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Private gallery widens its vision


BRATISLAVA's Nova Gallery presented works by Slovak glassmakers Miloš Balgavý and Pavol Hlôška at St'Art, the international exhibition of contemporary art in Strasburg. The event, running from January 27 to 31, welcomed over 90 galleries from 15 European countries and Canada.

SUCCESSFUL presentation of local glass abroad shaped the gallery's future.
photo: Courtesy of Nova Gallery

BRATISLAVA's Nova Gallery presented works by Slovak glassmakers Miloš Balgavý and Pavol Hlôška at St'Art, the international exhibition of contemporary art in Strasburg. The event, running from January 27 to 31, welcomed over 90 galleries from 15 European countries and Canada.

The Nova Gallery was the only Slovak representative at the exhibition. The glass theme has opened a new dimension at the gallery that aims to instil the spirit of Václav Cigler's glass school in its activities.

Founded in 1990, Nova is the oldest private gallery in Slovakia. It is located just below Michael's Gate in Bratislava's Old Town and presents the latest work by leading Slovak contemporary fine artists. Each month it presents a new artist. In February, the focus is on Veronika Rónaiová.


Multi-layered drawings


Rónaiová's exhibition, entitled Compressions, opened February 7 at the gallery.

Born in 1951, Rónaiová has been a well-established artist on the Slovak fine art scene for almost three decades. In the 1970s she was captivated by the arrival of hyperrealism, which succeeded pop art. Rónaiová was particularly interested in photo-realism, which brought camera into artwork, and has become the leader of this movement in Slovakia.

"I've always preferred 'reality'," she told The Slovak Spectator, explaining that her artistic path began at a convenient time. "I could combine what I wanted to do with what was a modern trend at that time. I have never been a landscape artist. I'm a native Bratislavan. I've lived in a city my whole life. For me the urban themes, people in the town, are my subjects. And hyperrealism allows me to capture this the best."

PHOTO-self-portrait by Rónaiová.
photo: Courtesy of Nova Gallery

For the Nova Gallery, Rónaiová created works based on three of her older works from 1970s. She has "compressed" six different drawings from these works into one canvas. Using this multi-layer re-drawing on one surface, she disguised the originals. The realistic features were mixed together, creating a kind of multi-layered abstract.

"A person gets older, matures and doesn't believe everything in life as naively as before. He or she begins to see life as more complicated, not a true line as I saw it when I was younger," says Rónaiová, who has tried to capture these feelings in her Compressions series.

"Compressions is a pile of individual layers, memories that are contained in a person. Everything I have lived through is in these works," she explains, saying that it all started with a retrospective in Žilina at the celebration of her 50th birthday, when she drew versions of her paintings on the walls of a gallery. "This somehow refreshed me. Drawn, they looked more subtle, not as penetrative as painted, as if they were a reminiscence of what person has lived through.

"The Compressions [drawings] show what I hide inside," she explained.

Galéria Nova (Nova Gallery) is situated at Baštová 2, Bratislava. It is open Tuesday to Sunday from 13:00 to 18:00. Admission is free. Tel: 02/5443-3039.

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