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SNG Non-Permanent Exposition

17. January 2014 — 29. July 2018
Esterházyho palác, 1st floor, Bratislava
Curators: Dušan Buran, Katarína Kolbiarz Chmelinová

During the reconstruction of the Slovak National Gallery building in Bratislava, the temporary exposition of the SNG's historical collections (Gothic & Baroque) will provide visitors with access to the most important artefacts of the art of the 14th-18th centuries.

The intent of this permanent/non-permanent exposition is to offer an untraditional view of works of art that are frequently presented chronologically; in this case, the curators have chosen an approach that differs from linear, stylistic or art-geographical classifications.

The exhibition is divided into six sections, each of which views sculptures and paintings from the SNG collections from a different perspective. The first of them (following the impressive introductory installation of the "character heads" of Franz Xaver Messerschmidt) is entitled "psychology, expression and pain"; the second will be dedicated to a contrasting topic: "type & individual." The exposition continues with the sections entitled "space & illusion" and "light & darkness." "Body & gesture" and "life & death" are the themes of the final sections. The architectural concept of the exhibition will also allow a sufficient number of temporary interventions (contemporary art, restoration documentation, stable exhibition boxes for mini-collections, etc.).

Although the majority of the exhibited works of art are motivated by religion, which is appropriate in terms of the period and profile of the collection, neither their iconography (relatively stereotypical) nor issues of dating and style will be the main message. On the contrary, issues concerning function, artistic intent and experimentation will be the subject of much greater attention in each of the sections.

The conceptual vision of the curators was given the same weight as was the artistic-architectonic vision of the non-permanent exhibition during its preparation. Its experimental but at the same time visually attractive look is a contribution to the current international debate about the nature and function of permanent exhibitions. The results of this "laboratory test" can also serve for the conceptions of the future presentation of the collections of the National Gallery after the reconstruction.

In connection with the exhibition, the 80-page exhibition guide was published, featuring colour reproductions of most of the exhibited works accompanied by narrative texts explaining the intentions of the individual sections illustrated by specific works.

Architects: Igor Marko, Martin Jančok, Aleš Šedivec


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