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Antimuseum J.K. - Permanent Exposition of the Collection of Works of Július Koller

From 4. June 2020
Antimúzeum Júliusa Kollera , Zámočnícka 13, Bratislava, Bratislava

Július Koller, the icon of the conceptual art of Central Europe, has the first exposition of his very own. You can find it on Zámočnícka Street No. 13 in Bratislava. The core of the exposition, prepared by the civic association Antimúzeum Júliusa Kollera (Július Koller's Anti-Museum) in cooperation with the Slovak National Gallery, is comprised of a private collection.

Museum, Gallery, Playground and Educational Platform

The private collection created around 1998, in the times when the quality of this still living artist was obvious only to the experts, became the core of Koller's first solo exposition. The main part of the exhibited collection features anti-pictures in which Koller dealt with conceptual art and the period climate. The exposition, which also shows the crucial moments from the artist's life and the key themes of his work, is complemented by related artwork and materials in the form of cards, excerpts and photographs from the Slovak National Gallery collections.

The museum, which is also an educational platform dedicated to Slovak Conceptualism, has two exhibition floors and two rooms for social events. Visitors are welcomed by the anti-playground, an interactive space featuring illustrations by artists Fuczik - Kakalík (Ondřej Horák, David Kalika) respecting Koller's "sports" side. The club room in the attic with a ping-pong table will also serve for social, educational and other smaller events.

Július Koller (1939 - 2007)

"He was a part of the generation of visual artists, who despite being culturally isolated, did not participate in the period art of Socialist Realism, but took their own original path. Today Július Koller is one of our most respected artists around the world. There is no simple answer to the question "why Koller?" Perhaps it is partially related to the Western idea of our country (material poverty of means and the Kafka-Havel dimension of Koller's anti-art). However, the originality and complexity of Koller's vision of the world, openness and the communicativeness of his artistic gesture is a fact. His works can be found in the collections of the Slovak National Gallery, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Generali Foundation in Vienna and the Tate Gallery in London."

Petra Hanáková, curator of Modern and Contemporary Art of the SNG

Collection of Gabriel Herczeg

When Gabriel Herczeg founded the SOGA Auction House in 1996, he had other ambitions than just selling art; he wanted to build a respectable expert institution, and thanks to Ján Abelovský, its first director, SOGA finds itself at the convergence of gallery, auction house, non-commercial institution and commercial company. The 1998 purchase of a set of Koller's artwork, not quite standard even for the late 1990s, years which were full of exploding cars and wild privatization, was also related to this ambition. Abelovský was aided in this acquisition by Aurel Hrabušický from the Slovak National Gallery, who would not be successful in his own institution's attempt at a similar purchase. In the past twenty years in which Koller's work has gained value even in the international context, the collection has become a museological treasure and its owner decided to make it accessible to the general public. Perhaps he also felt that by organizing the exposition he would avoid the temptation to sell some part of the collection.

Cooperation with the Slovak National Gallery

Thanks to the generosity of Koller's life-long partner, Květa Fulierová, the national gallery administers part of the estate of this conceptual artist. And thanks to this fact, Koller has been omnipresent in recent SNG productions (the exhibition Vedecko-fantastická retrospektíva (Scientific-Fantastic Retrospective) with an extensive catalogue in 2010, the digitization and presentation of the artist's works on the webumenia.sk, the Čas-opis 1989 digital project, andthe permanent exposition Archív Júliusa Kollera Koller). The SNG's involvement in the preparation of the exposition was therefore a natural step, especially thanks to Aurel Hrabušický's involvement, which adds a sense of continuity to the collection. The exposition, as well as the fascinating dialogue of the collection and material from Koller's archives at the SNG were prepared by Alexandra Kusá in cooperation and consultation with Aurel Hrabušický, Petra Hanáková and Gabriel Herczeg. The Slovak National Gallery will use the exposition as a partner for educational programs, guided tours and the presentation of themes related to the Slovak conceptual art.

Graphic Design Concept

Graphic designer Braňo Matis created the exposition's logo, graphic features and posters.

"Július Koller, the man and his work are close to his heart's, and it was quite interesting to observe how the concept developed all the way up to the result. Although Koller's work is conceptual, it is characterized by very strong visual signs which may lure the graphic designer to a competition or reverie. In this case, Braňo Matis chose an intelligent interpretation with signs of an agreement between partners, as he used Koller's principles and color range to create a confident and functional design. The font selection and the principle of the stamp, among others, reflect Koller's playfulness which was always subject to his system concept, the role of the handmade element in his conceptual work, and contemporary design, which is not only a service, but also a partner and another interpretational layer."

Alexandra Kusá, General Director of the SNG

Antimuseum J.K.
Permanent Exposition of the Collection of Július Koller

Opening Hours

The museum is open every Thursday from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and operates in compliance with current hygienic measures.
For more information, go to www.sng.sk and to www.antimuzeum.sk (the website will be launched soon). The collection of Koller's high quality digitized works from Antimúzeum J.K. can be reviewed at https://www.webumenia.sk/kolekcia/211.

The exposition was created with the expert cooperation of the Slovak National Gallery. The museum is operated by the civic association Antimúzeum Júliusa Kollera.

Curatorial Concept: Alexandra Kusá a Gabriel Herczeg
Graphic Concept: Braňo Matis
Expert Guarantor: Aurel Hrabušický
Expert Cooperation: Petra Hanáková
Digital Exposition: Braňo Horňák a Juraj Starovecký
Texts: Nina Gažovičová (NG), Aurel Hrabušický (AH), Alexandra Kusá (AK)
Biography: Katarína Bajcurová
Production: Monika Krčmárik
Coordinator: Mária Bohumelová (SNG), Daniel Cveček (Antimúzeum J. K.)

Exposition Preparation: Rasťo Sedlačík a Robert Sekeráš
Architectural Supervision: Mária Michalič Kusá a Gabriel Herczeg

We would like to thank Květa Fulierová for her assistance and support.

 
 
 

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