Bratislava City Gallery ­– Allowance organisation of the City of Bratislava, capital of the Slovak Republic

MICHAL KERN: Identification | Galéria mesta Bratislavy | Allowance organisation of the City of Bratislava, capital of the Slovak Republic


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The Scholarship of Radislav Matuštík has been established in 2004.


MICHAL KERN: Identification

Pálffy Palace (show Contact)
1. 12. 2011 - 22. 1. 2012
Curator: Daniela Čarná

Michal Kern (1938 – 1994) is a solitary representative of the Slovak unofficial art scene. As one of the few artists he embedded his work, influenced by conceptual art and action art, in nature. Instead of depicting nature on the canvas, he realized his actions directly in the countryside. He pointed out natural events in their unnoticed, seemingly ordinary everydayness into which he brought a trace of his presence, recorded through the medium of photography. Despite, or perhaps because of, the fact that he lived in seclusion, in the village of Močiare near Liptovský Mikuláš, he added to art scene a view of a man unhampered by the hustle and bustle of urban life, and yet well informed and with a broad scope of knowledge. He decided to live out of the city and make the best of the environment of his garden and alpine country that surrounded him since his childhood.

Michal Kern entered the unofficial art scene in the late 1960s and took active part in its activities until the early 1990s, when his work was untimely terminated by a severe injury. Yet, his oeuvre can be considered rarely compact. It is characterised by solving strictly defined problems in the framework of which the artist manages to reach intense concentration and get to the heart of the matter. In addition to ethical and ecological issues with which he dealt in relation to the local and global threats to the environment, he also focused on the restoration of our relationship with nature. Through his work he searched for the possibility to leave a message, ephemeral trace which “would have been accepted by nature”.

The artist´s specific poetics is illustrated by selected works from the artist´s estate as well as from gallery and private collections. Apart from photographs of actions, often combined with artist´s texts, the exhibition also presents a lesser-known aspect of his work: drawings, studies and diaries in which he kept records of his ideas and actions. 

Daniela Čarná

Publications for this exhibition

Author: Daniela Čarná
Number of pages: 216
New price: 15 eur


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