Jury

Daniel Balabán

paintor, visual artist, art professor​ (Czech Republic)

The prominent representative of contemporary Czech figural painting, the important representative of the Ostrava art circuit. Since the mid-1980s he has been one of the key artists of the painting scene. 1979-1984 studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague under Professor František Jiroudek. 1993-2007 Head of the Studio of Painting at the Department of Fine Arts, University of Ostrava. Since 2008, he has been working at the Studio of Art Studies. 2012 laureate of the Michal Ranný Award. In 2014, he received a professorship at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, specializing in painting.

Róna Kopeczky

art historian, curator​ (Hungary)

She is the co-founder of Easttopics, a platform and hub dedicated to contemporary art of Central Eastern Europe that is based in Budapest She worked as a curator for international art in Ludwig Museum Budapest between 2006 and 2015, where she mostly focussed on the site- and situation specific practices of young and mid-career artists from the Central Eastern European region. In February 2015, she joined acb Gallery in Budapest as artistic director. She participated in the organization of the first OFF-Biennale Budapest from the beginning of 2015 and was member of the curatorial team for the second edition of OFF-Biennale Budapest held in Fall 2017. She holds a PhD in Art History from Sorbonne University.

Rózsa Farkas

gallerist and publisher​ (United Kingdom)

Rozsa Farkas is founding director and co-curator/editor of Arcadia Missa in London. She is also currently a Research fellow at Leuphana University's Post Media Lab, exploring affect in gender roles after the internet. Arcadia Missa is a gallery-publishers and independent research project, focusing on digital culture in art practice. Farkas' curation and writing sits across Arcadia Missa’s print and digital publications and gallery exhibitions, as well as projects outside of Arcadia Missa - such as an upcoming exhibition for tank.tv and texts for Mute Magazine and Nottingham Contemporary.

Dorota Kenderová

curator, culture manager, director of East Slovak Gallery ​ (Slovakia)

2003 graduated in the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. In 2012, she received her PhD at the Department of Intermedia and Multimedia, where she later worked as an assistant professor at Ilona Németh atelier “IN”. From February 1, 2016, she leads one of the largest regional galleries in Slovakia - the Eastern Slovak Gallery in Košice. During her studies, she founded, led and coordinated the HIT Gallery in Bratislava, an important independent initiative. She studied art in New York, Vienna and Kremsa, exhibited and curated many exhibition and editorial projects. Specializing in contemporary art. 2005 she won the Essl Award.

Jiří Kovanda

visual artist and pedagogue​ (Czech Republic)

For several years Jiří Kovanda has repeatedly ranked on the top of the ranking of the most successful and most respected Czech artists of the 2nd half of the 20th century. He is considered one of the most significant living representatives of the concept at our western neighbours. His work covers various media – besides performance and happenings he is also dedicated to installation, collage and painting; creating inconspicuous interventions and situations. Since the 70s of the previous century, he creates the first happenings, which he defines as an inconspicuous dive-in into human relations, crossing the line of intimacy. In the 80s, he leaves the conceptual practice and under the influence of the emerging post-modern movement, for a certain period of time, he dedicates himself to painting. An extensive set of his acrylic paintings originated precisely in this period, majority of them made in the A2 format. In 1984, in the Prague’s Futurum club he publishes his pathetic-ironic text about his work, in which he labels himself as a Sunday painter relativising the practice of the era of this classical medium. Later on, he started his assignment as a pedagogue at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. Currently, he manages the Studio of Performance (Ateliér performancie) at the Art and Design Faculty in Ústí nad Labem. He regularly holds exhibitions at home and abroad.

David Fehér

art historian, curator (Hungary)

Dávid Fehér is a curator at the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest and a lecturer at the University of Arts in Budapest. In his PhD thesis, he deals with the contemporary theories of painting and reception of pop art, photorealism and conceptual art in Eastern Europe. Besides his theoretical and pedagogical activities, he is also dedicated to journalism and art critics. He is the author of numerous essays on contemporary artists and exhibition reviews regularly published in Hungarian art journals and exhibition catalogues.

On the international level, he published essays about Hungarian art of the “long sixties” and art in Hungary in the period 1956-1980. His other published works feature essays on key figures of the contemporary painting (Georg Baselitz, Gerhard Richter) and on questions of the fate of the medium (Painting after Painting). He curated exhibitions in his home Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest and he is also the co-author of the upcoming exhibition Bacon, Freud and the School of London organized jointly by the Hungarian National Gallery in Budapest and Tate Britain, London.

