press release

Krokus Galéria cordially invites you to the solo exhibition of the Slovak painter Rastislav Podoba. The exhibition title, which sounds as a slightly paradoxical description of a journey, is a set of possible coordinates of the artist’s place of residence near the town Topoľčany. In his latest paintings, Podoba is interested in the ambivalent atmosphere of the countryside periphery, capturing it through pictorial fragments of landscape and architecture. Podoba’s compositions are derived from photographic material, but while making a transcript of the technical picture to the canvas, the motives of his closest surroundings are subject to reduction and individual transformation as a result of the specifics of the painter’s manuscript. An important element present in Podoba’s paintings is the concentration on one motive which corresponds with the simple and often almost minimalist shapes. The realism turns into abstract positions, which is enhanced by the painter’s work with colour fields and skipping of empty places. The emptiness is not only a formal element, but it also enhances the meanings of content appearing in time, and it is a characteristic part of Podoba’s work. Even though in his latest paintings, Podoba draws on a direct experience, these are not literal “portraits” of a concrete place, but a synthesis of mood and visuality throughout the regions. We can recognize similar scenes from the region of Gemer as well as Záhorie. Podoba’s painterly approach to his subject follows the traditional genre of modern landscape painting, and he questions it at the same time. In his version, the view of the Slovak landscape and countryside is stripped off romantic stylization, its place recordings are not a lyrical ode to his native land or a manifestation of some national pride. In the process of painting, he studies real space, and draws the attention to contrasts as he shows them along each other in the painting Cycle (2012) – a large waste container as a strange geometrical body and a symbol of civilisation dominating an otherwise picturesque summer landscape. His realism is a result of an objective and rather sober approach to reality lacking big emotion.

Rastislav Podoba
at home, outside, near, above, northeast, far, below