Reprezentačné sály - Nitrianska galéria, Župné námestie 3, Nitra

[ : POPOVIČ : ]

The exhibition will present a selection of paintings of one of the most outstanding personalities of the Slovak artistic scene...

Author: Vladimir Popovic
Opening: Thursday, 23. 6. 2011 at 17.00.
Curator: Barbara Geržová
Venue: Representative Halls, Nitra Gallery, Župné námestie 3, Nitra
The exhibition runs until 31. 7. 2011

The exhibition will present a selection of paintings of one of the most outstanding personalities of the Slovak artistic scene, Vladimir Popovic. A key criteria for selecting the works is the period from 2000 to 2011. From among the many paintings created by the author at the time is exhibited more than forty paintings, connected time wise and in other means, for example by formal symbols and typical individual symbolism. The exhibition follows a concept where the individual images are sorted either by a relation of the date or a subject matter.

One of the important moments, which is strongly present throughout the artist’s work, but also in the presented images is the story of the figurative (Predčitateľka and the Magician, 2003), symbolic (Diary, 2009) or even abstracted painting (Levitujúca alley, 2002 ). From 2009, comes a series of four small paintings, in which the story even goes from one image to another image box, which reminds us of the film sequences. Author, directly inspired by a specific film consistently applies the principle of animation (Bond I-IV), a similar sequence motif is also present in the triptych Blue Table (2011).

Other significant elements through which the author’s paintings can be identified are intimacy, the subjective survival, personal experiences, and dreaming that the author rewrites into his artistic creation. The leitmotiv of the exhibition is presented in particular in the relationship between a man and a woman and the theme is love (I love you – prove it, 2005, Pair, 2005, Poets on the Waterfront, 2007, Kissing Allowed, 2009). The author is fascinated by the phenomenon of women from the beginning and her character appears in the main and supporting roles (Letter, 2004, A Girl from the Alley, 2007-2008, For the Girls, 2009, Running Girls, 2010). A separate thematic section is devoted to the paintings with integrated text, with writings (According to Freud’s Bagatelles, 2007, Stray Shoes, 2007, I will sell kuču and buy Eifelovku, 2009) and with characters (Diary, 2009). And finally, they are images in which known symbols appear repeatedly in different stages of the author’s work that are an essential part of its visual poetry. Such as a symbol of female lips is used as a component of the image (Bastard, 2007, On the Beach, 2009), independently (Bridge, 2007) or even in the multiplication (Cargo, 2008). Other typical features of Popovič’s paintings include the recurring theme table (Blue Table, 2011), stars (Spirit Civilization, 2001, Night, 2007) or countries of mountains and alleys (Summer Landscape, 2008, Tatranky, 2009, Trip, 2009, Levitating Alley, 2002).

Vladimir Popovič was born in 1939 in the Vysoká nad Uhom in the eastern part of Slovakia. Between 1954 – 1958 he studied at the legendary School of Applied Arts in Bratislava, where, along with classmates, later prominent artists the mime Milan Sladek, and directors Havetta Elo, Juraj Jakubisko and Juraj Herz attended the puppet class, which was founded by Miroslav Fikar. From this experience comes Popovich’s long interest in theater images, which started already in 1958 and during which, together with classmates, staged the play The Little Prince by Saint-Exupery. He continued his studies in the years 1959 – 1965 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava, first painting in the class with Prof. Dezider Milly, then in the studio of prof. Petr Matejka, where he met a strong set of students. His classmates included, for example Alex Mlynárčik, Stanislav Filko, Joseph Kornucik, Michal Studenz or Milan Mravec. He spent the Summer semester in 1961 studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague with prof. Adalbert Tittelbacha. He entered the art scene in the mid-60’s of the 20th century and became known primarily as author of the paper and objects with overlapping krkváž technique to action art. His first two solo exhibitions had this character also, which were in 1965 and 1967 prepared by the curator Iva Mojžišová. At the end of the 60’s Vladimir Popovic returned to painting, there is a large combined cycle of paintings titled What’s Around Us (1968), but also solitary paintings with typical original symbolis (the recurring theme of boats, tables, cherries, flying characters, country etc.).The late 70’s marks color formation reduction in his wirk. This is the so-called period of “greys“ through which he reacted to the chnge in the political situation, as in for example The Concrete sonatas (1983-1987). During the 90s, the color comes back again. Despite the overlap of the intermediate formation of the different artistic genres and areas, painting and drawing remains the heart of his work until now. Popovič is a versatile author who wrote books and screenplays, created scenic designs for theater and puppet designs for the film. He returned to the Academy of Fine Arts in 1990 as a teacher, where he taught in the Department of Graphics and other leading media in the studio D.R.A.W.I.N.G. Among his court curators are particularly Iva Mojžišová that introduced Vladimir Popovič to the Slovak artistic scene and Rusinová Zora, who in 2002 wrote the first monograph of the author.

Barbara Geržová