THE SLOVAK National Gallery (SNG) will celebrate its 60th birthday this summer, but in spite of this advanced age, it is not planning to retire, the SITA newswire wrote. Instead, during this jubilee year it plans a facelift for its Bratislava building. It is also busy organising several surprises for the public, to be held in all five of its exhibition premises across Slovakia: Bratislava, the Ladislav Medňanský Gallery in Strážky, Zvolen Castle, the Ľudovít Fulla Gallery in Ružomberok, and the Gallery of Naive Art in Pezinok.
Two exhibitions in Bratislava will be the main events of the jubilee year, Karmen Koutná from the SNG told SITA. The working titles of the displays are 111 Works from the SNG Collections and 6 x 10 - Archaeology. Both exhibitions will open in late June.
At the first exhibit, the most prominent gallery in Slovakia will showcase 111 highlights of its collections. These will contain works of early, modern, contemporary and naive art as well utility art and architecture.
The second exhibition, 6 x 10 - Archaeology, will acquaint visitors with the history of the gallery, its mission and collections. It will also showcase works that are normally not exhibited. "The most interesting pieces include, for example, all chairs manufactured for the gallery, or a stand with copies of the so-called character heads by Franz Xavier Messerschmidt," said Koutná. "We do not want to convey a precise history of the gallery. Rather, we want to narrate the story of the gallery and everything that belongs to it in a more entertaining way."
For children, the gallery has prepared workshops called Painted on Glass to accompany the exhibition titled Czech and Slovak Glass in Exile. During other workshops, both children and adults will be able to try their hand at the work of restorers, curators and other professionals without whom the operation of a gallery is impossible. People can also submit ideas in a competition for the most creative logo of the gallery marking the anniversary.
On July 29, the Anniversary Day, the gallery will launch a book published specifically for the occasion.
An exhibition of works by Andy Warhol in the Ľudovít Filla Gallery will be among the highlights outside Bratislava.
The SNG will send three projects outside Slovakia this year. In April and May, Budapest will host an exhibition of Slovak painter Milan Laluha. Then, an exhibition entitled Slovak Painting will take place in Prague from October to December. The SNG will also be represented at the Biennial of Architecture in Venice.
The SNG was established by a law on July 29, 1948. An exhibition of paintings of old masters from the SNG collection was its first display.
The gallery had a collection of 500 books and 500 pieces of art in 1950, but by the end of 2006 it registered 56,258 works.
Last year more than 82,000 people visited its premises, up by about 12,000 over the previous year.
In 2001, the SNG had to close part of its exhibition premises in Bratislava due to bad conditions, which are still waiting for reconstruction. The Slovak government plans to invest more than Sk1.3 billion (€38.4 million) in its reconstruction.
28. Jan 2008 at 0:00 | Jana Liptáková