PAŠTÉKA | UHER -- Messages

Dominika Sládková
Michal Uher

The double exhibition of two exceptional figures of Slovak art of the second half of the 20th century, the painter Milan Paštéka (1931 – 1998) and the sculptor Rudolf Uher (1913 – 1987) presented two art concepts, in many respects contrasting and complementing each other. Paštéka’s paintings from the last period reached beyond material existence and Uher’s sculptures balanced them with their rudimentary materiality. The works from Paštéka’s final period capture the essence of his painting. He regarded art as a means of touching something that transcends us. This transcendence reverberated in the collection of exhibited paintings. The pictures “dematerialised” from everything, even from colour, were fascinating. The range of whites and greys, limpid, smoke-coloured, dissolving on canvas in almost untouchable breeze, suggested Paštéka’s “transcendence” as a painter and person. Uher’s sculptures on view created in the 1960s were made out of wood, welded iron and brass. In this period his art concept
transformed from figurative archetypes to primary geometric forms. He conceived sculptures as basic tectonic formations, exploiting the compositional principle with the prevalence of vertical and horizontal lines. His sculptures concentrate the energy of the earth, the concepts of origin and destruction, ex ploring the relationship between matter and space. Uher regarded sculpture as a “prayer with hands”.