JURAJ ČUTEK: 60 SHELVES
Juraj Čutek is one of the most important representatives of Slovak sculpture. Thanks to the variety of his themes and motifs, but especially the breadth of his expression in various art forms, his is considered to be a neo-Renaissance creator. His chamber and monumental sculptures, paintings, drawings, atypical designs of furniture and the atmosphere of his created interiors bear the mark of an individual artistic conception and the use of expressive materials which are unique within Slovak sculpture. He likes to employ a certain tension, such as the relationship between the compact mass of a wooden figure and the space surrounding it, or the smooth, masterfully worked surface of tree trunks in contrast with ready-mades and delicate polychromes. Common everyday objects become not only an intellectual interpretation of several contexts; they also give the works a new, surprising meaning and a different artistic dimension.
Juraj Čutek was born on February 28, 1957 in Žilina. From 1970 to 1976 he studied at the secondary school of applied arts in Bratislava under prof. Ľudovit Korkoš, and from 1977 to 1983 at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague under prof. Josef Malejovský. Upon his arrival in Bratislava he quickly made new visual and artistic contacts. This was aided by the birth of new artistic groups after 1989. Among others, he became a member of the legendary Geruláta Association. He has exhibited in Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Austria, the U.S.A., Israel and Monaco. Juraj Čutek was the co-founder of the artistic group Spectrum Art (in 1999), which enabled him to regularly participate in the Monaco International Fair and Monaco International Fine Art and Antiquities. He continued his pioneering artistic and visual work and exhibited at the Holland Art Fair in The Hague, while also developing important contacts with international galleries and their owners such as Galerie Eric Severine Morren in Utrecht and later with Gert Meulesteen for the Danubiana. Čutek’s regular stays in Paris at Cité Internationale des Arts aided his artistic and intellectual development and enriched his friendly relationships with artists from around the world. He also maintained his natural organizational activities, empathy and communicativeness, in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, where he was the co-organizer of several symposia, workshops and artistic meetings.
His understanding of chamber sculpture and his craftsmanship and visual and ideological work is unique in Slovakia. His work shows signs of a mixture of distant forms of the technical and constructive elements of objects by Leonardo da Vinci and alternate with the fantasy and reality of Jules Verne as modern science fiction. Furthermore, we can’t forget his indispensable work full of romantic ideas which seems to be connected to the humor of Zeman’s Barón Prášil. Čutek’s work features figures from literature, the theatre, music and history, and together with pioneers of technology and civilization they create an amazing collection of curios of the world.
The joining of classically processed wood with machines and metal objects which no longer fulfill their original functions, amaze by ideological hyperbole, metaphors and symbols, referring to the expressions of speed, motion and flight. Themes from ancient history, archetypal Centaurs, angels, antic warriors, mythological figures and creators of history are also part of his circle of motifs. Music, street musicians and musical instruments comprise another inseparable part of their interpretation. Juraj Čutek is an artist who presents today’s times which are rich in many associative bonds filled with serious philosophical mementoes, psychological twists, and human victories and losses. He can ideologically and artistically combine work marked by this rich inner life with the dreams of inventors, seafarers, generals and emperors. And thus he is able to pull us into this life.
Dagmar Kudoláni Srnenská