Ján Vasilko Abstract paintings vol. 1

opening: 11. 9. 2018 / 18:00
duration: 11. 9. – 14. 10. 2018
East Slovak Gallery, Hlavná 27

Pop up exhibition Ján Vasilek Abstract paintings vol. 1 follows the selection of Vasilko latest works. The format of short-term exhibitions and presentations at VSG provides a platform for artists who have received a scholarship from the Slovak Arts Council.

Ján Vasilko completed his art studies in Košice (2005) and since then his work has long adhered to a distinctive art program, based on a "romantic" enthusiasm for production and utility machines, various mechanisms, production halls and robots. "Machines" in my paintings serve as heroes of stories, bearers of ideological or philosophical references and symbols. An important moment is the absurdity in the "Frankenstein" exchange of roles of man and his creation - an inanimate mechanical object. " As part of this "transformation" process, the author constantly plays freely with classical iconography, using its formal and content dogmas. He works in the field of postgeometric painting, through the flowing smooth handwriting and the language of geometry he uses the pictorial fund of pop-art aesthetics, with which he parodies advertising design. It reduces the forms of clean surfaces and elementary shapes at the interface of abstraction and figurativeness. Formally and technologically balanced compositions are in fact a space of dramatic events, complex plots without internal logic, unexpected and meaningless connections. The color of the paintings is usually in a range of earthy tones up to shades of gray, which mediate the author's iconography (excavator, harvester, hockey stick, picture frame, etc.). His themes mix humorous and ridiculous with dignified and serious, the art of modern with contemporary, romantic and melancholic with a visually rational concept of creation. The author's form also reflects the Dadaist starting points (2005-06), but historically it is undoubtedly more closely connected with the Russian avant-garde - especially constructivism and suprematism, and spiritually related to Kazimír Malevič, El Lissitzky and Vladimír Tatlin.

The paintings, which will be presented in the East Slovak Gallery, represent a closed series created by the author in the last year and are called Untitled. They are abstract, but their abstraction is not based on anything specific. Scenes, structures or compositions are absolutely cleansed of reality. An important aspect of such an approach is the reversal of its existing creative practices. While so far his system of creation has worked on the basis of a selected theme, which characterized the whole series and which was preceded by research and the idea of ​​what the individual paintings will look like, in the latest series the author must relate to the final form. The creative process is important, openness to new impulses, but also to coincidences. In such an approach, a space for improvisation and visual imagery must be created. The system is such that each completed image shows the path. One has to make decisions about where, when and how and in which direction to choose. The author himself compares it to a trip. ”There are two types of people, two approaches to how we behave on a trip. The first option is to study and plan everything in detail. We know where we are going, what it will look like, what it costs, where we will live, etc. The second possibility is that we pack up out of nowhere and set out on a journey. We don't know where, for how long. The next stop will decide. Along the way, we discover an unexplored landscape. Lively and unprepared situations arise with an unspecified scenario, where the possibilities of adventure and unexpected experiences open up. This is how I would somehow describe the way of my current work. I am currently on a trip without a map and itinerary. Whenever I am interested in anything, I stop and let myself be fascinated by the place. The moment I decide to go further, I go somewhere else. In a way, my current paintings are a kind of diary. However, they do not relate to experiences of normal everyday life. Rather, they are traces of processes, events, but also coincidences, with their own laws, connections and logic. ”

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