Blažej Baláž

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Blažej Baláž
Born (1958-10-29) October 29, 1958 (age 55)
Nevoľné, Slovakia
Nationality Slovak
Education Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava
Known for Painting, Drawing, Printmaking, Sculpture, Performance & Event
Movement Neo-conceptual art, Postminimalism, Post-Geo and Post Radical Painting

Blažej Baláž (born October 29, 1958, in Nevoľné, Slovakia, former Czechoslovakia) is a contemporary Slovak artist. His practise as an artist is usually associated with Neo-conceptualism, Postminimalism, Post-Geo and Post Radical Painting. After 1988 he began working with text as art, neo-conceptual and post-conceptual texts (intext, outtext).

Life and work[edit]

Baláž studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Bratislava and his Magister of Fine Arts degree received in 1983. Baláž has been the Head of Department of Fine Arts Education at the University of Trnava since 1999. He was a founder member of the artists group East of Eden (1998). Since 1979, he has been married to the artist Maria Balazova. He lives and works in Trnava.

He has shown work internationally in exhibitions including the Drawing 1990, Provo, USA (1990), Vth International Drawing Triennale, Wrocław (1992), 12th International Biennale of Small Sculpture, Murska Sobota (1995), International Biennale of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana (1989, 1995, 1999), Object / Object. Prague, Czech Museum of Fine Arts (2001), Intertext / From the conceptual to postconceptual text,[1] Ján Koniarek Gallery, Trnava (2009)[3], Formats of Transformation 89 – 09 / Seven views on the new Czech and Slovak identity, House of Art, Brno (2009).

Solo exhibitions (retrospective): Geld macht Kunst, Ján Koniarek Gallery, Trnava (2003) [4], Blažej Baláž Texts 1988/2007, The East Slovak Gallery, Košice (2007), Museum of Fine Arts, Žilina (2007), SUCHARATOLEST House of Art, Bratislava (2009), WARTEZEIT, Slowakisches Institut Wien (2009), Post-Geo-Text (with Mária Balážová), Slowakisches Institut Berlin (2011).

His works are held in the public collections of Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava, National Gallery in Prague (CZ), Muzeum Archidiecezjalne, Katowice (PL), Fries Museum, Leeuwarden (NL), Jan Koniarek Gallery, Trnava [5], East Slovakian Gallery Košice, City Gallery [6], Bratislava, Central Slovakian Gallery, Banská Bystrica [7].

Cycle Treptomachia[edit]

Baláž’s works brings the new possibilities at the field of post-conceptual and neo-conceptual text. The exhibition is divided in three segments, all of them are connected by the specific and authentic search of the possibilities in the conceptual Macaronic language. The first is created from the neo-conceptual horizontal/vertical texts, a part of Treptomachia, (WARTEZEIT, 2006, WARTERAUM, 2006 and How to domesticate the English language, 2006). The internal orientation of artworks, the search of art itself, the search of language and text brings the cracking of syntactic/semantic wholeness of graphems. The metatexts of initial prototext are distinguished by the colors (oil on canvas, 300 x 200 cm). In this regard Baláž's eff ort culminates by the diptych TREPTOMACHIA.EN-A / How to domesticate the English language and TREPTOMACHIA.DE-B / How to domesticate the German language (2006). Both are depicted on big-size canvas, within which the only dominating word with partial messages is replaced with newly defined optical language with tens of words. The colour decomposition of the grapheme creates a symptomatic background for language overlapping and the contamination, which creates the supreme moment of the author's Babylonian crossroads.[2] Another, the second segment, black and white acryl-paintings enriches the former one, the artworks are created on principle of the structuralist analysis of text. It is a variant, which is called and named by author and curator the intext. By the segmentation of text the author discovers several lexis. These have a different lexical origin, five West-European, five East-European, and „dead“ language of Medieval Esperanto – Latin. Despite the cold artificiality of works, this segment has also the hidden sociocritical context, which is oscillated between phenomenons West and East, art and politics.[3] The third segment is the most open and subjective. These horizontal texts are named by its author as the simultaneous texts. It is a different alternative in the post-conceptual Makaronian text, the melange is created by harmony of the initial and derivative text. Its ironic and attacking character replaces a cold aspect of the first two segments. Vajanský’s Suchá ratolesť (an ironic parallel of failing elits) is floundered by streams, the subject is named by the author as east rat in the age of 20-years of wandering a la democrazy, with a more complicated ambivalent reading. The fragility of ground – paper [four artworks, width 10 m] raises the openness of statement, ODRBMADEMOKRATICKY, 2008 [screw me over democratically], is predominative.

