Jan Koniarek Gallery in Trnava


Stála expozícia / fotografia and maľba

Portrait Gallery

27.01.2021 09:00 – 31.12.2021 00:00
Koppelova vila –>

Survey of portrait genre from 18th to 21st century from the GJK Trnava collection fund.

Primal concept of the exposition was cancelled on August 16, 2015 and after that (January 2016 – June 2018) inexpertly reinstalled by ex-director of the gallery, akad. arch. Róbert Němeček.

Since September 13, 2018 was accessed primal concept of the exhibition (curated by PhDr. Vladimír Beskid) again.
Permanent exhibition is located at the entrance staircase of Kopplova vila and emphasize its unique representativeness on wooden facing.

The exposition offers an educational survey of the portrait genre development from mid 18thd century to early 21st century, one of classical genres of the European picture culture. At the same time it briefly and convincingly shows a significant shift in the art language during the past centuries; it shows specific image of not only those portrayed, but also the period they were created in (the way the model sits, period costumes, position of power, symbols and attributes, painter´s handwriting, way of framing etc.). Fourteen art pieces thus present a collection of the top quality portraits from the Trnava Gallery collection fund (with the only borrowing from the Nitra Gallery in Nitra). Another exposition´s layer focuses mainly at authors who came from or were performing in Trnava region (Jozef Zanussi, Jozef Balogh, Štefan Polkoráb, Jozef Šturdík, Jozef Trepáč, Peter Rónai).

From a representation portrait accentuating the social status and wealth the exposition shifts towards to presentation portraits focusing at formula, loose handwriting and psychological load. A peculiar entrance to gallery provides a grandiose baroque portrait of the Emperor Joseph II (1785) with potentate attributes, by the Trnava citizen and artist Jozef Zanussi (1738 – 1918). Arrival of photography in mid 19th century briskly changed portrait´s shape and position in the creative world. That is why the last art work in the arrangement is not a painter´s portrait, but a digital printing with a video moving picture and morphing software. Collection is symbolically concluded by a manipulated self-portrait of Peter Rónai (1953) from the series Mixed Memory (2007) with built-in video in the front and AutoReverse (1996) morphing pictures showing himself throughout decades.

Vladimír Beskid