Etching Out Dreams: Contemporary Slovak Prints by Dušan Kállay, Kamila Štanclová, and Katarína Vavrová

On view from July 27–October 23, 2016
Reception and Collection Highlights Tour: Sunday, October 9, 2016, 1:30–3 p.m. in the Elma and Milton A. Gilbert Pavilion Gallery
R.S.V.P. art@hebrewhome.org or 718-581-1596

Katarína Vavrová, Untitled (Smutenka II), 2014, hand-colored etching, 17 ¾ x 19 ¼ inches. Courtesy of KADS New York and the artist.

Derfner Judaica Museum + The Art Collection at Hebrew Home at Riverdale, in conjunction with KADS New York, is pleased to announce its latest exhibition Etching Out Dreams: Contemporary Slovak Prints by Dušan Kállay, Kamila Štanclová, and Katarína Vavrová on view in the Elma and Milton A. Gilbert Pavilion Gallery from July 27–October 23, 2016. Three contemporary award-winning Slovak artists will be featured, Dušan Kállay (b. 1948) and Kamila Štanclová (b. 1945)—both students of Slovak master Vincent Hložník (1919–1997)—and Katarína Vavrová (b. 1964), who studied with Hložník’s protégé Albín Brunovský (1935–1997). This exhibition will take place in conjunction with a separate showing of 20 linocut prints by Hložník from the Hebrew Home Art Collection, which will be on view in early September at the BBLA Gallery at Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street in Manhattan. Visit  http://www.bohemianbenevolent.org/ for further information.

The graphic arts have long played a pivotal role in the history of Slovak art, before, during and after the Communist era. Key characteristics of modern Slovak art include figuration, narrative, the influence of Surrealism and an underlying sense of fantasy alongside an incisive, subtle social critique.

Kamila Štanclová (Slovak, b. 1945), Hide Your Tears Under Your Eye Lids, 1994, color etching, 30 7/8 x 25 ¾ inches. Courtesy of KADS New York and the artist.

Kállay and Štanclová are both accomplished illustrators who have won multiple awards for book illustration, another tradition with a long, rich history in the Slovak graphic arts. Included in the exhibition are four etchings by Kállay, each rendered with meticulously fine lines and overlapping shapes that demonstrate his technical skill. Kállay often incorporates text into his prints, sometimes confusing the viewer as to which way is up and which down. The works contain an exquisite type of chaos, full of movement and shapes that suggest storylines, rather than depict a literal narrative.

Dušan Kállay (Slovak, b. 1948), Dream of John the Watchmaker, 1983, etching and drypoint, 31 ¼ x 23 ½ inches. Courtesy of KADS New York and the artist.

Štanclová utilizes patterns and figurative motifs in her prints to explore evolving compositions and meanings. Rather than the traditional process of creating a drawing in advance of preparing an etching plate, Štanclová begins by drawing directly onto the plate, continuously developing and changing the image. She considers this process to be a diary that documents her artistic progress. Her etching Dances with the Wolves (2012), demonstrates her technique of repetition, trial, and error, as she uses the repeated shape of a paperclip to fill part of the space and to create complex layers. 

Vavrová’s painterly etchings reflect her background as both a painter and printmaker. Her exquisitely delicate prints evoke a sense of quietude and human pathos, suggesting different emotional states and interpersonal relationships through the use of color and symbols. These dreamlike symbols appear in the background in the form of trees, birds, and other animals, highlighted with sparing dashes of color that contribute to the atmospheric mood of each work.

Kállay, Štanclová, and Vavrová all graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava where the graphic arts department was founded by Vincent Hložník in 1952. Known for his humanistic themes, strong imagery, and clever use of spatial relationships in his prints, he reflected on the human condition and war. Hložník left an indelible mark on the next generation of Slovak graphic artists, perhaps most notably Albín Brunovský, who succeeded Hložník at the Academy and received international acclaim for his work. 

KADS New York is a fine art print dealership with consulting practice based in New York City specializing in modern and contemporary Central and Eastern European fine art prints, offering collectors a wide range of prints created by renowned as well as emerging artists using traditional and non-traditional printmaking techniques. For more information, visit http://www.kadsny.com/ 

As a member of the American Alliance of Museums, Hebrew Home at Riverdale by RiverSpring Health is committed to publicly exhibiting its art collection throughout its 32-acre campus including the Derfner Judaica Museum and a sculpture garden overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades. The Derfner Judaica Museum + The Art Collection provide educational and cultural programming for residents of the Hebrew Home, their families and the general public from throughout New York City, its surrounding suburbs and visitors from elsewhere. Hebrew Home is a nonprofit, non-sectarian geriatric organization serving more than 12,000 elderly persons in greater New York through its resources and community service programs. Museum hours: Sunday–Thursday, 10:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Art Collection and grounds open daily, 10:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Call 718-581-1596 for holiday hours and to schedule group tours or for further information please visit our website at http://www.hebrewhome.org/art

This exhibition is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.