Črtomir Frelih: Foxes

08.07 - 07.09.2021 / Center TNP Bohinj, Stara Fužina


You are kindly invited to visit the exhibition of Črtomir Frelih (an artist with Bohinj roots), who is presenting the main heroes of his artistic fables: FOXES. Ever since they are being created with a pencil on paper as quick cartoons, they have been gaining an ever-growing audience. Social networks help them with this: many people expect a new fox commentary every day, as the foxes very insightfully and with a lot of humor talk about things that only they can say... In a concise way, they shed light on different every day situations: weather, politics, social life, health, art, environment ...and take away the unnecessary weight from them. 

Summer relief in the company of foxes is waiting for you in the Room with a view in Center TNP Bohinj from Monday to Friday between 9 am and 3 pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays between 10 am and 4 pm.

The book Foxes will also be available at the TNP Bohinj Center.

»FOXES« by artis Črtomir Frelih

Foxes’ stories are drawing walks, a shift from the usual artistic reflection on the serious contents to the serious artistic thinking about humorous subjects. The practical interest in humour has been with me for a long time, I have been paying a price for it since primary school. Theoretical interest was awoken later. And one of the most instructive sentences was that nothing in the world is as funny as trying to write something serious about humour. Therefore, let us mention only three main theories of humour: Aristotle’s theory of superiority, where the competent I am mocking the incompetent other; the relief theory, when laughter relieves us mentally (Freud); the incongruity theory, emphasizing that there is always some mismatch behind the humorous (Bergson). Pointing a finger at a mismatch, for instance, between words and actions was uncomfortable for all authorities, so they saw in humour a subversive force worth keeping under control. Cartesius subtly wrote that “humour concludes and separates illicit marriages between concepts.” Someone else noticed that humorous laughter has two stages; the first is grinning at the dread that logic does not hold and the horrors of chaos are shown in its cracks for a moment, but when this gap closes again, a blissful smile of pleasure comes because the web of logos is tight again and because the cosmos has overcome chaos. Others argue that humour is really something rough, since a real joke has to have its victim, its target. I prefer less aggressive humour that elicits laughter as we experience it when someone tickles us; we allow others to enter our intimate space and carry out actions that we would consider aggressive by a stranger. “Benign aggression” takes place with consent and is only possible with another person; I cannot get myself to laugh by tickling myself. That is why foxes in my drawings usually appear in pairs as well.

Why foxes? In all nations, the fox has an important place in myths, stories, fairy tales. It seems that this is especially true for Slovenia. My explanation is that a small nation at the crossroads of nations would not thrive if it relied only on its positive qualities – other, less approved forms of behaviour had to be included as well. Of course, it is not nice to brag about that, so we prefer to put someone else in this sensitive spot. Fox stories should really feature people if this would not be ugly, immoral, indecent or even dangerous. And so foxes can say many things that we cannot afford to say. There is no loyalty in these jokes and also no ideological utility. But if they just release a bit of tension, bite into boredom, outwit evil, then they deserve some of our attention.

Not the last source are the memories of my father's stories, invented on the spot for the evening needs, in which the foxes, in their cunning ways, settled everything before bed that went wrong during the day.


Črtomir Frelih was born on 20 August 1960 in the village of Nomenj in Bohinj. In 1985, he graduated from the Department of Printmaking of the Academy of Fine Arts, University of Ljubljana, where he then completed the post-graduate study of printmaking and obtained a master's degree in art didactics. From 1985 to 1990, he worked at UL ALU as an assistant intern and assistant for graphic art and from 1990, he was employed as an assistant for art didactics at UL PEF. In 1992, he received a recognition for important works of art at the University of Ljubljana and in 1993, he was elected assistant professor of drawing and graphic art. In 2005, he was elected associate professor and since 2014, he has been a full professor of graphic art at the Department of Fine Art Education at the Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana.

Professor Frelih has received several national and international awards for his artistic and pedagogical work. For his artistic work, he has received the following awards: already as a student, Frelih received the ALU Student Prešeren Award in 1983. In 1986, he received the Award of the 14th Biennial of Yugoslav Graphic Arts in Zagreb. In 1986, he received the Award of the 3rd Biennial of Yugoslav Student Graphic Arts in Belgrade. In 1987, he received the Museum of Modern Art Purchase Prize at the 17th International Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts. In 1991, he received the Award of the Slovenian Association of Fine Arts Societies at the May Salon in Ljubljana. In 1993, he received the 1st prize Mini prix Lukas in Bled. In 2000, he received the Novo mesto Award at the 6th Biennial of Slovenian Graphic Arts. The most important of the national awards, which prof. Frelih received for his artistic work, is the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Slovenian Association of Fine Arts Societies (2019).

In addition to national awards and recognitions, Frelih has also received international awards for his artistic work at the following prestigious international exhibitions: in 2010, he received the Recognition of the 8th International Print Triennial in Chamalièrs (France). In 2012, he received the Award for the Highest Quality at the 8th International Biennial of Drawing in Plzen (Czech Republic). In 2015, he received the Award of the 18th International Print Biennial in Varna (Bulgaria). In 2016, he received the Osten Award at the International Biennial of Drawing in Skopje (Macedonia). In 2018, at the 9th International Triennial of Graphic Art in Bitola (Macedonia), he received a Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to Graphic Art in the World. In 2020, he received the main prize of the International Biennial of Drawing in Pristina, Kosovo.

In addition to his artistic work, professor Frelih was also awarded for his outstanding pedagogical work. In 2017, the Student Council of UL PEF awarded him with the Recognition for the Best Professor in the 2016/17 academic year, by the choice of students of the Faculty of Education. For his outstanding pedagogical contribution in the field of art education, in 2016, professor Frelih also received the highest state recognition, the Award of the Republic of Slovenia for Outstanding Achievements in Higher Education. In 2020 he received the Gold Plaque of the University of Ljubljana for outstanding merits in the development of scientific, pedagogical, artistic creation and for strengthening the reputation of the University.


  • 08.07 - 07.09.2021