each painting, very close to its edge, is hidden an inscription. Its role is to spur viewers' recognition, to link the name with the image. Each exhibited Golob's painting has a name. The names are taken from real persons, mostly painters, writers and scientists. The story of friendship stretches across the horizon made by the artist. A viewer no longer thinks only of the search after the delicateness of form, the search after the perfect proportion between a colour and a form. His task is now to find the connection between the name and the image. Is the name of the Byzantine emperor and the founder of the dynasty, Alexios Komnenos, under the picture the reason for the goldish and redish glint of its colours? The text changes the image's meaning. The friend painting now becomes more than a mere intimate connection between the artist and his work. The painting changes into a sign, a story.

Petja Grafenauer Krnc
(Dnevnik - Wednesday, 29th November 2006.)
(Translated by Primož Trobevšek)



The Physical Formula for Love
(Milan Golob: My Friends (paintings) and Natalija (drawings), the gallery Equrna, Ljubljana, 14.11. - 9.12. 2006)

     The exhibition of Milan Golob offers viewers extraordinarily rich visual experience. The artist is exhibiting no less than 300 works of smaller size arranged into several groups. These produce the impression of rounded wholes and are at the same time parts of the bigger fragmented organism.
     The majority of the exhibited works are oils on canvas on which the author deals with his motif of four circles of different size, »kitchen-range surface elements«. These are arranged in different ways and painted in different colours against the colour and structure of their background. Apparently he painstakingly sought the harmony between the colour, the composition, the structure, sometimes also the atomised painted field. Once he reached this harmony, he tried to achieve yet another, even more demanding harmony, as witnessed by the paintings' titles. The latter are unusual, made of names, dates of births and deaths of real persons. The majority of them are well-known from the history of art, literature and physics, some are obscure, taken from abandoned headstones.
In this stage Golob tried to link a picture with an appropriate name, he tried to find a link between a picture's totality of form and colour and the work, spirit, essence of a name. This was undoubtedly an arduous enterprise which required sensitivity, intuition, as well as intellect. The artist despite this performed the demanding task more than well. The name of Joseph Beuys thus combines with the characteristic colour of his felt, Fra Angelico with the canvas expressing light and spiritual elevation, Golob links Kandinsky with the rationally-irrationally organised painting . the light of the South American jungle radiates from the picture Miguel Angel Asturias, the evasive temperament and lyrics of Sylvie Plath can be discerned from the picture bearing her name, among the harder nuts (or the easiest to crack) was undoubtedly dealing with the name Tesla. It seems that from this painting one can discern the distinction between the impalpability and palpability of thoughts aimed at establishing the rationale for this world. The exhibition is supplemented by works bearing names of unknown people lost in time and this gives the whole an additional dimension, width and democratic nature.
     Between these paintings is thoughtfully placed, sown in, so to speak, another cycle of exhibits, the drawings in a combined technique from the series Natalija. Among the considerably larger number of painting they act as a kind of omnipresent link, on them Golob combined handwritten lines of physical formulas and calculations with the soft forms resembling lips. Thus he literally softened the hardness of a rational sign record down to lyricism, the soft shades of colours and the background also contributed to this effect.
     Golob thus interweave his creating with his »love« for the creators of the impalpable spiritual and intellectual environment in which he moves, as well as with the love for a concrete person. He succeeded to create a unique authorial universe based on dialogue, connecting, permeating and harmony.

Vladimir P. Štefanec
(Delo - Friday, 24th November 2006.)
(Translated by Primož Trobevšek)








