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Štefan Polák: ...in the wind and clouds…

Author, exhibition title: Štefan Polák: ...in the wind and clouds …
Venue: The Ján Koniarek Gallery /GJK/ in Trnava, Kopplova vila, Zelený kríček 3
Curator: PhDr. Ľubomír Podušel
Opening: 10 October 2013 /Thursday/, 18:00
Duration: 10.10.2013 - 3.11.2013


Štefan Polák was born on 18.12.1952 in Partizánske. From 1971 to 1977 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava (Prof. L. Čemický, doc. F.Gajdoš). In 1982 he completed the six-month study at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (Prof. Zao Wou-Ki and Prof. P. Grenier, Paris). Between 1979 and 1986 he taught at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava (Department of Painting). He participated in several national and international art symposia (1978 – 2011). His work consists in painting, sculpture, drawing, graphic, monumental – decorative artwork. He lives alternately in Bratislava and Jánovce near Galanta.

Štefan Polák goes hand in hand with the painting as a “bemused visionary” who has built his own painter´s path. The choice turned to be just. Today, when the world rediscovers painting as a painter´s phenomenon, Polák is one of those who got into spotlight. He has never felt like taking part in various manifestation presentations of different movements or opinion strains. He remained himself. He was not attracted by any group efforts. Initially, art critic judged his painting performances in the public as an “arrival of constructive poetics”, later as a “painting of contrasts.” Most often, however, he was designated as a representative of a new lyrical – poetic painting in Slovakia. He is a painter – mystic, whose works – paintings and sculptures from the past years and the present, as he presents them in his solo exhibition at the Ján Koniarek Gallery in Trnava, were as if hiding something from rebellious unmanageability of fantasy realism. It is restlessness on the one hand, sensitivity and elegance that characterizes him as an artist on the other. Their lyrical counterpoint goes hand in hand with poetry and fantasy, knowledge of the craft and inclination to metaphysical exaggeration or the motive implication. And all that in the chime of real and surreal. Therein lies the modus Vivendi of Štefan Polák´s creation. It is a revelation imagination in the artwork of a painter who is at home in Slovakia and in Paris. Štefan Polák uses symphony of classical painting in combination with new figurative an informel approaches. He creates parables embedded in the language of color. Magical and poetic, realistic, symbolic and sign language full of human meaning and expressive language of classical modern painting. His painted figures are people like those on the theater proscenium. Some are serious and noble, others are hovering in time and space, but they all have something in common: it is as if a real theater of life was going on in front of us. Štefan Polák deserves a special position in the diapason of Slovak art of the 20th century and the present.

Ľubomír Podušel


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