Selected solo exhibitions[edit]

  • Blažej Baláž / Painting, drawing, installations, Central Slovakian Gallery, Banská Bystrica, 1 July - 16 August 1992 (catalogue)
  • Postscriptum II, City Gallery of Bratislava, Bratislava, 16 December 1993 – 30 January 1994
  • Gutten Tag, Frau Koppl, Jan Koniarek Gallery, Trnava, 18 February – 23 March 1997
  • Geld macht frei, Vojtech Löffler Museum, Košice, 15 November – 30 December 2000 (catalogue)
  • Mária and Blažej Baláž : The Discreet Charm of the Painting , House of Art, Česke Budějovice, 27 March – 21 April 2002
  • Geld macht Kunst, Jan Koniarek Gallery, Trnava, 12 June – 18 August 2003
  • Texts 1988 / 2007, The East-Slovakian Gallery, Košice, 21 June – 23 July 2007 (catalogue);
  • Texts 1988 / 2007, Museum of Fine Arts, Žilina, 13 September – 14 October 2007 (catalogue);
  • SUCHARATOLEST, House of Art, Bratislava, 13 May – 8 June 2009
  • WARTERAUM , Slowakisches Institut, Vienna, 27 May – 22 June 2009 (catalogue);
  • Conceptual texts, Liptov Gallery of P. M. Bohúň, Liptovský Mikuláš, 10 February – 9 April 2011
  • Mária Balážová-Blažej Baláž : Post-Geo-Text, Slowakisches Institut, Berlin, 14 April – 30 May 2011
  • EINEMU, Nitra Gallery, Nitra, 31 May – 22 July 2012 [8]
  • Travesties, Turiec Gallery, Martin, 18 July – 15 September 2013

Selected group exhibitions[edit]

  • Art Basel 19´88, Basel, Switzerland, 1988
  • 18th International Print Biennale, Moderna galerija, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 1989
  • Ľ Europe des Graveurs, Grenoble, Bibliothèque Municipale, France, 1989
  • Drawing 1990, Provo, Utah, USA, 1990
  • 9.Internationale Grafik Triennale, Frechen, Kunstferein zu Frechen, Germany, 1990
  • Vth International Drawing Triennale, Wroclaw, Poland, 1992
  • 12th International Biennale of Small Sculpture, Murska Sobota, Slovenia, 1995
  • Seitenwechsel, Heidelberg, Heidelberger Schlos, Germany, 1995
  • Picturale, Est, Strasbourg, France, 1997
  • Object / Object. Metamorphoses in Time, The Czech Museum of Fine Arts, Prague, Czech Republic, 2001
  • The Art of Action, 1989-2000, Poprad, Tatra Gallery, Nitra, Nitra Gallery, 2001
  • New End of Painting, Trnava, Jan Koniarek Gallery, 2002
  • Contemporary Slovak Painting 2000-2005, City Gallery of Prague, Prague, Czech Republic, 2005
  • Slovak Graphic Art of the 20th Century, City Gallery, Bratislava, Slovakia, 2007
  • Intertext / From conceptual to postconceptual text, Jan Koniarek Gallery, Trnava, Slovakia, 2009
  • Formate der Transformation 89-09, MUSA - Museum auf Abruf, Vienna, Austria, 2010
  • After Hours : Phase 2 / Artists from Slovakia, Santa Ana, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, USA, 2010
  • 1st International Biennial of Drawing , Municipal Muzeum, Györ, Hungary, 2011
  • Daisies and Clones, Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava, Slovakia, 2011
  • ObraSKov, Wannieck Gallery, Brno, Czech Republic, 2011
  • 5th International Drawing Competition Wroclaw 2012, Muzeum Architektury, Wroclaw, Poland, 2012
  • Blood, Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava, Slovakia, 2012
  • IX. International Biennial of Drawing Pilsen 2014, Pilsen, Czech Republic, 2014

Works[edit]

  • Mechanical Paradise (1988/1990)
  • HROBONJOUR (1992) [9]
  • Artwart (1997) [10]
  • Skarabeus (1997) [11] [12]
  • Memory 2 / Unpowdered painting (1998)
  • Mandala 4 / Black (1997/2000) [13]
  • Geld macht frei (2001) [14]
  • Mandala 5 (2001) [15]
  • Poppy Seed Field (2001/02)- Monochrome painting [16]
  • CLEANMONEY (2002) [17]
  • Mandala 15 (2003) [18]
  • GODSAVEUS (2003) [19]
  • The Art of kill (2004) [20]
  • WETRUSTIN (2004–07)
  • Treptomachia. EN – A / How to domesticate the English language (2005/06)
  • Treptomachia. DE – B / How to domesticate the German language (2006)
  • WARTERAUM (2007)
  • WARTEZEIT (2007)
  • SUCHARATOLEST (2008)
  • SLOVENSKY (2006/09)
  • BESTEHLEN (2007/09) [21]
  • BESTOCKEN (2007/09)
  • EINEMU (2011)
  • Treptomachia.En - Wart (2011)
  • Treptomachia.Sk - Vanitas (2011)
  • Art after Poetry 6 / IAMAPHERIPHERALARTIST (2011–12)
  • Art after Poetry 7 / IAMAPSEUDOCONCEPTUALARTIST (2012) [22]
  • Art after Poetry 8 / IAMACHECHEN (2012)
  • WHYENTARTAINMENT, 2013 [23]
  • Travesty.wd.5 / EINTOTESKAPITALKUNSTEMU (2013 /14)

