Jozef Jankovič, Head VIII.

Hlava VIII./Head VIII. comes from the famous cycle of reliefs created by Jozef Jankovič during 1986-1997 and it is painted using the colourful epoxide paste into the negative form and named Hlavy/Heads...

virtuálna galéria

No.: P-434

Artist: Jozef Jankovič
Title: Head VIII.
Year of origin: 1989
Technique: mixed technique
Material: polyester
Dimensions: 80 x 70 cm
Signature: unsigned

Hlava VIII./Head VIII. comes from the famous cycle of reliefs created by Jozef Jankovič during 1986-1997 and it is painted using the colourful epoxide paste into the negative form and named Hlavy/Heads. Jankovič shows in this cycle, as well as in all his artwork, the interest in the human figure, which is not represented as a compact unit, but rather split into fragments with the frequent motif of hands and legs. The title of the relief indicates that the author is reflecting the human head. But he features it as a triple profile, into which there is incorporated a detail of the human hand, so that the single motifs are overlapping each other, breake and are arranged in layers. The human face is depicted in a schematic way, without the characteristic physiognomic traits and this unrealistic way evokes more the mask, connected with the feelings of anonymity and unification, than a portrait of a particular person. The slightly opened mouth signifies a dialogue, or at least the struggle to speak, what can refer to the political context of that period. The author, even though when inspired by the time and the experiences with the regime, heads to a certain generalization. He uses a unifying model of the human head that is not loaded with the identity traits of a particular person to stress the human helplessness confronted with the power.

Jozef Jankovič belongs to the key personalities of the Slovak sculpture of the second half of the 20th century. He entered the art scene at the beginning of the 1960s and in spite of the fact that his artwork underwent different phases and was influenced by the Informel and Pop Art in the beginning, his work is impossible to categorize into a certain artistic style. His artwork is characteristic for its authorial style which comes from the artistic programme characterized by observing and exploration of people being on the threshold, between different existential planes. In the 1970s, after the establishment of the totalitarian regime following the unsuccessful Prague Spring, Jozef Jankovič belonged to the unofficial artists who stood in opposition to the doctrines of the socialistic realism and was one of the very few authors to react against the political stuation in his work at that time. In this period he changed the monumental work for more cabinet forms of sculptures, created reliefs, drawings, graphics, computer graphics, as well as jewellery.

Jozef Jankovič was born on November 8, 1937 in Bratislava. In 1952-56 he attended the wood-carving studio led by A. Drexler and L. Korkoš at the School of Applied Arts in Bratislava. In 1956-62 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava (prof. Kostka). During his studies he was one of the movers to establish the group of artists Konfrontácie/Confrontations. In 1961 the first unofficial exhibition Konfrontácia/Confrontation was presented in his studio in Hlohová Str., Bratislava-Petržalka. During the liberalization within the society that is typically associated with the 1960s, Jozef Jankovič became one of the most successful Slovak artists. He was awarded the first prize at the first Biennal of the young art Danuvius´68, prize at the Biennalle of young artists in Paris in 1969, he exhibited at important Slovak as well as international exhibitions. In 1983 he was awarded a prestigious international Hederer prize for his artwork and moral attitude. After the collapse of the regime he became the first chancellor of the restored Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, in 1994 he obtained professor title and in 1997 he was awarded Martin Benka prize.