Miha Males

The Slovenian painter Miha Males (1903-1987) was one of the most important figures in Slovenian artistic life in the 20th century.

Males began his career as a painter while he was still a student in Prague, and he continued painting to the end of his life. In the twenties his monitypes were conceived like graphics, but in the beginning of thirties, when he visited a number of German cities, they began to change in character as his style in painting developed.


The Remembrance of Venice
(presentation 567x448 pixels)

Miha Males is a painter of the harmony and elegance of life and also of abandonment to the impulse of the moment. He records particularly beautiful but transient things and creations (girls, flowers,landscapes). Before us he has unveiled his erotic world, religious, folkloristically and poetically transformed landscapes. Males’s palette of motifs is surprisingly broad, he tries to paint everything which attracts him, but the main focus of his painting opus is on nudes, still-lifes and lanscapes (as the general rule he did not paint portraits). Despite the multitude of motifs which he painted, we must not forget that his paintings are only one part of his rich creative endeavours (he also produced graphics, illustrations, photographs, etc). In this he is one of the last of the universal artists in Slovenia, there is no other such universal artist in the Fourth Generation, to which he belonged, nor among the Independents, who were specialized with regard to motif, if nothing else. It is very characteristic of Males that his principles and natural courtesy led him to avoid the depiction of conflicts or drastic subjects.

Males Evening-play (presentation 493x433 pixels)

He is thus in fact a painter who celebrates the joy of life, his work breathes happiness, warmth and also the childish naivity. By nature he is playful, dreamy, full of fantasy, he is light, but never cheaply sentimental. He has created his own instantly recognizable style. His painting gives him a special but very secure place in Slovenian art history. It is his painting ... that has won his opus this prominent place in art history, and it makes an important contribution towards an overall understanding of his life and work.

Fragments from the essay by Marko Lesar (translation: Gerda Fras)
Catalogue Miha Males (1903-1987) - painter
Published by Cultural Centre Kamnik, 1989