The Ján Koniarek Gallery in Trnava is a specialized legal entity, which, based on a survey and scientific research, applies scientific methods for evaluation and professional administration of art collections – works of art from all visual art fields of both local and foreign origin. The Gallery makes these collections accessible to the public and uses them in public interest.
Subject of Activity
The Ján Koniarek Gallery in Trnava is a regional gallery providing a comprehensive gallery documentation in the territory of the Trnava Self-Governing Region.
1. It professionally processes, scientifically evaluates, protects and in different presentation forms makes accessible the collection items devoted to evolution of nature and society in accordance with the Galery´s professional orientation and specialization.
2. It provides for professional registration, protection, care, preservation and restoration of collections, it makes the accompanying documentation and participates in forming the central register of the gallery collection items.
3. It provides for a special storage of collection items, ensures their protection when relocated, disclosed or utilized.
4. It categorizes and inspects the collection items.
5. Through publications and editorial activities the Gallery presents results of its collecting and professional activities at permanent expositions, exhibitions in Slovakia and abroad.
6. It accommodates exhibitions and displays exhibits of other legal entities or natural persons.
7. It realizes cultural and educational events as well as scientific and research activities in connection with utilization and disclosure of collection items.
8. It provides information services and professional consulting services in accordance with its mission and focus.
9. The Gallery participates in the tasks relating to enhancement of the region´s cultural and social life and in line with its mission it cooperates with other cultural institutions.
10. Within its professional specialization the Gallery focuses its collecting activities and research tasks on documentation and presentation of the Slovak fine art of the 20th and 21st centuries with particular regard to the creation of artists coming from the Trnava region or to those who worked in the region. Research tasks and replenishment of collections are focused on the personality and work of the sculptor Ján Koniarek. The Gallery organizes and provides the international poster competition – the Trnava Poster Triennial.
In the early years of its existence, the core of the gallery’s collection comprised artworks from the District Museum with the seat in Hlohovec (316 works). Until 1990, the acquisition activities reflected official cultural policy, after the change of the regime, the gallery focused on post-war and contemporary Slovak art (it is important to mention the gift from the Soros Centre of Contemporary Art in Bratislava – a prizewon object by Roman Ondák under the title the Fate of Modern Art created in 1993), however, the gallery struggled with a lack of resources. There are four main motifs in the gallery’s collections which, at the same time, were used at the jubilee exhibition that was organised on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the opening of the gallery: 1. Fragments of the Past – religious artworks, works of the 18th and 19th centuries and works depicting Trnava (J. Zanussi, S. Havrlík, J. Dóka, E. Ambrušová), 2. Slovak Jewels – especially those that originated between the two wars, a leading personality of this period was J. Koniarek (M. A. Bazovský, M. Benka, C. Majerník, F. Štefunko, J. Alexy, E. Špiz, V. Hložník, etc.), 3. Celebrated Construction …. – official works of the socialist period (E. Venkov, J. Balogh, L. Čech, J. Oravský), 4. Diffusion of the Present – personalities of the national or regional art scenes after 1960 (A. Klimo, R. Sikora, J. Filo, Ľ. Hološka, Š. Belohradský, B. Baláž, M. Balážová, L. Čarný, M. Balgavý, P. Kalmus, etc.) and representatives of the younger generation of visual artists (I. Németh, E. Vargová, P. Pecha, J.
Dudáš). The collection of the gallery comprises 4, 355 works (31 December 2007), while a dominant role is played by drawings (3, 258 works) and paintings (471 works). An important part of the collections are also sculptures by Ján Koniarek, the founder of the modern Slovak sculpture. The collection includes 76 works by the sculptor (66 sculptures, 9 drawings, and 1 medal).
Two new permanent exhibitions are presented in the new wing of Koppel Villa (Zelený kríček 3): The Treasure of Slovakia - Classic Slovak Art of 20th century and Ján Koniarek – the founder of the Slovak Modern Sculpture (conception of both of them: Vladimír Beskid). Treasure of Slovakia is focused on the gallery “golden pieces” with key personalities of the Slovak art scene of the previous century (J. Alexy, M.A. Bazovský, M. Benka, C. Majerník, E. Gwerk, T. Tekel, M. Paštéka, V. Hložník etc.). The exposition of Ján Koniarek (1878 Voderady – 1952 Trnava) presents the retrospective life work of the author. Named after the sculptor Ján Koniarek, the gallery puts an emphasis on acquiring, preserving and presenting his works. The collection includes 76 works by the sculptor (66 sculptures, 9 drawings, and 1 medal). Many of the permanent exhibits are actually plaster models from gallery’s collections or collections of the Slovak National Gallery cast in bronze. Noteworthy are especially 10 bronze sculptures that were cast in past two years (2004 – 2005 with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic). The Permanent Exhibition of Judaic Objects – Synagogue – the Centre of Contemporary Art, Halenárska Street 2: exhibits displayed on the upper gallery are artefacts of the Jewish culture in Slovakia from collections of the Museum of the Jewish Culture belonging to the Slovak National Museum in Bratislava.
