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Peter Rónai: Retro naj...

Author, exhibition title: Peter Rónai: retro naj...
Venue: Ján Koniarek Gallery in Trnava, Synagogue – Center of Contemporary Art, Halenárska 2, Trnava
Curator: Roman Popelár
Opening: 16.09.2014 (Tuesday), 18:00
Duration: 16.09. (Tue) - 17.10. (Fri) 2014


For 40 years Peter Rónai has been the epitome of those undermining the conventional understanding of the ART term. He also modifies the formal and contextual impacts of this term. It is a permanent process, its nature, purpose and aim that are changed with the arrival of new cultural, social or political discourse. Rónai´s interpretation of art lies not only in its being undermined, but often in denial of its essence. He describes himself as a typical representative of postmodernism characterized by instability, changes, merging of seemingly unmergeable and vice versa by questioning the long-time valid norms. Though he has received the classical media education (painting, printmaking, photography), in practice he has been using it just in general terms, i.e. not as an aesthetic product – target - result but as a means to support his ideas and opinions of certain events. Each output (performance, event), work (photography, object picture, free standing object, video, video installation ...) incorporates format destruction – so called iconoclasm. Iconoclasm has its roots in the Avant-gardes of the first quarter of the 20th century. Rónai chooses the most intriguing of them, argues with them (especially with their legacy for the contemporaries since their contemporary significance is indisputable) and the result of this controversy, that sometimes turned into an „open battle“, forms the essence of his work.

After his solo exhibitions in 1997 (Synagogue – Centre of Contemporary Art) and in 2007 (Kopplova vila GJK) in Trnava, he presents his work for the third time. On the occasion of his last year´s jubilee he prepared a small picture-retrospective of his works complemented by a few spatial objects and a video.

Peter Rónai was born in 1953 in Budapest. He graduated in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava (under Prof. J. Želibský, 1974), but he also studied painting and printmaking at the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest (1974 – 1977) where in 1976 – 1977 he completed a postgraduate course in the theory of photography. In the second half of the seventies he was the epitome of the so-called unofficial scene in the former Czechoslovakia with good contacts to the alternative art scene in Hungary.

After 1989, together with Július Koller (and Milan Adamčiak, an inactive member) he became a co-founder of the group New Seriousness. He taught at the University of Constantine the Philosopher in Nitra and was a head of the Video studio at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Technology in Brno. Later he supervised the Department of Artistic Communication at the Faculty of Mass Media Communication at the University of St. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava. Currently, he is a head of the Department of Fine Arts and Intermedia at the Faculty of Arts at the Technical University of Košice where he teaches at the Studio of Printmaking and Experimental Creation.

Roman Popelár


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