Albín Brunovský (25 December 1935, Zohor, Czechoslovakia – 20 January 1997, Bratislava, Slovakia) was a Slovak painter, graphic artist, lithographer, illustrator and pedagogue, considered one of the greatest Slovak painters of the 20th century.
Albín Brunovský was born in Zohor, Czechoslovakia on Christmas Day, December 25 in 1935. Brunovský started his early career in art by working on stage set and poster design. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava under Prof. Vincent Hložník from 1955 to 1961. The Hloznik School was well known for its high artistic and technical preparation in graphic arts and its humanist perspective. For the founder, as for many of his students, Goya’s great graphic cycle "The Horrors of War" served as a pattern or model.Brunovský himself lectured at that Academy from 1966 to 1990. In 1981 he was appointed a professor, creating his own engraving school several years later. Brunovský's work often mirrored that of the modern movement, citation art. Brunovský was also the designer of the last series of Czechoslovak banknotes. His illustrations were primarily for children's books.
Over the course of his career, Brunovsky experimented with various graphic techniques and was highly influenced in his subject matter by poetry and literature, as well, of course, as by other artists. While at school he used the techniques of woodcuts and linocuts. Soon after, however, he began experimenting with "scraper" and chalk lithography. Etching were the characteristic mode of his graphic art work during the mid-1960s. He was, however, a painter too. Many of his illustrations were done in watercolor and he eventually began to paint major works.
As his mastery of various techniques evolved over time, so too did his vision as an artist. When he was young, Brunovsky exhibited surrealistic tendencies—defined as a tendency to individualism and absurdity and the unchecked play of the subconscious. Later his work became more evaluative and critical of Man in relation to himself and society.
Pieter, it was a long time when I was in Bratislava, so it probably changed a lot. I remember we were in a hotel with walls made from a very insulating materials. When we walked or touched the walls - you can feel the small electric shock sometimes. I did not see anything like that before and after. This Danubian Art Museum is very interesting, really and the video looks so natural!
While Slovakia has only existed independently for two-plus decades, the region has a long art history. The art of Slovakia springs from a wide range of traditions, from modern paintings to glasswork, Slovakian art has regularly incorporated folk and European tendencies in its treatment of chosen themes and motifs. Visual art in Slovakia is represented through painting, drawing, printmaking, illustration, arts and crafts, sculpture, photography or conceptual art.
It often exhibits the characteristic poignancy of the changing times while encapsulating a unique take on reality.
The Slovak National Gallery founded in 1948, is the biggest network of galleries in Slovakia. Two displays in Bratislava are situated in Esterházy Palace (Esterházyho palác) and the Water Barracks (Vodné kasárne), adjacent one to another. They are located on the Danube riverfront in the Old Town.
Esterházy Palace (Esterházyho palác)
The Water Barracks (Vodné kasárne)
The Bratislava City Gallery, founded in 1961 is the second biggest Slovak gallery of its kind. It stores about 35,000 pieces of Slovak and international art and offers permanent displays in Pálffy Palace and Mirbach Palace, located in the Old Town. Danubiana Art Museum, one of the youngest art museums in Europe, is situated near Čunovo waterworks (part of Gabčíkovo Waterworks). Other major galleries include: Andy Warhol Museum of Modern Art (Warhol's parents were from Miková), East Slovak Gallery, Ernest Zmeták Art Gallery, Zvolen Castle.
The City Gallery of Bratislava
The City Gallery of Bratislava
Slovak painting formally developed in the 19th century. Painters like Dominik Skutecky and Ladislav Mednansky were well regarded during this time. In the 20th century, the dam cracked open to a dazzling outpour of artistic expression, from Cubist Ester Simerova-Martincekova, to surrealist Imro Weiner-Kral, to Ludovit Fulla and Martin Benka, among others.
The Market Square in Banská Bystrica painted by Dominik Skuteck
Ladislav Medňanský (Mednyánszky), Lady by Boats, c 1875-1880
Modern Slovak sculpture, which incorporates larger European trends, is said to have started with Jan Koniarek and Rudolf Uher. Later, Vladimir Kompanek, Mikulas Galanda, and others brought a folk dimension to their work. And in the 60s, when the constraints of art representation were relaxed under Communism, structural abstraction was introduced.
Jan Koniarek with one of his scupltures
A sculpture of Rudolf Uher
Sculptures of Vladimir Kompanek
Self portrait of Mikulas Galanda
Contemporary artists use innovative materials and an evolving approach. Anton Cierny and Denisa Lehocka are two representatives of contemporary Slovak sculpture.