František Veselý – Landscape of a New Kind

opening: 26. 6. 2018 , 18.00
duration: 27. 6. – 21. 10. 2018
curator: Miroslav Kleban
Východoslovenská galéria, Hlavná 27

František Veselý's artistic journey (1938 - 2001) begins in the mid-1950s, when he intensively captures the nooks and crannies of the changing hometown of Stropkov. The documentation of the city and its surroundings is also his hobby and preparation for university studies (Higher Pedagogical School in Prešov 1956 - 1958, Academy of Fine Arts 1965 - 1971, professors Čemický, Želibský, Dubay). The changing city later resonates with the author as a personal statement against the changing country of society. František Veselý presents an individual approach in relation to the "big" themes of the period of socialist realism. The early works of a still untrained artist are a valuable proof of the insensitive and engaged transformation of man's natural cultivated coexistence with his external environment. The documentary character of the early drawings, gouache of the pastels today remains a nostalgic proof of the irreversibly changing home region.

After graduating from academic education in the early 1970s, Veselý enters the art scene clearly by winning an art program, which methodologically comments on the consequences of civilization expansion, the technical progress of the rationalization of life. In the spirit of Ernst's surrealism, the multi-meaningfulness and a kind of neo-Dadaist magic, Veselý creates compositions with which he captures external chaos and illustrates the silent fear of the common destiny of man and nature. In the post-war history of art, František Veselý has a solitary and defining position on the themes of building motives or celebrations of industrialization and technical success, which most often resonate on the official scene. His direct futurological-ecological program ignores the blinding of technocratic thinking and the creation of a ceremonial cult of development and expansion in the country, and invokes metaphysical silence, without ostentatious theatricality. Since the 1980s, the author has been further developing his art program by applying geometric forms, transparent plans combined with sexual experimental positions (collages, paintings in images, assemblages using natural products, imprints, etc.). The later stage of his work is characterized by a romanticizing fascination with pre-technical cultures, their purity and asymbiosis, which he confronts with the current future generation.

In 2004, František Veselý was awarded the Stropkov City Prize in memoriam for active participation in the cultural life of the region. He presented his work at more than 60 exhibitions at home and abroad. Today, the Elementary Art School is named after him in Stropkov, which has been implementing painting plein airs for several years, which also bear his name. The exhibition project is being prepared as part of the concept of presenting the profiles of authors who established themselves on the art scene in the post-war period and who also formed part of the cultural life of the region outside it. Last but not least, these are authors who are richly represented in the collections of regional galleries, but their professional evaluation and classification within the regional history of art is not sufficiently reflected. The curatorial selection presents works from state and private collections in confrontation with documentary material. The exhibited works present part of the author's work, mostly since the 1970s, and conceptually visualize a unique, timeless, artistic program, which the author devoted himself to after his studies.

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