On the ground floor of Švicarija is the Stojan Batič Memorial Studio (1925–2015), which is a reconstruction of the sculptor's studio in Svetčeva ulica in the Rožna dolina district of Ljubljana.
Stojan Batič left his mark on post-war Slovenian sculpture with his creative work. He inherited his first studio in Gallusovo nabrežje from his professor at the Ljubljana Academy, the sculptor Frančišek Smerdu. However, when the artist visited Paris for the first time in 1956, he was already working in a studio in Švicarija. He worked here in the period from 1954 to 1959. In 1957, he created the sculpture Ballet, which can be seen as we walk along the Jakopič Promenade past the fountain to Grad Tivoli. In 1959, Batič moved to a new studio at Svetčeva ulica 1, and his work followed a new direction under the influence of Ossip Zadkine.
The current spatial reconstruction revives the atmosphere and set-up of this very studio. It allows us to become acquainted with the sculptor's oeuvre, his drafts for famous monumental works and his small sculpture pieces, to which Stojan Batič paid much attention. Among others, both self-portraits are exhibited here, even one of the first resting girl nudes in fired clay, a monumental figure of a miner in plaster, a version of the glass Composition with which he completed his famous series in glass Explosion, drawings from the Tragos cycle, while among the terracottas we note works from the cycles Ithaca, European Legends, Slovenian Myths and Legends, as well as other small sculptures.
The studio also houses some of the artist's personal belongings, documentation, tools he used in his work, as well as the artworks the artist exchanged with his friends (the large canvas by Stane Kregar, the portrait of his wife Milena, a work by Vladimir Lakovič).
As the entire ground floor of Švicarija is dedicated to public programmes, the revival of Batič's studio, together with the presentations, talks and lectures on art, sculpture workshops, or simply the possibility of becoming acquainted with the rich artistic heritage of the past century, represents an extraordinary experience. The Stojan Batič Memorial Studio is both a museum installation and a space that inspires creativity.
Photo: Jaka Babnik. MGLC Archive.