Books, catalogues[edit]

  • VALOCH, J. – VARTECKÁ, A. 2003. Blažej Baláž. Trnava : Trnava University, East of Eden, 132 p. (In English and Slovak) ISBN 80-89074-22-7
  • BESKID, V. – GAJDOŠ, R. 2007. Blažej Baláž : Texts 1988 /2007. Trnava : East of Eden, Trnava University, 48 p. (In English and Slovak) ISBN 978-80-8082-129-6
  • BALÁŽ, B. 2009. The Texts of the Texts. Trnava : Trnava University, 30 p. ISBN 978-80-8082-314-6

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • ž.u.m. (= URRA MUENA, Ž.).1992. Blažej Baláž. In Saur Allgemeines Künstler – Lexikon, band 6. Mϋnchen, Leipzig : K.G.Saur. (D)
  • BARTOŠOVÁ, Z. 1995. Blažej Baláž. In 12th International Biennial of Small Sculpture. Murska Sobota : Galerija Murska Sobota, p. 158-159 (SL)
  • GERŽOVÁ, J. 1999. Junk art. In Dictionary of World and Slovak Fine Art in the 2nd half of the 20th century. Bratislava : Kruh súčasného umenia Profil, p. 285
  • VRBANOVÁ, A. 2000. New Form in Graphic Art. In RUSINOVÁ, Z. et al. 2000. Art of the 20th century. Bratislava : Slovak National Gallery, p. 114-116
  • VALOCH, J. 2001. The Connotation of Powdered Painting. In Ateliér, vol.14, no.6, 22.3.2001, p. 9, Prague (CZ)
  • BESKID, V. 2003. Geld macht Kunst. Macht Kunst Geld? In Profil, vol. X, no.2/2003, p. 128-131
  • ADAM, R. – ROBERTSON, C. 2007. Intaglio. London : Thames & Hudson, p. 29 (UK)
  • BÖHMEROVÁ, Z. – JANČÁR, I. 2007. Slovak Graphics of the 20th Century. Bratislava : City Gallery, 2007, p. 195, 285, 304, 312
  • BARTOŠOVÁ, Z. 2007. 20th Century. In Art in Slovakia / Summary History of Pictures. Bratislava. Bratislava : Slovart, p. 224
  • GAJDOŠ, R. 2008. The projection of linguistic thinking to contemporary fine arts.. In SCHNEIDER, J. – KRAUSOVA, L. 2008 (eds). Intermediality: Word – image – sound. Olomouc : University of J. E. Palacký, 334 p. [p. 223-229] (CZ)
  • VALOCH, J. 2009. Venice In-Between Geometry and Concept. Ateliér, vol.22, no.18, p. 4, 10.9.2009 (CZ)
  • GERŽOVÁ, B. 2009. From plaster to chewing gum – Author's techniques, Nitra : Nitra Gallery, p. 5, 9, 44, 45
  • BESKID, V. 2009. From a Political Space toward a Public One. In KOWOLOWSKI, F. (ed.) 2009. Formats of Transformation 89 – 09 / Seven views on the new Czech and Slovak identity. Brno : House of Art, p. 14 – 17, 200 (CZ)
  • KNÍŽÁK, M. – VLČEK, T. (eds.). 2009. 909 / Art from the Turn of the Millennium in the National Gallery in Prague 1990 - 2009. Prague - National Gallery, p. 362 (CZ)
  • GAJDOŠ, R. 2010. Conceptual Text / Genesis and Metamorphosis. Trnava : Typi Univesitatis Tyrnaviensis and Veda, p. 11, 12, 76, 87, 89, 99, 101, 104, 105, 128 (SK)
  • BESKID, V. 2012. Rónaiová's Cuts by Social Art. In Veronika Rónaiová's Social Investigation 2. Trnava : Typi Universitatis Tyrnaviensis, p. 6-7
  • GAJDOŠ, R. 2012. In Veronika Rónaiová's Social Investigation 2. Trnava : Typi Universitatis Tyrnaviensis, p. 10, 13
  • GREGOROVÁ, L. 2012. In. BURAN, D. (ed.). 2012. Blood. Bratislava : Slovak National Gallery, p. 86-87
  • BESKID, V. 2012. The image of painting in the „Picture du nouveau“. In ObraSKovo nanovo / Contemporary Slovak Painting. Poprad : Tatranská Gallery, p. 15

External links[edit]