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At Heart

07. September 2018 - 11. November 2018

Curator: Mária Horváthová

Ján Ťapák is one of the most distinctive figures of the generation of sculptors which entered the Slovak art scene in the early 1990s. He attracted attention by his spontaneous creativity and perfect technical preparedness, as well as his unique orientation of the content of his works in which he succeeded in transferring things and matters from the ancient past to the present times, to combine hundred year old traditions and the philosophy of modern man and to include the authenticity of his own country in the timeless context of distant cultures and civilizations.
He has created numerous chamber and monumental works which will surprise by their unique dynamic composition, abundance of form and surface structure, dramatic contrasts of polished and matte surfaces, lines and the dynamics of exposed welds and joints. His charcoal drawings, which are not only study sketches for future sculptures but also unique artistic gems, frequently complemented by quotes, thoughts and notes of artist himself, are also noteworthy.
Ťapák’s art language sources from archetypal morphology which through original austere geometric stylization and later an almost Baroque abundance of forms gradually merges into smoother volumes which create a light and sometimes even subtle impression despite its obvious robustness. It is the result of thoughtful composition thanks to which the mass of firm volumes penetrates the space in daring lines, cutting through it and creating the feeling of motion, levitation and even weightlessness or flight. However, in some works this feeling is not only a manifestation of illusion, but a genuine vibration and fine trembling of individual components which seem to defy gravity and logic and hover in the air.
His figures radiate strength, stamina and determination, as well as mysticism and magical mystery. It seems that each of them hides a story which he invites the spectators to reveal. Ťapák’s fortresses, bulls, riders, warriors and monarchs, mythical figures as well as ordinary villagers are the bearers of a metaphorical message concerning the sense of human life.

Mária Horváthová

Biography

Ján Ťapák was born on December 27, 1962 in Bratislava. From 1978 to 1982 he studied woodcarving at the School of Applied Arts in Bratislava under prof. Ludwik Korkoš and Ján Šicko and from 1983 to 1989 he studied sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts under prof. Ladislav Snopek and Ján Kulich.
After completing his studies, he has been active in free sculpture, as well as drawing and painting. In 1997 he received a scholarship from the Mikuláš Galanda Foundation and in 2004 another from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. He has participated in sculpture symposiums in Slovakia, Germany and Italy and created several exterior monumental sculptures and interior implementations. He has participated in many solo and collective exhibitions and his works are represented in public and private collections at home and abroad.
He lives in Bratislava and works in his studio in Slovenský Grob.