"Vertical and Horizontal Relief" by Maria Bartuszova from 1985.

This heroic exhibition of Slovak Art between years 1960-2000, that I hadn’t even dreamt of seeing in London, is coming! I can’t tell you how excited I’m to be able to see this important show. I’ll be there this Wednesday, 7th March 2012 from 6-8pm and I’ll be reviewing and documenting the show. My long admired Mária Bartuszová will feature “Vertical and Horizontal Relief” from 1985. Show will display works by the Slovak Art Scene stars such as Vladimír Popovič, Jozef Jankovic, Frieze Magazine loved Julius Koller…

The exhibition presents a segment of the work of independent personalities from the 1960s and younger artists participating in the activities of the unofficial art scene in the 1970s and 1980s. The collection is supplemented with examples of the work of next generation artists, which have not been affected by the restricting ideology.

The exhibition is curated by Zuzana Bartošová, research worker at the Institute of Art History, Slovak Academy of Sciences and Mr. Henry Meyric Hughes, Honorary President of International Association of Art Critics (AICA) Paris, will open the event. The works presented in the exhibition come from the First Slovak Investment Group’s collection (Bratislava, Slovakia).

Slovak fine art in the second half of the 20th century represents a phenomenon with a quality comparable to the European standard. Since the 1960s it has been characterised by the plurality of styles and opinions. After artists, both young and old, abandoned socialist realism, contemporary artistic tendencies emerged onto the art scene: art informel, new realism, pop-art, new figuration, constructivism and kinetic art, lettrism, conceptual art, action art, object and installation. The promising development of pluralist Slovak fine art, which had started to be accepted by the international art scene, was interrupted by the so-called consolidation of society after the seizure of Czechoslovakia by the armies of the Warsaw Pact (21 August 1968). Both the civil and artistic freedoms of the period of “socialism with a human face” became a thing of the past and were replaced with ideology and the revival of socialist realism. The neo-avant-garde tendencies have survived in the works of independent personalities of the unofficial art scene, which was compatible with the art scene in the Euro-American context. It was due to the activities carried out by the unofficial art scene that after the Velvet Revolution (1989), one could state that Slovak fine art in the second half of the 20th century represents a sphere that never ceased to be a part of international visual discourse.

Julius Koller, born 1939-Czechoslovakia, 1968

Participating artists:

Milan Adamčiak (*1946), Peter Bartoš (*1938), Juraj Bartusz (*1933), Mária Bartuszová (1936 – 1996), Pavol Binder (1935 – 2009), Milan Bočkay (*1946), Klára Bočkayová (*1948), Ivan Csudai (*1959), Ladislav Čarný (*1949), Marián Čunderlík (1926 – 1983), Milan Dobeš (*1929), Ľubomír Ďurček (*1948), Rudolf Fila (*1932), Stanislav Filko (*1937), Daniel Fischer (*1950), Vladimír Havrilla (*1943), Jozef Jankovič (*1937) Igor Kalný (1957 – 1987), Michal Kern (1938 – 1994), Alojz Klimo (1922 – 2000), Martin Knut (*1964), Július Koller (1939 – 2007), Vladimír Kordoš (*1945), Patrik Kovačovský (*1970), Juraj Meliš (*1942), Igor Peter Meluzin (*1947), Marián Meško (*1945), Anastázia Miertušová (1927 – 2002), Igor Minárik (*1948), Alex Mlynárčik (*1934), Marián Mudroch (*1945), Ilona Németh (*1963), Milan Paštéka (1931 – 1998), Karol Pichler (*1957), Vladimír Popovič (*1939), Rudolf Sikora (*1946), Ivan Štěpán (1937 – 1986), Laco Teren (*1960), Dezider Tóth (*1947), Rudolf Uher (1913 – 1987), Miloš Urbásek (1932 – 1988), Jana Želibská (*1941)

Jozef Jankovic,born 1937-Movable Hands, 1970

I’ll be posting more about this exhibition. I’m planning to do some interviews and documenting as much as possible. I really recognize the importance of this event, just by researching and linking the artists in the show, I’ve learned so much. Big lesson of the Independent Scene. A Segment of Slovak Visual Art 1960-2000 begins tomorrow. See you there! Silvia

Join the Facebook event here.

7 March – 10 April 2012 

PV 7 March 6-8pm

Slovak Embassy, 25 Kensington Palace Gardens, London W8 4QY

Opening hours from 9 am to 4 pm

For security reasons, please contact the Embassy before your visit.

Tel: 02073136470, e-mail: emb.london@mzv.sk

(source: Embassy of the Slovak Republic, London)