LEON
ZAKRAJŠEK

The numerous solo exhibitions, participations in high-profile group exhibitions at home and throughout the world, the purchases of his works for private and public art collections (Museum of Modern Art Cairo, Civic Museum Cremona, Castra Art Gallery Haifa, The Kamakura Print Collection, Kato Gallery-Hiroo, Tama & Zokei Art Universities Tokyo, etc.) and the prestigious awards (Purchase Prize at the 1st Kochi Triennial Exhibition of Prints of Japan; Honorary Prize at the International Triennial of Small Graphic Forms, Chamalieres, France; honorary diploma at the 2nd International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Sassari, Italy, etc.) are a testament to the tremendous artistic opus of graphic artist and painter Leon Zakrajšek. His opus is complemented by the many years he has spent living and studying in Japan and training in the graphics studios of Hang Kobo-Seya-ku (mentor Harumi Sonoyama) and with woodcut masters (Fumio Kitaoka, Yuki Rei and Seiko Kawachi).

Zakrajšek’s recognisable and unique artistic language continually pursues venerated ancient techniques and traditions of the East, while not forgetting his own European cultural heritage. It was probably Milček Komelj who best captured the meaning of the narrative of the artist’s creations when he wrote that his works seem as European to a Japanese person as they appear Japanese to us. In Zakrajšek’s own words, his works represent a dialogue between the perfection of form in one motion and the free brush stroke in the next motion. Leon Zakrajšek is a direct and honest seeker of truth. He does not believe in artistic structures based on political and other treatises; he believes in the Renaissance view of art, in its uniqueness and virtuoso execution.