Ľudovít Fulla, Birdland

Ľudovít Fulla´s main inspirational source was Slovak folk art, children´s creative expression, iconographic painting, traditional handmade folk art (embroideries, gingerbread, glass painting), but also the impulses from the European avant-garde painting...

G-29-Fulla, virtuálna galéria
No.:  G-29

Artist: Ľudovít Fulla

Title: Birdland
Year of origin: 1960
Technique: coloured plastic-cut
Material: paper
Dimensions: 35,7 x 47,6 cm
signature: signed wiht pencil, bottom left: II. 9/10; bottom right: L. Fulla

Ľudovít Fulla´s main inspirational source was Slovak folk art, children´s creative expression, iconographic painting, traditional handmade folk art (embroideries, gingerbread, glass painting), but also the impulses from the European avant-garde painting (Paul Klee, Vasilij Kandinskij or Marc Chagall). He found the motifs in the village life, ordinary people and their traditional folklore, but was dissatisfied with the lyricizing or monumentalizing. It resulted into unique and authentic creative style, characterized by the synthesis of the rational composition, flatness and decorativeness with intensive emotional variety of colours.

Ľudovít Fulla worked with painting, graphic, drawing, scenography and book illustration, the most famous are his illustrations of the Slovak fairytales collected by Pavol Dobšinský.

The graphic Birdland is a plastic-cut, a rather rarely used technique of cutting the plastic. The author is depicting figures of people with simple lines reminding the viewer of the gingerbread decoration, village buildings (the central building is probably the treadmill), patulous fruit trees and different birds. The birds are composed of different geometric shapes, what can remind us of cubism and its style on one hand and of the collages on the other one. It can also refer to the mosaics, or colour window-panes expecially popular with the decorations of sacral buildings. Fulla vitalized the birds with the intensive red, blue, green and yellow colour. The most vivid is the dove in the right top corner, which also became a part of the logo of the no more existing Slovak Airlines. Besides, the dove is a traditional symbol of freedom and peace. The woman in the left bottom corner holds an empty cage in her hand which also refers to the freedom and liberty maintained by the artist not only in the visual art, but also in the everyday life.

ĽUDOVÍT FULLA, one of the most prominent representatives of the Slovak visual art of the 20th century whose artwork was extremely significant for the birth of the Slovak Modern Art, was born in 1902 in Ružomberok and died in 1980 in Bratislava. In 1922-27 he studied at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (Prof. Hofbauer and Prof. Kysela). In 1929-39 he worked as professor at the School of Applied Arts in Bratislava where he became friends with Mikuláš Galanda. Both produced the manifest of the Slovak modern painting ´Private letters of Fulla and Galanda´. In 1937 he was awarded Grand Prix for the painting The song and labour at the Expo in Paris. In 1949-52 he led the department of the monumental-decorative painting at the newly established Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, which he had to leave from political reasons. From 1962 he lived and worked in Ružomberok. In 1963 he was awarded the title National Artist. In 1966-77 he donated a large part of his artwork to the state, to build the Ľudovít Fulla Gallery in Ružomberok in return (opened for public in 1969).