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

Svetozár Mydlo | Galéria mesta Bratislavy | Allowance organisation of the City of Bratislava, capital of the Slovak Republic


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The City Gallery of Bratislava  celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2011.


Svetozár Mydlo

Pálffy Palace (show Contact)
21. 4. 2020 - 30. 8. 2020
Curator: Vladimír Kordoš, Marián Meško


Now and then, one can overhear a relic of the obsolete division into individual specialities in the art community: he is a painter, a graphic artist, illustrator, sculptor, stamp designer, coin engraver, landscape painter, portraitist, figural painter, etc. While in the case of some artists it can be quite useful, Svetozár Mydlo resisted the pigeon-holes his entire life: spontaneously, animally, and vividly. He believed the potentialities of no genre, category or form had been fully exploited, and so they can be restored again. Similarly, nothing was too established or too canonized to avoid the irony or a good stir...

Although the exhibition only focuses on a particular area of Svetozár Mydlo ́s body of work, his variability come through all its manifestations: the sculptor Mydlo always contains a painter, figural painter, designer, architect, the painter Mydlo encompasses a sculptor, monumental artist, illustrator...

Nonetheless, the convention prevents us from referring to Svetozár Mydlo as a sculptor and to the displayed objects as sculptures. Let ́s stop, quietly and with a proud humbleness, before the gates of official and authoritative institutions. After all, our dear friend has never forced his way to them. If we cannot resist the need to name, categorise or taking an inventory, we can refer to the exhibits as to subjects. Then, the subject can be a random object appropriated, transformed, individualised by the artist, who can cancel its function, parody its usefulness, cheerfully play with its hidden qualities, and perceive it as an experience.

The professionals and the general public are familiar with the diagnosis of restless legs syndrome that has been thoroughly described. Svetozár Mydlo, however, was endowed with the syndrome of restless eyes. This means he was unable to see the world in a conventional, disciplined, stereotyped and agreed manner. His perception was completely different. He lived to create, re-create and even dub. He was making art all the time, wherever he was. Creating in a permanent move, even when walking, he often stopped to throw himself into new visual adventures. He was collecting items, things, artefacts, objects, or simply junk and useless things, which he employed in his works. If he could not take them home, at least he took their photographs. With passionate thirst he fell upon things and objects, pulling them out from wardrobes and chests, cellars and attics, stores and pantries. The industrial products inspired him with their innovation, the antiques with their ability to withstand the time. Mydlo was turning duplicates into unique objects, the replicas into originals. To him, nothing was too ordinary or trivial to be employed in painting, sculpture, and object. The inventory of his objects includes clothes pegs, braces, hangers, old jeans, stationary, torches and flat caps, upholstered door, or a fence. Throwing aside the conventional terminology of art history, we could call them 3D works, with three Ds standing for adventure (dobrodružstvo), dynamics (dynamika), and making up (dotváranie).

From the very beginning, the work of Svetozár Mydlo was very unique. Unaffected by the latest trends and styles, he never noticed that he became one of those vitalising streams bringing fresh air to the art practice in Slovakia.

As the big gestures were foreign to his nature, it is up to us, the heirs of his creativity, and his friends who are missing him so much, to point out this

Daniel Hevier




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Pálffy Palace / Exhibition
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