Salón Nitrianskej galérie, Župné námestie 3, Nitra

MILAN PAŠTÉKA, 1931 – 1998

A notable personality of Slovak painting Milan Paštéka (1931 – 1998) belongs to the most distinctive phenomenons of our art of the end of 1960's...

Exhibition available from: 03.07. 2012 at 10. 00 hod.

Exhibition dates: 03.07. – 16.09. 2012

Location: Salon NG

Curator: Marta Hučková

A notable personality of Slovak painting Milan Paštéka (1931 – 1998) belongs to the most distinctive phenomenons of our art of the end of 1960’s. His works of the New Figuration and drawings from the collections of Nitra Gallery will introduce him as a unique figure and still life painter.

In his work, Milan Paštéka the painter, printmaker and illustrator revealed his ego, feelings, thoughts and the philosophy of the creative potential that he built since the time of his entrance to the Slovak art scene. The development of Paštéka’s manuscript and his early painting is characterized by the interest in consistent image construction in the spirit of colour modulation. At first, rural motive and solidly defined figure shapes prevail. After 1962, he goes to urban motives executed with concept of pasty colour fields, he oscillates between sign-like lyrical-expressive abstraction and a relationship to figure. Gradually, in the spirit of  works of the new generation and its existential aspects. The human figure becomes dominant, and it is being transformed into a torso in his works. The morphology of anonymous figures, oversized, grows and at the same time expands in the equally anonymous space of the surface of the artefact.

The journey of his talent and work crossed obstacles of the dogmatic political situation of the period of Normalisation of 1970’s, mainly reflected in the sphere of culture and the arts. Severe demagogy and enforcement of Socialist Realist principles on an author (and not only him) meant an isolation from the outer world along with confinement in his own world which was ultimately reflected in his drawings and paintings. It was an escape of an injured and sore soul of an artist that was also a stimulation – for going his own way, not only in the idea and theme construction in his works, but also, and mainly, the expression and purity of his painting. Also during 1980’s, he continues his journey, in which the reduction of shape is visible, while he puts an emphasis on the value of colour and the energy of gesture giving away a unique original manuscript.

During this period, he also dedicated himself to ceramics, carrying the signs of narrative, later associative, and in the last period of his work stereo-gnostic principles.

During 1990’s he moves away from the representation of large figures appearing in a dominant position in his paintings towards Lettrism, and mainly towards the technique of pastel drawing, where he places the importance on dimension of space and poetry of the form. This period is the final phase of the author’s work, in which he moved away from creating works of New Figuration, as Z. Bartošová claims in one of her texts: “in the name of the search for the deeper meaning of painting itself.”

Milan Paštéka, academic painter, was born on 20th May 1931 in Trenčín in a family of teachers. In 1950-1956 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava (Prof. Čemický, Matejka, Fulla, Želibský). In 1957, he was one of the founding members of Mikuláš Galanda Group (1957-1968). His first exhibition in Cyprián Majerník Gallery in 1958 was closed and banned by the state authority, because he did not suit the norms of Socialist Realism. In 1966, he was awarded the Cyprián Majerník Prize, in 1999 Martin Benka Prize in memoriam and the Annual Prize of the A-R Association. He took part in exhibitions of Czechoslovak and Slovak art in Paris, Düsseldorf, Sao Paolo, Venice, Munich, Berlin, Cologne, Osaka, Moscow, Novara, Sevilla, Budapest, Essen and New York. His works are representative parts of collections of Slovak National Gallery and important international collections and local and international private collections.

Milan Paštéka died tragically in a car accident on September 23rd 1998 near Voznica village in central Slovakia.

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