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Ladislav Guderna: The Flying Fish

Coincidence, kartón, tempera, 41,6 x 34,2 cm, 1989, GMB

Coincidence by Ladislav Guderna. Mirbach Palace. 25. 11. 2011 - 22. 1. 2012, curator: Zsofia Kiss - Szeman.

Do you think that fish cannot fly? The exhibition of works of the world-famous painter Ladislav Guderna shall prove the opposite is true. The work of the acclaimed artist of Slovak origin had a significant impact on painters both in Slovakia and abroad. “The exhibition is held at the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth. It is already the 12th edition of the art project Henkel Slovensko to Slovakia organized by Henkel Slovensko annually since 1999,“ said Juraj Lackovic, author of the project’s idea. “During all editions of our project we tried to familiarize people not just with the works of famous and world acclaimed Slovak artists, but mainly with their way of thinking and ideas,” J. Lackovic continued.

Ladislav GUDERNA

(1921 Nitra – 1999 Vancouver, Canada)

Ladislav Guderna studied at SUR (professor L. Fulla), at the private painting academy of M. Schurmann, at the visual arts department of SVST Bratislava (professors J. Mudroch, M. Benka) and partly at AVU in Belgrade. He was a member of SVU Manes in Prague, Blok SVU, SVU 29. augusta, later SSVU. In 1948 he had an exhibition at the Venice Biennale; in 1958 he was awarded the silver medal for his art designs for the EXPO ´58 in Brussels. In 1968 he protested against the occupation of Czechoslovakia by emigrating to Canada where he lived and created until 1999 (Toronto, Vancouver). He was member of the West Coast Surrealist Art group in Canada. In 1979 he became member of the surrealist group Melmoth Vancouver and with his son Martin he issued the surrealist revue Scarabeus. In 1990 he became member of the Q Group in Bratislava. He traveled extensively on study trips round the world and was awarded several state and art awards in his homeland and abroad.

At the beginning of his work – following Rouault’s traces and Mudroch’s and Matejka’s example – he painted pictures with an expressive onset using strong black outlines. Next he turned to Picasso’s work as the most important source of inspiration, which brought about a new approach to understanding and designing his pictures. In his work he stressed theoretical issues of art and by doing that he represented the most radical standpoint compared to the previous WW2 generation. After 1948 his paintings were partly influenced by the spirit of dogmatic realism. Typical was a certain metaphysical static and the pictures were blunt to the point. After leaving for Canada in 1968, he returned to his most productive period 1945–1948 initially and later took on experiments and his work developed in the direction of surrealism. He never left his surrealistic position again. He depicts a world that was called “paradise” by the French surrealist Jose Pierre.

January 23, 2012   
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