The essay focuses on the life and work of two important female artists from Ljubljana, Slovenia, Dragica Čadež (b. 1940) and Duba Sambolec (b. 1949), who have both been influential in the Slovenian and Yugoslav cultural milieu, but at the same time have both faced exclusion from the dominant canons of local art history. Furthermore, it outlines some general impulses behind the apparent lack of gender equality in the world of art in Slovenia and Yugoslavia before and after 1989, as well as crucial geopolitical circumstances that have often kept female artists on the margins of the art scene. Besides local (gender) and international (geographic) marginalisation, Čadež and Sambolec have also been dis-
advantaged for being unable to store and preserve their large-scale works, while museums were not interested in (or incapable of) their acquisition. In order to point out the symptoms of systemic exclusion that have prevented many female artists from receiving their deserved critical acclaim, the essay looks into the distinctive artistic practices of
both artists and tries to relate them to the significant projects and turning points of their careers. The text is based on available art historical sources, as well as on in-depth interviews with both artists.
Miha Colner is an art historian who works as a curator at GBJ—Božidar Jakac Art Museum in Kostanjevica na Krki, Slovenia. He is also active as a lecturer and publicist, specializing in the fields of photography, graphic arts, moving images and various forms of (new) media art. In 2017–20, he curated the programme of the Švicarija Creative Centre, an arts venue managed by MGLC—International Centre of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana. He worked as a curator (2006–16) at the Photon Centre for Contemporary Photography in Ljubljana. Since 2005, he has published articles in newspapers, mag- azines, and professional journals, as well as posting them in his blog. He lives and works in Ljubljana and Kostanjevica na Krki.