My dear Slavko
To lose
Really to lose
To make room for the windfall

These Apollinaire’s verses come to my mind every time I study one of your paintings and it seems to me that the poet of Alcools had been an admirer of your work which, like no other, calls on the surprise which he was causing as the main element of the modern art. If this energy, having been in too much use ever since, came to almost always lose its power, this does not apply to you, simply because you knew how to impose on yourself this asceticism of total starkness, required for a windfall.

Slavko Kopac, Umbrella tree, 1946, 64 x 46 cm; watercolour and ink on paper
Umbrella tree – 1946

A few regular visitors, like us, of the most brilliant modern audacities, we need, in order to truly penetrate into the world which you give us to see, to practice in our turn a little of that same asceticism, absolutely renouncing dear aesthetics which, without wanting to admit to ourselves, we preserve in order for them to guide us around the pictorial labyrinth of our times.

Slavko Kopac, Cowheards, 1948, 31,6 x 41 cm; watercolour and ink
Cowheards – 1948

Slavko Kopac or the regained innocence is the title of the study which I would like to be able to write one day. Both a great connoisseur of the universal artistic production (from the Primitives to the Art Brut) and an expert in all the techniques, even the most heterodox ones, you have followed the path which Kleist showed you in his ‘On the Puppet Theatre’ (and which also was the one Nerval followed, for example), according to which the knowledge which reaches its peak transmutes into a new state, which surpasses it. So, finally, the light of the first day shines. Definitely free from a paralyzing skill, you allow the materials the freedom to express themselves, you capture the unexpected. And it is how, much longer before the present trends vulgarised the use of a found object, you were one of the first ones to “breathe life into a thing which appears to have ceased to exist”, according to your own phrase. The universe which you rule understandably joins the one of the popular Slavic poetry which enriched your childhood, the universe in which the visible is the reflection of the invisible.

Sometimes funny and disturbing, realistic and visionary, your world brings together the extremes and expresses with power the fundamental ambiguity of the Universe. But it always remains bursting with freshness. Thank you, dear friend, for your perpetual invitation to the countries of gnomes and fairy animals.