Paintings (of a female friend) and titles of paintings yet to be created

     Twenty years ago, four circles occurred randomly in a painting of mine and remained my painting constant; everything else has altered since then. Beginnings have always been delicate. The image of the circle may attest to the incapacity to truly begin, but it also attests to the incapacity to authentically repeat. Philosophy supports the idiot, being a man without assumptions. The paintings' dimensions have also been decreased significantly, but the space of my activity, which is propelled by the paintings, has grown. Soon, but continuously and randomly, I began to name these paintings after departed people (first and last name, birth and death years), initially, after persons who have spiritually inspired me in some way. But nowadays, most of the names for the paintings come from gravestones at cemeteries[1] all throughout Europe. There are presently 6,784 titles awaiting my creation of an artwork for them. Every year, I create 40 to 100 small-size abstract paintings with four circles in the image. The paintings are only finished when I assign or choose a title at random from my arsenal of titles.
     I am not interested in the stories of people whose names and surnames, as well as their birth and death dates, happen to be the titles of my paintings, and the titles of the paintings have no bearing on the final visual image. If only the image titles were important, it would be much easier to utilise these names to identify identical monochrome ready-mades of the same size. However, for me, the image is only a full whole when combined with the title. Even if a single image is visually compelling, it is impaired without a title, and vice versa.
     The plebeians have never been given names. And it was vital to keep slaves ignorant in order to stop them from rebelling. The Russian modernists, Stalin, Gorky, and many others envisioned a society in which people no longer had names but instead were simply given a letter and a reference to where they worked. Composition f, Construction z, Untitled 3 etc.
     Every few years, I produce a video[2] of the paintings I created in which I read the titles of the images, which are displayed as subtitles in the video. The painting's title is crucial. Marcel Duchamp was absolutely right when he said that the title is like an invisible colour.
     The resemblance of the paintings from this period is always external (four circles), but the core (repetition) of my paintings is always the difference, no matter how great or small. The surface has an innate ability to reconcile the disparity, but only on the surface.
     I do not understand why I enjoy making my work more difficult by choosing canvasses of arbitrary but disparate proportions. Furthermore, I am not certain that the information seen on gravestones is entirely accurate. The arrangement of the captioned artworks in this space is entirely accidental. First there was a name, and now my painting's title includes that name. Wittgenstein might have wondered how little of a thought it took to occupy so much of my life already. It is possible that everything is a jumbled mess. I have always excelled at that.
     According to Gilles Deleuze[3], repetition is a transgression in every respect. I act and create something new, that is to say, freedom, out of repetition. I oppose repetition to the laws of nature. The essential and non-essential are inextricably intertwined. Meaning and meaninglessness are intertwined. First, there were people with names, which became part of the titles of my paintings. Repetition alters something in the spirit that contemplates it. Only in another time and space will we be able to relearn what we have all forgotten. The problem with habit that is not repetition is that it is subordinate to pleasure.
     The point is in the problem itself. "Learning" always occurs in the unconscious. Postulates that do not require verbalisation perform better in silence. The history of painting is also a place of absurdity and foolishness. Perhaps it needs Apollo, the thinker of the clear—unclear, to contemplate Dionysus' concepts in order to recreate light. But the world would not exist if everything were worthy and right.
     Repetition is never repetition of the "Same", but always repetition of the "Different" as such, and difference itself has repetition as its object. Genital thinking, on the other hand, always leads the Self to think only when it thinks its own passion in the pure and empty form of time. Parlance repeats the past that was never present in the first place. Yes, there is something that compels one to think.
     My painting does not imitate, but that is mostly because it repeats, and it repeats all repetitions. Integrating my paintings into the daily existence is an insoluble aesthetic issue. Painting titles are historically an invention of the market, but I am not on friendly terms with it. The universe of my painting[4] (my spirit) is conditioned not just by looking at it and immersing in it, but also by the possibility of doing so.
     It makes no difference where you begin to view the exhibition; if and for as long as you are tempted, you will continue, and you are not required to see everything. Do not look for the beginning. The paintings you do not see or are not displayed are not any worse; you just have not seen them. What happens if nothing occurs? Perhaps a gnostic utopia on how to defeat death. It occurred to me that I am a moron.
     I am not sure why the title of this exhibition should have anything to do with this text, but it might.


[1] I take pictures of gravestones that catch my eye by chance due to an unusual inscription or shape. I then transcribe the titles of the paintings that have yet to be created from the photographs at home and archive the photographs so that, if required, I can figure out where I found the title years later.
[2] The videos are shot with rudimentary, outdated electronic equipment (for example Olympus SP 310). The videos are small-sized (320 × 240 px or 640 × 480 px) and in black and white. I recorded the sound with a ten-year-old classic mobile phone (Samsung GT-C3590). I process and combine everything by using, for example, Videopad and Audacity.
[3] Gilles Deleuze, Difference and Repetition, translated by Paul Patton, Columbia University Press New York 1994.
[4] Painting is a thing of the mind (La pittura è cosa mentale), said Leonardo da Vinci.


Milan Golob
(The accompanying text for solo exhibition bearing the same title in the UGM studio,
Maribor, Slovenia, 2023.)
(Translated by Ksenija Vidic)



My Friends (paintings) and Natalija (drawings)

     I know what you want, but life is brutal, indifferent, it always forces us into silly errands. While the size fascinates, enables to perceive the world with the simulation of boundlessness which lures into the procreative telluric tomorrow. Kitchen-ranges. Circles. Four. Friends, girlfriends, a name on the Jewish headstone in Dolga vas or in Gemäldgalerie in Berlin. Nice. Bottomless bottom, high. No resistance. Enthusiasm and fascination over the manuscripts of modern physical formalism. Solid matter, astrophysics, plasma, particles, fields, dead serious and the scribbling which draws me toward myself and unsentimentally elbows in stunts with errors. The entrance to something majestic.
What should you fear? The transition from one colour into another which may be banal, yet it isn't, and it's far from true that blue is best suited for circular shape. Does this matter? No. Four circles are everywhere and sometimes yellow seems best. The landscapes of these small paintings may indeed present green and the titles are not practical and couldn't be different. Graveyards are nice places to be, anywhere, those abandoned are the best.
     Mysterious picking of the nose is too easy and one should prohibit it. I have erased, but harder times lie ahead and my share won't be wasted either. Never mind. Nothing else.

