THE CURRENT EXHIBITION of works by František Reichentál in the Mirbach Palace embodies one of the main aims of the Bratislava City Gallery (GMB) – to present authors who were born in Slovakia, have Slovak roots, but left the country for various reasons.
Reichentál (1895-1971) was born in Nagy Lég (today the municipality of Lehnice in Dunajská Streda district), studied in Bratislava and in Hungary (Győr and Budapest) and later had an eventful life, being captured as a POW on the Russian front in World War I, studying and teaching at an arts academy in Russia, founding an artists’ association after his return to Czechoslovakia, and travelling and working around Europe – only to be later forced to work as a wall-painter in Hungary under a false name because of his Jewish origins. He later returned to Czechoslovakia. In 1948, he was refused the post of professor at the newly established Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava, again because of his Jewish origins. He emigrated to the USA, where he continued to paint and draw, but also worked in other genres, such as comics and fashion drawings.
The exhibition Obrazy a kresby / Paintings and Drawings 1913-1948 shows the results of his work between those years, before he left Czechoslovakia for good. The motifs in his work include Bratislava sites, landscapes, but also scenes from Jewish community life, and portraits. A monograph bearing the name of the exhibition contains more of Reichen- tál’s works over more than 140 pages.
25. Feb 2013 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff