Curator: Silvia Van ESPEN
It is a pleasure for ZAHORIAN&co GALLERY to introduce to you a new exhibition which is becoming a landmark on the gallery´s journey: Black&White 60-80′ presents powerful authorities of the scene of Slovak modern art who, as we presume, have not been appreciated yet as much as their talent would deserve. This fact was caused by two factors: during their lives it was due to political events of the Communist era; in the after-November-1989 era, which we have still felt somehow, the milieu of art criticism shaping the general opinion showed and in certain cases have still shown a strong liking for the past wave of the so-called photography realism and its variations. Abstract artists have not been given the space and appreciation worth their qualities which are able to compete in the international comparison. The exhibition entitled Black&White 60-80´ introduces Alojz Klimo and František Patočka, and it symbolizes the opening of a new chapter for ZAHORIAN&co GALLERY: besides the cooperation with leading contemporary Slovak and Czech artists, our ambition is to introduce outstanding artists whose works belong to the jewels of our art history, and thus to contribute to the artistic-historical discourse as well as to bring them to the attention of art collectors.
Alojz KLIMO‘s (1922, Piešťany – 2000, Bratislava) creation spread amongst painting, drawing, graphics, and book illustration. He belonged to the most important representatives of geometrical abstraction in Slovakia. His mature artistic expression oscillates between geometry and expressive-ness, an approach incomparable in Slovak as well as in the world context (in his early period we can find certain affinity with P. Mondrian, and in some late works from the 1990s, M. Rothko´s abstrac-tion is echoed). A. Klimo was known as an excellent colourist, the painter´s colour value dominated in his free geometrical style. Since 1945, he was a member of an artist group called August 29, later a member of Club of Concretists. The latter mentioned, found in 1967, put together geometrical abstract artists and was banned in Czechoslovakia in 1970 in the period of the so-called political nor-malization. For Alojz Klimo, it practically meant the impossibility to officially exhibit, therefore he worked as a “solitary“ artist since then. He enhanced geometry and made colour contrast even stronger. It is exactly this later Klimo´s period that Black& White 60-80´ exhibition focuses on. It pre-sents almost unknown and extraordinary works from his studio: monochromes in which geometry was enhanced. The cycle dated in 1989 is the top of the author´s abstraction from reality and his discovery of its maximum reduction.
František PATOČKA (1927, Sečovce – 2002, Prešov) is an almost unknown phenomenon in the field of Slovak modern sculpture. He studied figurative sculpture at professors´ J. Kostka and F. Štefunko studios of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava (1948-1953). He taught at the Faculty of Arts in Prešov, P. J. Šafárik University in Košice. Patočka focused on monumental works, he left around 40 realized works of architecture mainly in Eastern Slovakia. ZAHORIAN&co GALLERY pre-sents his more intimate works of two approaches: on the one hand, there are figurative creations stemming from Rodin´s message dealing with figure depicting, in which the surface communicates perfectly with the anatomical interior of a human figure. On the other hand, Patočka also developed an original non-figurative expression; in its morphology we can distinguish the parallels of what the artists of "welded steel", eg. David Smith, developed. On the threshold of both artistic approaches – abstraction and figuration – we can find such Patočka´s works as for example Hlava (Head), where the author interestingly responds to the works by Constantin Brancusi.