Milan Golob
(The accompanying text for solo exhibition bearing the same title in the Equrna gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2006.)
(Translated by Primož Trobevšek)



Škure via Kazimir

     The start, who knows where from, why and how, had nothing to do with me. All I could do was to sincerely engage with the substance. If I am bound to hang, I most definitely will not drown. Stendhal admitted that at the end of the chapter he knew nothing about the events in the following chapter. Nor was it clear to me that I will travel even through Kazimir and end up in Škure. Sometimes I simply follow my nose. I notice but foreigners, which is sign of my transition. A dim recollection tells me that I have also met Velimir Hlebnikov and Boris Mikhailov along the way, though it might have been just a dream or even madness. I will try to get ticket for the next ride for if I stay here I might ruin everything. As the saying goes: "You are hungry before you get to an inn." Still, the body is not familiar with hope, but solely with butterflies in the stomach. However, since I am born for a bright day, it could all turn out differently. I have definitely found out that it is not just the urban, modern city, i.e. Hegel City, that provides the spirit the necessary space to become aware of itself. Anyway, nobody still said anything ultra about colours or death. And it is gradually getting clearer to me why Rothko towards the end of his life ended his friendship with Newman, Still etc. After all, what could be great in being indifferent in times of welfare? There is no way back for the free.
On the road Škure via Kazimir I learned a rule that fantastic elevation grows out of misery and that the light that the average people seek after some years disperses and they find the centre all around them.
     I enjoyed myself, and I wish the same to spectators, these mashed potatoes.

Milan Golob
(The accompanying text for solo exhibition bearing the same title in the Equrna gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2001.)
(Translated by Janko Lozar)



I couldn't Care Less for Artist

     Art has for me never been a challenge. It's simply too easy. You drift from one brilliant idea to another and everywhere you turn you encounter nothing but fog. Artists bore me, at a closer look you realize they have no original ideas, they merely chase wind. If one declares himself an artist, no matter where and when, it is the same as if declaring oneself an idiot. Self-appointed artists are eager to participate in "up to date" happenings and suffer because they are allotted a marginal position. There's no end to their tirades defining art, but what's the use of it when they are too dull and empty to experience anything meaningful. Mere waffle and babble about expanding of barriers.
     Paintings of Sigmar Polke, for example, are very interesting, they possess exceptional perplexingly interwoven Zeitgeist, the modern existential tension, like big bank-notes. Conceptual artists also apply permuting ideas to follow the illusion of freedom created by a bank-note. All this may be art, but it is not painting. They are interested in perplexity of spatial arrangement, spaces, intermediary ... why paint when a bank-note suffices to provide the illusion of freedom. They are also interested in music, especially the rustle of dollars.
     However, a single Cézanne has more life than the entire Ljubljana, to say the least.
I'm a painter, not yet as good as I wish to be. I'm somehow in love with painting. Good painters have been throughout history very rare. I will be among them, not because of my ego but because I believe in painting and I believe I'm able to paint the picture to sustain this faith. Painting is a process of long duration and I aim to reach, by intense study of painting and by passing through necessary stages of average and bad works, a painting or paintings which will approach the best and become significantly different, which will start to rise above the deluge of mediocre, dead pictures. I have never painted with guts. An artist is still supposed or even believed to be a dummy. If they say you are too smart they mean: "OK, but you still can't paint." Slovenia is of course a noisy incubator producing sheep, it sometimes makes me feel as an honest criminal, and that's alright.
     If an atomic bomb exploded somewhere it wouldn't bother me, everything would be as before. And if the bomb accidentally wouldn't fall on me I would paint as usually, as Bonnard did in the time of Auschwitz.
     My path; daily overcoming my own painting, and my wishes; plenty of silence.

Milan Golob
(The accompanying text for the exhibition Paintings in the gallery Equrna, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 1997.)
(Translated by Primož Trobevšek)



The Test of Convenience

1. Do you find nature more interesting and therefore you hardly look at painting?

a) Yes.
b) No.
c) Of course, nature and the devil are not compatible.
d) Never.


2. Do you see yourself as an animal whose impulsiveness and instinct are covered with a fine coat of civilisation?

a) I do not answer such question.
b) No.
c) Yes.
d) Of course, but this animal can only be God.


3. Are you still capable of perceiving the depth of an image and not merely the surface reduced to a screen picture?

a) Depends on the screen picture resolution.
b) Yes.
c) Only with good nutrition.
d) No.


