Home Magazine The expressive use of paint in ‘Slovakian Contemporary’

The use of paint in ‘Slovakian Contemporary’ creates a connection between very distinct cultural and artistic contexts. Based on van Gogh’s innovative technique, it presents a selection of different Slovakian artists’ extremely personal and culturally intricate works.

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From the 18th of October to the 31st of December, Gallery Art Dumay will present a collection of Slovakian Works. 

Founded in 2000, Art Dumay is located in Nuenen - The Netherlands. Surrounded by a large regional, national and international network of collectors and art lovers, it is a commercial organisation with a background in collection management, as well as restauration and selling services. 


Marek Ormandik, Courtesy of the artist.


With almost 20 years of experience, the display draws from Dutch Artist Vincent van Gogh to display artworks of great Slovakian artists – creating a connection between very different cultural and artistic contexts based on the expressive use of thick paints.

The artists included in this exquisite collection are: Dan Meluzín, Ján Kelemen, Marek Ormandík, Ján Hlavatý, Vladimír Popovič and Peter Pollág. All these artists represent the modern artistic scene of a historically and socially disputed region. Their land sees three countries meet - Slovakia, Hungary and Austria.


Peter Pollág, Muse, 2004, Courtesy of Gallery Art Dumay


Among the artistic talents on show, Slovakian Artist Peter Pollág’s paintings combine and integrate diverse cultural influences like geological layers creating a single structured whole – as beautifully explained by the Danubiana-Meulensteen Art Museum in Bratislava, on the occasion of his most important exhibition in 2008. He draws from old masters, Greek legends and Biblical motifs, interpreting them and merging them in his contemporary works.


Peter Pollág, Preteky s Pegasom - Triptych, 1994, Courtesy of Gallery Art Dumay


Dan Meluzin is another artist whose work is displayed at Gallery Art Dumay. His works are very different, drawing from the world of advertising and consumerism. This has earnt him the title of ‘Slovak successor of Pop Art’, but his paintings merge a sensual self-indulgence with ‘pop’ themes. Mixing classical, post-war abstraction and pop art, his resulting works are provocative – and even rude.


Dan Meluzin, Antika, n.d., Courtesy of Gallery Art Dumay


In their own way, these artists take the pictorial expressiveness which has always been associated with van Gogh, however, they use it to represent their unique cultural and artistic influences. 

For instance, Peter Pollág’s compositions are dominated by a dialogue of red shades and strong hues which radiate from the paintings. His expressive use of paint accentuates the impressive stand of his works. The rich layering of visual symbols and structured compositions speaks in a sophisticated manner for the traditions to which he refers. 

Dan Meluzin takes the classical lessons to reinvent them. The obsession with the medium, its material and spiritual qualities, characterising the uncompromising works. It is an re-adaptation of the traditional ‘still life’ subject of Flemish and Dutch painters, according to a ‘pop’ perspective. Bananas, strawberries, cakes and desserts with cream, lipstick and perfume are the subjects of his texturized large-size canvases.


Vladimír Popovič, Alley, 2003, Courtesy of the artist.


Art Dumay creates a dialogue between these and other artists which make great use of paint, highlighting communalities, conflicts and the typical materiality which takes from van Gogh’s footprints.

It is an enlightening open conversation between unique works which, shown side-by-side in an emotional exchange, respectfully echo the Dutch artist’s teachings contributing to his heritage.


Cover image: Vladimír Popovič, Alley, 2003, Courtesy of the artist.

Written by Zoë Rivas Zanello

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