On the occasion of the 80th birthday of František Perger, an important Slovak scene artists and long-term in-house scenographer at the Andrej Bagar Theatre in Nitra, Nitra Gallery will hold a collective exhibition of his work...
On the occasion of the 80th birthday of František Perger, an important Slovak scene artists and long-term in-house scenographer at the Andrej Bagar Theatre in Nitra, Nitra Gallery will hold a collective exhibition of his work between 14 September and 22 October 2017. The opening will be held on 14 September 2017 at 8pm at Nitra Gallery’s Salon.
František Perger was born in Kružlovská Huta on 15 June 1937 in the family of glass makers, but he spent most of his professional life in Nitra. He studied scenography at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, under the leadership of Ladislav Vychodil. In 1962, he started working at the Nitra theatre as stage and costume designer and he remained there for the most of 40 years. He created more than 110 stage settings and costume designs, theatre posters and bulletins. He cooperated mostly with directors like Karol Spišák, Jozef Bednárik a Martin Kákoš. His scenographic solutions were a part of the success of various plays like Summer and Smoke (1966), Mother (1968), Neznámy [Unknown] (1969), The House of Bernarda Alba (1979), Titus Andronicus (1981), Proso [Millet] (1986) or The Blue Bird (1988). He also worked on other Nitra musicals like Pacho sa vracia [Pacho is Coming Back] (1995), Mary Stuart (1995), Fiddler on the Roof (1998), Bathory (2000), Edith and Marlene (2004) and others.
František Perger considers his biggest successes the plays he worked on with director Jozef Bednárik: “I suppose my most successful stage design was a part of the House of Bernarda Alba (1979) play. It was by far the best Czechoslovak play of that time. One of the other unforgettable ones was also Proso [Millet] (1986). The Andrej Bagar Theatre was able to export it to the Vinohrady Theatre in Prague. I will never forget how the main curtain opened and the audience started to applaud the stage that was revealed to them. It’s not common to applaud before the play even begins. That was when Bednárik came to me and said: ‘Fero, congratulations, I’ve never seen this before in my life.’”
Besides working at the theatre in Nitra, František Perger designed stages in other Slovak and foreign theatres as well. Besides stage designs, he also prepared designs of costumes, puppets, theatre posters and bulletins. He also worked on film and TV production designs. He has participated at many group exhibitions both at home and abroad and also regularly held solo exhibitions.
František Perger is a part of a distinctive generation of Nitra theatre artists of the 1970s-1990s that formed the poetics of the Andrej Bagar Theatre in Nitra. He has also paid his knowledge and experience forward by cooperating with amateur and student theatres and he has also participated at many town projects.
“Theatre has specific poetics and that might be the reason why it enchanted me so much. When I was a student I used to have some painting ambitions, I liked doing portraits, but theatre sucked me in and I didn’t have time for any other forms of art,” said František Perger.
Nitra Gallery’s collective exhibition will present almost all parts of Perger’s work, including theatre, film and television. Besides stage designs, his costumes designs and puppetry work will be presented as well. The exhibition will include 25 model stage settings and several scenographic designs from the artist’s collection that are kept in the Theatre Institute in Bratislava, the Šariš Museum in Bardejov, the Museum of Jewish Culture in Bratislava, the Andrej Bagar Theatre archives in Nitra and a several puppets are borrowed from the Museum of Puppet Cultures and Toys in Modrý Kameň. The exhibition will also present photographs and video footages showcasing František Perger’s work, his posters and bulletins. All of these will be supplemented by a full list of the artist’s stage and production designs and exhibitions.