Erik Šille

painter, pedagogue (Slovakia)

Erik Šille counts among the most distinctive painting phenomena of the middle generation. His characteristic visual expression is usually labelled as “contemporary” – inspired by modern icons and symbols, billboards, advertising, television or comics. By means of visual messages, Šille compiles multi-layered “stories of the new world“, at first sight eye-pleasing, perfectly painted compositions, however hiding encoded messages underneath. With Šille nothing is as simple and nice as it seems – by means of nearly unnoticeable details he creates the typical tension. His well-thought out compositions are characteristic of neat handwriting, humorous dialogue with art history, significant feeling for the colour and a specific narrative aspect. In 2009, he became the winner of the Painting competition, in 2006 he placed third in this competition. He is the winner of the Award of Igor Kalný at the Zlín Fair of the Young Below 30 (Salón mladých do 30 rokov) for Slovak Republic (2006). His artworks are representatively included in the collection of the Slovak National Gallery, Nitra Gallery, State Gallery in Dolný Kubín and numerous private collections locally and internationally as well.

Michele Coppola

Director of Gallerie d’Italia (Italy)

The Director of Gallerie d’Italia (The Galleries of Italy) based in Milan and represented by its exhibition halls in Milan, Naples and Vicenza. The Head of Art, Culture and Cultural Heritage Division of Intesa Sanpaolo Bank. Among the exhibition projects he has directed are Hayez, Bellotto a CanalettoL'ultimo Caravaggio (The Last Caravaggio). Exhibitions he has directed in the field of modern and contemporary art include New York New York. Italian Art: The Rediscovery of America (Milan 2017), Basquiat, Clemente, Haring, Schnabel, Warhol: The Thousand Lights of New York (Naples 2017), and Art as Revelation: From the Luigi and Peppino Agrati Collection (Milan 2018). He is Board Director of CAMERA-Centro Italiano per la Fotografia. He was Councillor for Culture and Youth Policies for the Piedmont Region and has undertaken administrative duties in various Turin cultural entities (Consorzio La Venaria Reale, Fondazione Museo delle Antichità Egizie, Fondazione Torino Musei, Fondazione Film Commission Torino Piemonte, Associazione Torino Città Capitale Europea, MAUTO-Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile di Torino and Fondazione Camillo Cavour).

Jane Neal

curator of contemporary art (United Kingdom)

The British curator Jane Neal studied at the Oxford University and at the Courtauld Institute in London. The Financial Times appointed her as a leading expert in contemporary art scene in East Europe and she is regarded as one of the most renowned independent curators who today work in the area of painting. She is the co-author of the work Cities of the Future: Avant-Gardes of the 21th century. In 2006 she was the curator of the important exhibition Cluj Connection, which connected seven young artists from Transylvania, many of whom are now leading personalities in the world of art (Mircea Cantor, Adrian Ghenie, Victor Man, Ciprian Muresan, Cristian Pogacean, Serban Savu a Gabrielu Vanga). In 2008 she took up the position art director of Calvert 22 in London, a non-profit foundation specializing in contemporary art in Russia and East Europe. Neal was the curator of exhibitions that gained praise worldwide from reviewers in Amsterdam, Austin, Berlin, Bucurest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Cluj, Dubai, London, Los Angeles, Milan, Mumbai, New York, Prague and Zürich. Now she is curator of the touring exhibition of collected works of Robert Runták, which originated in the Museum of Art in Ostrava and will visit Hungaria this September. Neal is the author of many books about contemporary art and examines how the European art movements from the early twentieth century inspire contemporary artists. She prepares an important exhibition in Russia for the years 1919/2020. She lives and works between Oxford, London and Berlin.

