Accidental reunion results in exhibition

SLOVAK sculptor Zuzana Rudavská, 41, emigrated to the US in 1986. Her compatriot, painter Robert Hromec, 33, followed a few years later after the 1989 defeat of communism. The two first met by accident in their newly adopted home a decade ago.
Recently, they accidentally met again, but in Slovakia. This reunion in their birth country resulted in the opening of a joint exhibition.


Robert Hromec, Zuzana Rudavská

SLOVAK sculptor Zuzana Rudavská, 41, emigrated to the US in 1986. Her compatriot, painter Robert Hromec, 33, followed a few years later after the 1989 defeat of communism. The two first met by accident in their newly adopted home a decade ago.

Recently, they accidentally met again, but in Slovakia. This reunion in their birth country resulted in the opening of a joint exhibition. "I think I have found a kindred spirit in [Rudavská], not only in who she is as a person but also in what type of art she creates," said Hromec, the initiator of the project Meeting, running in Bratislava's peaceful Horský Park. The artists are exhibiting their latest works at the park's Pohoda (Well-being) Gallery - Rudavská's sculptures and installations, Hromec's paintings. The two can see where their art has headed in recent years and interactively compare the changes.

Rudavská, who draws inspiration from nature, has started to focus more on conveying inner feelings in her works, rather then capturing "raw" natural motifs. "I am interested in experiences I have. For example, when I am at the sea, I am inspired to create works such as the Dialogue with the Ocean," said the creator of sculptures, installations, and jewellery.

She works with a variety of materials, ranging from wood and rope to stone and metal, that she often collects as she travels around the world. This diversity stems from the different feelings people have and their unlimited ways of expressing them. "Usually, an artist uses one or two materials. But I try to be as free in my [choice and use of materials] as I can," said Rudavská, whose works will be exhibited this spring at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York for the eighth time.

Rudavská lives and works in New York City, but she recently started to prolong her visits to Slovakia. Hromec, whose inspiration comes from human stories, was called back to his roots for good after seven years of living in the US. In the meantime, he has slightly altered his technique as well as his figurative theme: going from print-painted Venuses and Greek mythology motifs to inserting fragments of the human body onto his mixed-media paintings on canvas, wood, or paper.

"Robert surprised me by separating his whole figures," said Rudavská, adding that the exhibition project is a very spontaneous act since the two artists do not stay in contact. "It's a long distance connection."

The exhibition runs at the Pohoda Gallery (Gallery restaurant), at Majakovského 9, Bratislava. It is open Monday to Sunday from 10:00 to 22:00 until March 10. Tel: 02/6252-9038.

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