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Apollonio, Zvest 1935-2009
The painter and graphic artist Zvest Apollonio, whose authentic and distinct oeuvre forms an indispensable part of Slovene contemporary modern art, was born in Bertoki, Slovene Istria, on May 15, 1935. After completing primary school in Prade, he studied at the grammar school in Koper until 1955. He then studied painting, sculpture, and graphic art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana in the classes of professors Bozidar Jakac, Riko Debenjak, Marij Pregelj, Gabrijel Stupica, Francisek Smerdu, and others. He graduated in 1960 and enrolled in post-graduate studies in painting with professor Gabrijel Stupica. He graduated in abstract acrylic painting, a very rare technique at that time, in 1964. He first taught art at the grammar school and teachers’ college in Koper and became a freelance artist in 1968. He made study tours to Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and France, and searched for his own art idiom in painting and graphic art in his studio in Koper. He was particularly interested in the in Slovenia hardly known or used technique of serigraphy (silkscreen). In 1972 he accepted a proposal to organise the study of serigraphy at the Department of Graphic Art in Ljubljana. He was a full professor at the academy from 1973 do 1989 and head of the Department of Graphic Art and vice dean for four years. He has participated in over three-hundred group exhibitions and had over one hundred independent exhibitions in Slovenia and abroad. He has received many awards and prizes: first prize for graphic art in Belgrade in 1959; first prize at the first Ex Tempore in Piran in 1966; honorary award at Ars Histriae in Rovinj in 1971; Preseren Foundation Award for graphic art and painting in 1972; purchase award at the International Biennial of Modern Drawing in Rijeka in 1974; special award of the jury at the Second Biennial of European Graphic Art in Mulhouse in 1976; first prize for graphic art at the Dubrovnik Salon in 1981; purchase award at the International portrait Biennial of Portraits in Tuzla in 1982; purchase award at the international Graphics Biennial of Graphic Art in Ljubljana in 1983; the Jakopic Award for painting in 1984; purchase award at the Watercolour Biennial in Karlovac in 1989; Mini Prix Lucas in 1993; the Kocjancic Award for special achievements awarded by the coastal municipalities in 2003. He died in Bertoki on March 25, 2009.