Known in the whole world and almost unknown at home

Known in the whole world and almost unknown at home

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Art Guide East, 15 December 2015

Centre Pompidou in Paris and MoMa in New York have him in their collections. He was a Czechoslovak artist who achieved outstanding international success in his short life. Dom umenia/Kunsthalle Bratislava presents the First Retrospective of the conceptual artist Ján Mančuška, which is his first big exhibition in Slovakia.

Ján Mančuška (1972 – 2011) has never been considered a representative of the Slovak art scene, however, he considered himself a Slovak author living in Czechoslovakia and later in the Czech Republic. The exhibition was prepared for the Prague City Gallery by the curator Vít Havránek. In the Dom umenia/Kunsthalle Bratislava, it is the first reprise and it will be presented at the Moravian Gallery in Brno in its modified version. The retrospective exhibition is built on several years of reconstruction, on inventory of artworks and scenarios. It was developed in cooperation with the Prague City Gallery with the Ján Mančuška Estate, Andrew Kreps Gallery New York, Meyer Riegger Berlin/Karlsruhe and a long line of institutional and private borrowers.

Ján Mančuška entered the art scene in the second half of the 1990's together with Josef Bolf, Ján Šerých and Tomáš Vaněk as an art group Bezhlavý jezdec (The Headless Horseman). His work is a remote continuation of Czechoslovak conceptual art of 1960's and 1970's. He himself developed two main lines – post-conceptual artistic tradition, within which he discussed language in the process of speaking (literary language, language of video, performance or film) and on the other hand, his interest in communication grew. He was fascinated by real and existential stories. The artificiality and grievousness of the shared story can thus be marked as the main focus of his works.

The exhibition is conceived chronologically, while he puts emphasis on precise re-installation of groundbreaking works of art which were generously loaned from major international and domestic collections and institutions like Centre Pompidou in Paris, Kontakt Erste Group Vienna or Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Vienna. A visitor also finds parallel lines of drawings, studies and contemporary materials which offers excursion to a "post-conceptual" study, which replaces classic art studios. The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive pictorial publication with a number of the artist's theoretical texts. The exhibition is also accompanied by educational programs – guided tour through the exhibition, curator talk with Vít Havránek or family programs.

First Retrospective
Curator: Vít Havránek
Curator for Dom umenia/Kunsthalle Bratislava: Juraj Čarný
Duration of the exhibition: November 13, 2015 – February 14, 2016
Dom umenia/Kunsthalle Bratislava, Námestie SNP 12, Bratislava


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