Etching Out Dreams: Contemporary Slovak Prints by Dusan Kallay, Kamila Stanclova, and Katarina Vavrova

On view July 27–October 23, 2016 in the Gilbert Pavilion Gallery
Text by Emily O’Leary, Associate Curator

Etching Out Dreams: Contemporary Slovak Prints by Dušan Kállay, Kamila Štanclová, and Katarína Vavrová features three contemporary artists who share connections to Slovak master Vincent Hložník (1919–1997), whose work is represented in the Hebrew Home’s Art Collection. Hložník was an influential artist who founded the graphic design department at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava in 1952. Both Dušan Kállay and Kamila Štanclová were Hložník’s students, and Katarína Vavrová studied with Hložník’s protégé Albín Brunovský (1935–1997) in the 1980s. Linocut prints from Hložník’s series Dreams (1962) will be on view concurrently this September at the BBLA Gallery at Bohemian National Hall in Manhattan.

The graphic arts have been important to modern Slovak art since before, during, and after the Communist era. In the decades following the establishment of the graphic design department at the Academy, Hložník’s teachings and philosophy influenced generations of Slovak graphic artists. Key characteristics of the graphic work created at the school include expressive figuration, narrative, and an underlying sense of fantasy. Hložník himself was profoundly influenced by Surrealism.

 

Kállay graduated from the Academy in 1972 and went on to become an award-winning illustrator, notably as a recipient of the Hans Christian Andersen Award for his contributions to children’s literature. Included in the exhibition are four etchings by Kállay, each rendered with meticulously fine lines and overlapping shapes that demonstrate his technical skill. The works contain an exquisite type of chaos, full of movement and forms that suggest storylines, rather than depict a literal narrative. In 1994, Kállay succeeded Brunovský as head of the Department of Printmaking and Book Illustration at the Academy, thus preserving Hložník’s legacy.

 

Štanclová, who studied with Hložník from 1965–1971, has also received numerous awards, including a UNICEF award for children’s book illustration and a Celebrating Print Award from KADS New York, among others. Štanclová utilizes patterns and figurative motifs in developing her print compositions and their meanings. Rather than make a sketch in advance of preparing an etching plate, she draws directly onto the plate, continuously evolving and reworking the image. She considers this approach to be like writing a diary that documents her creative process. Her etching Dance with the Wolves II (2012) demonstrates her technique of repetition and trial and error, as she uses the repeated shape of a paperclip to fill part of the space and create complex layers.

 

A generation younger than Kállay and Štanclová, Vavrová studied with Brunovský at the Academy until 1990. With their exquisitely delicate imagery, her four painterly etchings on view evoke quietude and human pathos, suggesting different emotional states. Vavrová uses bold dashes of color sparingly to highlight the importance of select compositional elements. Figures isolated or embracing are alienated from one another even if in close proximity, while surrealistically upside down trees and elongated horses contribute to their moods.

Kyselica Art & Design Studio New York (KADS NY)

KADS New York is an art dealership with consulting practice based in New York City specializing in modern and contemporary Central and Eastern European fine art prints, offering collectors a range of exquisite works created by renowned as well as emerging artists. For more information, visit KADSNY.com.

This exhibition takes place in conjunction with a separate show of 20 linocut prints by Hložník from the Hebrew Home Art Collection, entitled Vincent Hložník: Between War and Dream, which will be on view August 16–September 16, 2016, at the BBLA Gallery at Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street in Manhattan. A closing reception will be held on September 15 at 6:30 p.m. Viewing hours are Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. The Gallery is occasionally closed for special events. For more information, visit BohemianBenevolent.org or call 212.988.1733. This event is organized by Derfner Judaica Museum + The Art Collection at Hebrew Home at Riverdale and Consulate General of Slovakia in New York, with support of BBLA.


Checklist of the Exhibition
All works courtesy KADS New York and the artists

Dušan Kállay (b. 1948)
Encounter of Labyrinths, 1998
Color etching
31 3/8 x 23 ½ inches

Dream of John the Watchmaker, 1983
Color etching and drypoint
31 ¼ x 23 ½ inches

If I Had More Love (The Garden of Cain Series), 1990
Color etching with aquatint
31 3/8 x 24 3/8 inches

Props of the Actor Dusan Hanak, 1986
Color etching and drypoint
31 3/8 x 25 5/8 inches

Kamila Štanclová (b. 1945)
Changing or Undressing the Skin, 1990
Color etching
30 7/8 x 25 ¾ inches

Dance with the Wolves II, 2012
Color etching
31 ½ x 23 3/8 inches

Hide Your Tears Under Your Eye Lids, 1994
Color etching
30 7/8 x 25 ¾ inches

The Old Moving House, 1982
Color etching
30 7/8 x 25 1/16 inches

Katarína Vavrová (b. 1964)
Ascension of Trees, 2013
Hand-colored etching
23 ¾ x 31 5/8 inches

Untitled (Smutenka I), 2014
Hand-colored etching
17 ¾ x 19 ¼ inches

Untitled (Smutenka II), 2014
Hand-colored etching
17 ¾ x 19 ¼ inches

Mystery of Holic’s Castle, 2013
Hand-colored etching
23 7/8 x 27 5/8 inches

This text was printed in the brochure produced in conjunction with the exhibition Etching Out Dreams: Contemporary Slovak Prints by Dušan Kállay, Kamila Štanclová, and Katarína Vavrová on view in the Elma and Milton A. Gilbert Pavilion Gallery from July 27–October 23, 2016, open to the public daily from 10:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

As a member of the American Alliance of Museums, Hebrew Home at Riverdale by RiverSpring Health is committed to publicly exhibiting its art collection throughout its 32-acre campus including the Derfner Judaica Museum and a sculpture garden overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades. The Derfner Judaica Museum + The Art Collection provide educational and cultural programming for residents of the Hebrew Home, their families and the general public from throughout New York City, its surrounding suburbs and visitors from elsewhere. Hebrew Home is a nonprofit, non-sectarian geriatric organization serving more than 12,000 elderly persons in greater New York through its resources and community service programs.

This exhibition is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

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Hebrew Home at Riverdale
5901 Palisade Avenue
Riverdale, New York 10471
Tel. 718.581.1596
http://www.riverspringhealth.org/art

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