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Mesto X

painters’ code of contemporary city

Exhibition title: City X
Authors: Roman Bicek, Michal Černušák, Erik Šille
Place: Kopplova vila GJK, Zelený kríček 3, Trnava
Curator: Vladimír Beskid
Opening: 13 July at 6.00 p.m., Koppel villa GJK
Duration: 13. 7. 2006 - 27 8. 2006 

The exhibition City X shows works of three young Slovak painters entering the Slovak art scene at the turn of the 21st century. Roman Bicek (born 1981, Bratislava), Michal Černušák (born 1982, Zvolen) a Erik Šille (born 1978, Rožňava) represent new generation of artists, who, for displaying today’s world with its visual aspects, choose painting as their medium of expression. All of them previously studied at the studio of Prof. Ivan Csudai (Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava), who in recent years introduced several talents on the Slovak art scene. 

Based on the project title City X, all works display today’s city, its urban context, arrangement of the streets and their detailed views, details of houses, prefabricated blocks of flats, night-life, etc. This basic city iconography contains also wide range of media hum and noises – products of commerce and show business.
To turn this hubbub of codes into visual discourse, each artist has his own means of expression. Roman Bicek, for instance, employs animated cartoon characters as well as characters from old films and commercials of the 1950’s and 1960‘s (Spiderman, Batman, Marilyn Monroe, Hulk, etc.), but also those known from hard-rock and metal music.
Michal Černušák shows moderate imaginary airbrush visions of evening or night city with its light magic, but also its seamier sides – explosions and riots unfold live on CNN. Erik Šille prefers organised order of city fragments, slightly artificial (plastic) and purified world, where odd signs, „M´c logos“ and lonely figures appear, while the last not showing the slightest sign of happiness in this well-arranged world. 
Another level found in works of all these artists is some kind of discipline, order in this visual organism and a need of harsh expressive intervention of the painter. This disturbance in the system of painting creates peculiar tension and brings in a new element, a need that the painter be heard.

This project is a continuation of mapping the contemporary Slovak painting (projects Farbi100/diOBRAZovo / Mad Colored/Painting Dictatorsheep in 2004 and Mladá maľba / Young Painting in 2006). This exhibition showing works of the Bicek-Černušák-Šille trio gives us another lesson of contemporary painting on Slovak art market.


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