PETER UCHNÁR: ILLUSTRATIONS
Peter Uchnár expressed the basic feature of his work through this statement. He is a representative of illustration conceived of as painting. The fields of free painting and illustration overlap. They are connected through the essence of artistic adaptation. Illustration is usually based on drawing while the use of color serves rather a coloristic purpose. Uchnár does not base his artistic expression on linearism although he is an excellent drawer. He perceives color as pure painting means and works with it in such a manner. He builds the painting area as deep spaces in which figures and objects are shaped plastically, through tonal values as spatial quality. He chooses colors in indirect and mixed tones which are unified through a light haze. In principle, he avoids contrasting and sharp colors. He maintains the color tone in the function of an unreal context. This is also expressed by the concept of space. It is rather the air in which the compositions lose their weight, free of gravity they frequently levitate in a swirling motion. The bird’s eye view seems to be the peek of an alien entity. The fantasy-like character of his work indicates a connection with contemporary visual constructions of illusive sci-fi worlds.
Selections from the books Truhlica najkrajších rozprávok /Treasure Chest of the Most Beautiful Fairy Tales, 2014/ and the iconic Peter Pan /2009, 2015/ are at the center of this exhibition. Uchnár fully applied his trademark painting techniques in them - a light brush stroke, hatching, spots and color nuances. His ingenious manipulation with perspective leads to the creation of the arbitrary relation of sizes of figures and objects, impressive contrasts of blow ups and rotating compositions. His free printmaking in this exhibition is comprised of work for collections of poems by Juraj Žembera V rukavičkách z vlastnej kože /In Gloves Made of One’s Own Skin, 2013/, Rana po štepárskom noži /Wound Made by a Grafting Knife, 2016/ and the collection by Katarína Mikolášová Sonáta pre zem /Sonata for Earth, 2017/. These poems inspired him to abstract deliberations on the relationship between the microworld and the macroworld. He implemented them in the form of the innovated technology of engravings on plastic panels which resemble woodcuts.