Koppel Villa initial aim was to present especially solo exhibitions of significant Slovak artists taking into account their regional background (B. Baláž, 1992, 2003; R. Fila 1992; Š. Belohradský 1994, 2004; Ľ. Hološka 1998; R. Sikora 2001; A. Klimo – T. Klimová 2003; M. Balážová 1996, 2004, etc.) as well as to organize challenging international events to be shown in Slovakia and abroad (Interactions 1996, Two Triangles 2000, The New End of Painting 2002, Check Slovakia! 2004). The gallery was also interested in mapping developments and tendencies in the contemporary picture and new media (Multiplace international festival started in 2000), Lighthouse 2002, Disturbed Image 2004, BezOBRAZie / Media S-cream 2005, Boundary Fields 2006, Strange Figure 2008). Since 2005, the sculptures in the permanent exhibition of Ján Koniarek’s works have been confronted with contemporary works (IN-FORMATION 2005, Space-Time Sculptures 2005, The World of Museum – The World of Art 2006). Thus was created a unique space for presentation of shifts taking place in the sculptural language of the last 50 years. The Synagogue – Centre of Contemporary Art was focused initially on site-specific installations and projects that reflected especially the “memory” and genius loci of the space. When speaking of the Synagogue, worth mentioning are exhibition series curated by Jana Geržová: The Art of Aura (1995 – 1996), The Memory of Space (1997 – 1998) and Allocation of Space (1999 – 2000). Within the series, several unique installations by Slovak artists were realised, e.g. that of I. Németh in 1996, D. Tóth in 1997, Ľ. Stacho in 1997, P. Rónai in 1997, P. Meluzin in 2000. Later on, a different approach was adopted, moving away from monumental realisations to neutralise the sacral aura of the exhibition space. This approach resulted in the following group exhibitions: The Bride 2003, Nybüvitt – Furniture in Contemporary Art 2003, Challenge 2004, Fremdkörper 2005, Video reflex 2008. In recent years, the gallery also presented several acknowledged artists from abroad in the Synagogue (Anna and Patrick Poirier 1998, Zuzana Janin 1999, Franz Pomasl 2002, Bill Seaman 2004, Dan Hanzlík and Pavel Mrkus 2005, Katarzyna Kozyra 2007). In addition, the gallery often cooperates with foreign institutions and cultural centres. Let us mention e.g. the gallery is a member of the network of 7 Art Centres of Europe, which resulted in realisation of a three year collaborative project Re: Location 1-7 Shake (2002 – 2004).
Other interesting exhibition projects that were realised in cooperation with the French Institute in Bratislava under the title IN-FORMATION or Collections sans Frontiéres 2005 presented top artists from abroad as well as another exhibition worth mentioning called Supernova – Contemporary British Art 2006. The latter one was realised with the support of the British Council in Bratislava and presented works by 13 British artists who raised the issue of redefining Modernism. A completely different chapter in gallery activities is the Trnava Poster Triennial (launched in 1991). Since 1994, the Triennial has been an international event held under the auspices of ICOGRADA known for awarding the winner the prestigious Andy Warhol Grand Prix. The Triennial is the greatest presentation of works in graphic design in Slovakia and it is ranked among significant events of this kind all over the world. The 6th year of the TPT in 2006 was attended by 397 graphic designers from 32 countries with almost 750 posters.
Cultural and educational activities:
The gallery team and animators regularly prepare great numbers of cultural activities and projects (visits, lectures, concerts, alternative film club, creative workshop for school-aged children etc.). In the course of a year it concentrates its activities on several events (Multiplace – the Festival of New Media, Night in the Museum, the Central European Art Festival, and The Children´s Day). Realizing its own educational activities, the gallery cooperates closely with the
Department of Fine Arts Education at the University of Trnava.
Tajti Eszter and Szentiváni János
4 June 2013, 6:00 p.m.