The motifs related to Časová kapsula / Time Capsule and Padajúca kométa / Falling Comet are the main interpretations at Robert Hromec’s exhibition at the Danubiana. Thus, it is only natural that the title Padajúca kométa / Falling Comet arises from the artist’s current work, where his individual artistic expressions recording chaos versus cosmos are foremost. In these works, we can feel his search for human and artistic time-space. He finds and depicts it in unconventional techniques on aluminum plates, through the two-dimensional painting of active entries, which are engraved or milled geometric elements in the form of specific structural surfaces or spatial reliefs. In this marvelous chaos and cosmic space, lines, circles and spirals encounter parts of human figures, arms and profiles of faces which are depicted in details, blowups or multiplications of silhouettes of man.
Hromec’s current works can be boldly compared to graphic prints. Brush painting and the drawing of lines and hatching in classical artwork created on copper or zinc plates by etching, drypoint or mezzotint, are replaced by an electric power grinder on aluminum plates. The grinder engraves traces in the material and creates the relation between cold lustre, light and shadow and changes in the surface structure. Hromec meticulously processes the surface in various depths. Abstract lines engraved in aluminum and their rotations and relief effects symbolically compete with the technique of old graphic prints created by classical etching and other techniques. Thus, just as in color etching, he uses bright colors through which he accents individual components of the space, which is an optical illusion dependent not only on the aluminum shine, but on the intensity of direct and indirect sources of light.
Through these new artistic approaches to the expression of current times, Robert Hromec creates certain relations of tension, as well as a connection between human existence and space, which is crucial for contemporary life.
PhDr. Dagmar Kudoláni Srnenská, PhD.
Robert Hromec was born in Žilina in 1970. He studied fine arts at Pratt Institute in 1990-91 before enrolling at City College, New York, where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1995. In 1997 he won a scholarship for a three-month internship at the Slade School of Fine Art, London and then returned to New York where he worked as an assistant at the Department of Painting at Hunter College. He went on to receive his MFA from there in 1998. He also worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York from 1992 to 1998.