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Generation 909,76. Exhibition, Term, Interpretation

26. June 2020 — 10. January 2021
Esterházyho palác, Bratislava
Curators: Alexandra Homoľová, Alexandra Kusá

The project refers to a term established by Karol Vaculík and curators of the national gallery in the early 1960s through the large exhibition Generation 1909 - Conscience of the Epoch (1964). The title reflected the "arithmetic" average of the birth dates of the particular authors selected for the group by the curator. Their affiliation to the group was not only biographical; the curators tried to find also other common features and connections.

Vaculík´s initiative had several goals: bring back to the history of art works of the generation the production of which did not quite comply with the aesthetics of the Socialistic Realism; make a creative intervention in the story of the Slovak art history by a new "-ism" and evaluate even non- tendentious acquisitions for collections. Phrasing of the term came from museum environment, which was a typical art-historical trend of the 1960s, although abroad it tended more to conceptual art. In Slovakia, it was linked with the need to rectify the history of art twisted by the socialistic realism. And thus came into being a term equated by Vaculík with Modernism.

Today, the term and the exhibition is revisited by the institution at the premises of which it originated, in order to revise the term´s functionality and limits, and to strengthen its cultural-historical interpretation and the context of its reading. This is the concept of the presentation - it copes with the issue topic by topic and "uses" the works as evidence. The viewer will meet the famous works by Majerník, Mudroch, Kostka, or Nevan, but unlike with authorial collections, now it will be a topical context, by which the curators will examine the art-historical theme.

Selection from authors: Jakub Bauernfreund, Štefan Bednár, Ladislav Čemický, František Draškovič, Bedrich Hoffstädter, Jozef Kostka, František Kudláč, Július Lőrincz, Cyprián Majerník, Peter Matejka, Dezider Milly, Ján Mudroch, Július Nemčík, Andrej Nemeš, Eugen Nevan, František Studený, Július Szabó, Ester Šimerová-Martinčeková, Ján Želibský and others.


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