Vanuit oud heimwee naar nieuwe herinneringen: Vladimír Kompánek

Vladimír Kompánek, Walking with Turoň, 1976-77, Stredoslovenská Galéria (SGB), Banská Bystrica, Slovakia. Webumenia.Sk.

Hij wordt wel eens de slovaakse ‘Kandinsky’ genoemd, de Slovaakse beeldhouwer en schilder Vladimir Kompánek (1927-2011) Anderen verwijzen naar ‘Miro-like mysterious of forms’, deze protagonist van de legendarische Galanda groep. Bij een retropesctieve in 2017 schreef curator Mária Horváthová:

Vladimír Kompánek, an eternal rebel, but also a passionate pioneer of new schools, drew from current streams of European art, but also reached all the way to the ultimate essence of domestic culture in order to create his own sculptural language and program which combined national identity and European universality in a unique symbiosis.
Vladimír Kompánek, Winter, 1927, private collection. Soga.

Het vroege werk, schrijft Mária Horváthová, was sterk verbonden met het idee ‘geboorteland en volkstradities. Hij probeerde de kern ervan uit te drukken in de reductie van vormen, richting pure geometrische tekens, bevrijd van details en die daardoor een bijna metaforische betekenis kregen.

Symbol and sign, frequently brought to the limit of universal archetype has a sovereign place in his morphology. His two dimensional and three dimensional work always revealed new meanings and metaphors. His sculptures – female figures, bell towers, field signs, Penates, columns and portals became true and timeless symbols of country and nature. Although we can find sculptures made of plaster, metal and bronze in his oeuvre, wood in its robust and most noble forms was always his dominant material. The emotional effect of wood was frequently emphasized by color which became equal in relation to matter and shape. At the beginning only its hints and decent traces on wooden Penates, later markedly painted figures and then series of colorful toys – that was perhaps the path which eventually brought Kompánek to painting and to which he definitively surrendered in the 1980s.
Vladimír Kompánek, The Violinist, 1972, Považská Galéria Umenia (PGU), Žilina, Slovakia.

In de mooie bijlage van ‘Daily Art’ schrijft Caroline Mokrohajská:

From 1960 he lived alternately in Rajec and in  Bratislava, where he created a new studio. After a while, he remained  living and creating in Bratislava. In 1972, at the time of the  so-called normalization, his membership in the Union of Slovak Fine  Artists was not renewed, which meant a “silent” ban on public  exhibitions, reproduction and the purchase of his works in public  galleries. However, this ban has never been strictly enforced.
 In  1993, together with his friends, he founded the Association of Slovak  Artists, whose honorary chairman he was until his death. He also  significantly participated in the founding of the Mikuláš Galanda  Foundation (1995 – 1997), as well as in the founding of the Studio of  Slovak Artists at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris.
Vladimír Kompánek, Kids on the snow, 1966, Slovak National Gallery (SNG), Bratislava, Slovakia.
Vladimír Kompánek, Winter theme, 1964-68, Stredoslovenská galéria (SGB), Banská Bystrica, Slovakia.
In his paintings, he brought a new sensitivity to Slovak art, a Miró-like mysteriousness of forms and a return to a wide range of forgotten themes and legacies. Enchanted by the possibilities of color, he painted grandiose landscapes, sign compositions, figural motifs, magical abductions and carnival scenes. He was a painter/sculptor who projected his spatial symbols in lines and shapes. Individual sculptures were replaced in his paintings by compositions of signs, while famous attributes of the country and personalized figures became the bearers of multiple-meaning metaphors and plots.(Mária Horváthová)
Winter Time
Vladimír Kompánek, People with sledge, 1995, private collection. Soga.

In ‘Daily artmagazine’ (onderaan verwijzing) krijgen de ‘black paintings’ een aparte vermelding:

Some of his paintings show us the landscape in daylight, others mostly those during the 1980s merge in darkness illuminated only by the moonlight. They are mostly showing a bicolor background made of two opposite colors such as black for the night sky and white for the snow, and they are depicting figures, animals, trees, sleigh, or various working tools typical of the region.(Caroline Mokrohajská)
Vladimír Kompánek, The Red horse, 1983, private collection. Soga.
Hoeve in de nacht
Vladimír Kompánek, Figures, 1982, Galéria umenia Ernesta Zmetáka (GNZ), Nové Zámky, Slovakia.
In terms of content, the artist’s original inspiration for his sculptures and paintings is identifiable. It resonates in his entire oeuvre and is related to the archaic ultimate origin of country and nation. It is a return to the world of memories, a childhood spent in the arms of nature, where simple, everyday experiences overlapped with mysterious carnival rituals and ancient myths reaching back to pagan times. It is the artist’s most inner world which opens up in front of us through his sculptures and paintings as a magical empire in which we again and again realize our own roots. (Mária Horváthová)
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Beelden uit retro 2017

Biografie (2017):

Vladimír Kompánek was born on October 28, 1927 in Rajec. He was one of the first graduates of the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava (1949 – 1954, prof. J. Kostka). With his friends, he founded the Mikuláš Galanda Group in 1957 in Martin and found his initial success in sculpture. In 1964 and 1966 he represented Slovakia at the Venice Art Biennale and later at EXPO ´67 in Montreal and EXPO ´70 in Osaka. In 1965 he won the Cyprián Majerník Award, in 1967 the prestigious Gottfried Herder Prize in Vienna and the State Prize in 1968.
 In 1968 Vladimír Kompánek was actively involved in social events and was later expelled from the Slovak Fine Artists Union for “ideological reasons.” During this period, he began to draw, create small sculptures and paint.

In 1987, Kompánek became one of the main initiators of the revivalist stream. He signed the declaration entitled Niekoľko viet (Several Sentences, 1988) and other protest declarations. In 1993, he and his friends founded Spolok výtvarníkov Slovenska (Society of Visual Artists of Slovakia), where he served as its chair and distinctively participated in the founding of Ateliér slovenských umelcov (Slovak Artists Studio) at Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris. He also exhibited at numerous solo and collective exhibitions at home and abroad. For his noteworthy artistic merits, he was awarded the Martin Benka Prize in 2002, the M. A. Bazovský Prize in 2003, the Crystal Wing Award in 2007 and in 2008 the Tatra Banka Foundation Award. Vladimír Kompánek died in Bratislava on January 20, 2011.

De terugkeer naar oude symbolen zou je ook als een vlucht kunnen interpreteren. In ‘bruisende’ tijden verlang je naar essenties die bijvoorbeeld in een ‘eenvoudig leven uit ‘vroegere tijden’ zouden schuilen, om daarna te ontdekken dat het zogenaamde ‘eenvoudige’ niet zo idyllisch was als je dat in je dromen en verlangens had voorgesteld. Maar de verbinding met het verleden kun je ook niet ontkennen. Wij komen niet uit de lucht gevallen. Eens je in je gedachten terugkeert naar je kindertijd voel je je verbonden met plaatsen en mensen uit een andere tijd. Naarmate je ouder wordt, wordt die verbinding wellicht inniger. Wij leven in een tijd waarin terugkeren en vooruitlopen als een onmogelijke combinatie wordt ervaren. Misschien dat kunstenaars ons mogelijke wegen kunnen aanduiden waarin traditie en vernieuwing geen tegenstellingen zijn. Het is mijn innige wens op deze laatste dag van 2020 die combinatie in het dagelijks bestaan te mogen zoeken en uit te proberen. In de stilte. Blijf welkom op dit blog waarin die pogingen worden weerspiegeld. Een gelukkig nieuw jaar gewenst.


Vladimír Kompánek, Fašiangy (Carnival), 1975, private collection. Soga.