"Survey," an exhibition of works by Slovakian artist Juraj Kollár, is on view at Rosenbaum Contemporary (150 Yamato Road) in Boca Raton, Fla., through March 27. It is Kollár’s first solo exhibition in the United States.
According to art historian Katarina Bajcurová, Kollár is regarded as “the most naturally gifted and pertinacious painter of his generation” as well as “the central figure of young…contemporary painting in Slovakia.” Kollár’s works can be found in the collections of the Slovak National Gallery and the National Gallery in Prague and have been exhibited in prestigious art fairs including Art Cologne and SP–Arte.
“In the course of a few years he has managed to create, to paint, a relatively respectable body of work…and to achieve a number of prestigious awards in Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Germany,” Bajcurová said.
Kollár simultaneously works in multiple genres including landscape/”non-landscape,” figurative, pixilation and non-objective abstracts, and has developed innovative processes unique to each.
The exhibition at Rosenbaum Contemporary presents a survey of representative works from each of his major genres.
Kollár’s landscapes/”non-landscapes” are painted from the perspective of looking out through a window upon abstraction versus looking “in” to the painting. Though he works from photographs, Kollár’s paintings are not photorealistic. He employs various methods to distort the image and create abstraction. Some works are painted through breeze block walls, either through an existing wall or one that he creates in the environment. The resulting effect breaks the scene into multiple abstract components that, together, form a cohesive whole. In painting his landscapes, Kollár also adds elements that were not in the original scene, but that he feels should be there.
“I fill space with obstacles, which redefine, deform, or veil the visual perception of reality,” Kollár said. “I am trying to capture the light-atmosphere and the physical feeling of the state of an event.”
Even when painting from a photograph, he deliberately retains the grain to diffuse and blur the picture to capture the overall atmosphere of the scene versus its details.
The figurative works in the Survey exhibition come from Kollár’s Thoughtful series, life-size portraits of students at Harvard listening to a lecture on Imannuel Kant’s "Critique of Pure Reason," which Kollár painted from a video he downloaded from YouTube. His goal was to capture each student’s personality using just a few brushstrokes while capturing each at the exact moment of thinking about the lecture they heard.
Kollár’s pixelated pictures, a cross between pointillism and impressionism, incorporate construction netting, either painted through and removed or painted on and left in place, which has the effect of supporting the paint, enabling him to apply much more pigment than could be supported by the canvas alone. When his landscapes contain figures, they are often blurred so as to “melt” into the work.
Kollár’s non-representational paintings contain no ties to objective reality and are often titled only with numbers. They result, not from an idea, but from his process and are explorations of how the paint works as a physical material on the canvas including how it occupies space, how it responds to gravity, light, and other colors, and how it can be manipulated by brushes and other instruments and materials. The resulting compositions express a mood, and these experiments in abstraction often make their way into Kollár’s other works.
"Survey" can be viewed during regular gallery hours, Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., as well as online at www.rosenbaumcontemporary.com. Groups of up to four people who are quarantining together can also make arrangement for a private viewing by calling (561) 994-9180. Appointments can be made for personal Zoom tours by calling (561) 994-9180 as well.
Rosenbaum Contemporary, founded in 1979, is based in Boca Raton, Florida. The gallery caters to international collectors interested in investment-quality works by Postwar, Modern and Contemporary masters and presents nationally recognized museum-level exhibitions throughout the year. The gallery also offers a wide range of free services to collectors worldwide including acquisition advice, art consulting, sourcing of artists, art collection building and management and resale of select works of art.