4. Do you believe that a strict hierarchy should be structured in the field of art, just like in the Catholic Church, army, etc.?

a) Yes, if I am at its peak, otherwise no.
b) Yes.
c) No. if I am at its peak, otherwise yes.
d) No.


5. Are you capable of doubting even obvious things?

a) Yes, but nothing's obvious to me.
b) I imagine I am.
c) No.
d) No.


6. Which of the following Czech poets do you prefer?

a) Ladislav Celakovsky.
b) Robert Lozar
c) Jan Neruda
d) Jan Kolar.


7. What causes changes in the focal point of art?

a) Amplitude.
b) Air blenders.
c) Delineated circle.
d) Indivisibility.


8. What do you use for frequency synchronisation of your phase delay?

a) Successors.
b) Predecessors.
c) Data.
d) Sweets.


9. What is your life strategy like?

a) Linear.
b) Limited.
c) Normal.
d) Risky.


10. What is the relation of everything that has been asked up to now to painting (art)?

a) Automorphic.
b) Exceptional.
c) None.
d) Competitive.


11. What is the aim of art?

a) Ship of fools.
b) Satori - sudden enlightenment.
c) Friday afternoon.
d) Provisional storage of Likovni salon Celje.


12. Do you think that life is a fairy tale?

a) No, life is something else and I am nothing.
b) Mind your own business.
c) Life is but a sensory form of our point of view.
d) Yes, an angelic fairy tale.


13. We have the following sequence: bicycle, haystack, mirror . What comes next?

a) Client.
b) Wash basin.
c) Swiss roll.
d) Maturity.


14. What was the weather like yesterday?

a.) I do not know.
b) Worth mentioning.
c) Magical.
d) Very intelligent.


15. It is possible that an event is real in painting, but not in history?

a) Only in the case of not being stingy with ideas.
b) Peter maintains it is possible.
c) Alenka maintains it's not possible.
d) I can prove it is.


Answers: a) 0 point; b) = 1 point; c) = 2 points; d) = 3 points.


0-11 points. There is no doubt about your convenience. Of course, you have the upper limit, but this does not diminish your recurrent commutative conveniences. The purpose of rotation of your conveniences and matching ideas is positive. Everyone loves you, and you are very mature.

12-23 points. Not even God, when he was your age, was more convenient than you. True, sometimes your convenient ideas are peripherally oriented, but nevertheless the doors into the class of remnants are still open to you; you still found a number of convenient thing to be strange, and this lack is the source of your artistic creations. You are happy.

24-35 points. The inarticulateness of distance is the soul of your convenient beauty, and your conceptuality is not just a stroke of luck on a motionless day. It is not wise to apprehend the state of emergency and then to conclude contracts of alliance with turncoat intentions. You are charming.

36-45 points. You know more, although sometimes you behave as if less is required. Your convenience is flawlessly schizophrenically fanatic, but it is like this only in the framework of pyrotechnic ideas. You are satisfied, and if you stand on your toes, you are bigger, since convenience is not your trump card.

Milan Golob
(The accompanying text for the solo exhibition PICTURES and Conveniences in the gallery Likovni salon, Celje, Slovenia, 1995.)
(Translated by Borut Canjko)



Paintings and Duchamp

     Come closer if you dare, I'll grind you up like sugar and I'll ride my bike so far that carmine will be split all over your thighs. In Pisanello's Vision I'll tell you that it makes me feel sick, that we are all so bloody clever and spiritual nowadays, but in fact nothing more than three-week-old doughnuts. I'll throw away conceptual anti-painting, and if by chance there's a flood of pop-minimalist industrial products, I have an inflatable boat with me. In the case of nothing but increased moisture, we'll just ride over Kosuth's intelligent worms. Cutting the throats of ready-made fetishes will not smell of ping pong zen philosophy. Sand, a mirror and a burek can be blessed by whosoever wishes to it's all the same to me. Our bike can also break down, but don't worry, we'll borrow some handcart from the nearest gallery. It won't get rusty, I have enough oil. I'll imagine myself a thoroughly good painter and you - whatever you want.
     If you are afraid that you will be washed away and you don't come close to me, we are going nowhere. Keep on paying the postal orders regularly so that you don't miss ordinary and every month lick some god afresh, which isn't more than nothing. Even without centrifuge it may be possible to get by, I don't know. With the little effort the sky is yellow after mowing, and at least take care that there won't be only stains of hot beef soup with artichokes on it. Oh, yes, I can be benevolent only to those who have at least a little bit of yellow in them. Because life is surely yellow and that's what you don't understand.

Milan Golob
(The accompanying text for solo exhibition bearing the same title in the ŠKUC gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 1994.)
(Translated by Nataša Hirci)

Milan Golob; Škuc Gallery 1994, Ljubljana, exhibition catalogue, PAINTINGS & DUCHAMP