Cyprián Majerník is associated with the Prague branch of the Generation 1909. His work is a poignant metaphorical image of the tragic period of the 1930s and 1940s (economic crisis, Second World War, exile, etc.) and also reflects his difficult personal situation and poor health. The painter presented a dramatic though not pathetic picture, and perhaps under the influence of Košice Modernism developed a critical social and expressive line of Slovak modern art. Although Majerník’s paintings show various influences (Chagall, Matisse, Goya, Daumier), he transformed them into his own narratives and scenes. His initial ironic ethnographic scenes (Wedding Procession, 1935; Bride, 1936) alternate with frequent motifs drawn from circus, theatres or cafes (Pierrot, 1936; Music Clown, 1940; Audience, 1943) and eventually present his emblematic figure of Don Quixote – a Daumier-like tragicomic, emaciated knight on a skinny and clumsy horse (1937 – 1943). Majerník adopted the most radical stance in his “endless death marches” – refugees, riders, patrols, exiles and captives (Spanish Motif, 1937; Immigrants, 1943; Refugees (Deportation) 1945).
Cyprián Majerník (24. november 1909, Veľké Kostoľany – 4. júl 1945, Prague) lived and worked in Prague. After studies in Košice and at the private school of Gustáv Mallý in Bratislava, he pursued his studies at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts (1926 – 1931). He is associated with the Generation 1909, and was a member of the Forum of Artists in Prague; in 1931 – 1932 he made a study trip to Paris. In July 1945 he comitted suicide in depression by jumping out of the window of his studio (since 2007 the house in Nad Královskou oborou Street no 5, Prague 7 – Bubenč features a memorial plaque with his bust). His two versions of Don Quixote paintings were used on postage stamps (1967, 2009). Awards : 1991 – Order of T. G. Masaryk in memoriam; 1947 – State Prize in memoriam, 1942 – annual prize of the Forum of Artists. In 1946, the first exhibition of his complete work took place in the Myslbek Pavilion in Prague. In 1957, a youth gallery called the Gallery of Gyprián Majerník (1957 – 2000) was established in Bratislava, later reopened between 2008 and 2016. Since 2007 the Ján Koniarek Gallery in Trnava has awarded the CYPRIÁN Prize in honor of the artist as part of the international event SCOOTER. Collections : NG Prague, MU Olomouc, MG Brno, GVUO Ostrava, SNG Bratislava, GMB Bratislava, GJK Trnava and others.
KISS-SZEMAN, Zsófia : Cyprián Majerník. Bratislava: GMB, 2009, pp. 196, ISBN: 978-80-8934-015-6;
MOJŽIŠ, Juraj : Incredible Encounters of Cyprián Majerník and Other Texts / Neslýchané stretnutia Cypriána Majerníka a iné texty. Bratislava: Fotofo, 2003, pp. 200;
ABELOVSKÝ, Ján – BAJCUROVÁ, Katarína : Výtvarná moderna Slovenska – maliarstvo a sochárstvo 1890 – 1949. Bratislava: Slovart, 1997, pp. 670, ISBN: 80-7145-188-6;
ABELOVSKÝ, Ján – BAJCUROVÁ, Katarína : Art in Changing Times. Painting and Sculpture in Slovakia 1890 – 1949. Bratislava: Slovart, 2000, pp. 383, ISBN: 80-7145-412-5;
PETERAJOVÁ, Ľudmila : Cyprián Majerník. Bratislava: Tatran, 1981, pp. 224;
ZMETÁKOVÁ, Danica : Cyprián Majerník – Selection from Lifelong Work / Výber z celoživotného diela. Bratislava: Tatran for SNG, exhibition catalogue, 1980, unpaged;
VACULÍK, Karol : Cyprián Majerník. Bratislava: SVKL, 1957, pp. 24, reference X-5720350;
ŠOUREK, Karel : Cyprián Majerník. Prague : Forum of Artists / Umelecká beseda, 1946, pp. 36