Attila Szűcs

painter (Hungary)

A representative of new Hungarian painting, Attila Szűcs ranks among the most important contemporary painters, recognized and highly praised also beyond the borders of their homeland. He specializes in classic painting – since 1990s he has used exclusively traditional oil painting techniques. The basis of his artistic programme is work with a visual pattern – he often chooses newspaper clippings, postcards, movie shots. He focuses on these concentrated moments, in which everyday experience gets lost and needs to be decoded again. In his paintings he creates empty spaces around objects, ideas and figures – at one point, the blank space, quasi-mental distance thus clashes with paradoxically concentrated attention paid to this absence. This conflict has always determined his relationship to painting. He is interest primarily in the search for interpretation of knowledge and ignorance. He draws inspiration from the collective memory, which he reinterprets through possibilities offered by painting. He intentionally deconstructs defined and often untrue structures. He has long been fascinated by the return to the past, references to the history of art, important historical moments. His post-conceptual and post-media painting is marked by melancholy, surrealistic subtext and masterly use of light and shadow. He actively exhibits his works in his home country and abroad. Attila Szűcs lives and works in Budapest.

Ján Berger

painter, teacher (Slovensko)

Ján Berger is one of the most important contemporary Slovak painters and a long-term teacher at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design. His authentic painting programme is information about the status quo, based on a visual reflection of his own experiences, life feelings and knowledge. The painter´s view of the world originates from positive seeing, but also from his trust in its beauty and his faith in invincible richness and diversity of its phenomena. His paintings never offer a particular idea – in the author´s view it would undermine the meaningfulness and full-bloodedness of the painting process, which preparers many dramatic moments for him and is beyond the everyday world. The key aspect of the artist´s painting transformation remains the colour – the author is an essential colourist. He studied at Professor Ján Mudroch. Under his lead, with knowledge of French painting, he started to develop his author´s programme based on the analysis of classic genres and techniques. Since 1987 he has led an independent painter´s studio at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. He participated in several international symposia, exhibited his works in Slovakia and other countries (Austria, Czech Republic, Mexico, USA, United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Greece, Bulgaria, Italy and others). His works are represented in the Slovak National Gallery and other domestic institutions, at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro, in the collection of the European Parliament in Brussels and at private domestic and foreign collectors.

Denisa Kujelová

curator and gallery owner (Czech Republic)

The curator and gallery owner Denisa Kulejová studied languages, classical archaeology and history of art at the Masaryk University in Brno, the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki and Freie Universität in Berlin. She graduated from the Rudolphian Academy, specialization connoisseurship, collecting and restoration. Since 2004 she has worked in the gallery sector (Cinema Art Gallery), from 2011 as the art director of the FAIT Gallery in Brno. Apart from the exhibition programme of the gallery specializing in contemporary art, she takes care of the collection of works of Igor Fait, which she further extends and presents to the public. FAIT GALLERY is a young gallery institution with the ambition to promote the development of Contemporary Art, which regularly extends its range of interest, extends beyond the Czech and Central European context. The gallery is committed to the promotion of private collecting and consolidating the collector community, especially in Brno as a city with a long tradition of collecting.

Luca Matti

painter, sculptor, artist (Italy)

Luca Matti, a painter and sculptor with a very specific style, ranks among the most talented contemporary Italian artists. He is said to be an artist running towards a future. His work has focused on people's relationship to the city, making exclusive use of white and black. It is modern painting, black and white imagination absenting colourfulness, dedicating to urban myths and their typical narrative scheme. He is fascinated by the environment which people create and then grow it denser and close it to rigid shapes. Over the years he has created paintings of objects and housing interiors, city´s panoramas and half-man and half-insect creatures. Moreover he has long been active in comics, illustration, graphics and animation. He cooperates with various magazines and publishers. The artworks of Luca Matti are included in many important public and private collections such as Experimental Collections of the seat of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome - Collezione Farnesina Experimenta. He has exhibitions on a regular basis in Italy and abroad.

Catherine Gimonnet

art theoretician, historian and publicist  (France)

Catherine Gimonnet studied art history at the Sorbonne University, as well as comparative cultural heritage law and intellectual property law. She worked in Sotheby's Paris and at the Louvre Museum. She has notably worked for one of the most famous Asian art collection in the world, the Guimet Museum, where she was in charge of managing publications and touring exhibitions, such as The rediscovered Treasures of Afghanistan (with venues in Paris, Turin, Amsterdam and at the MET and the National Gallery in Washington among others), or a Taste for China (Hong Kong Art Museum, 2008). From 2008 to 2014 she has worked for the Louvre Abu Dhabi project as an exhibition and collection management expert and consultant. She lectures at the Sorbonne and and provided training for museum professionals within the French Ministry of culture and communication framework. She is a co-author of important art publications and biographies of famous personalities such as Bosch, Velazquez, van Gogh, Caravaggio, Rodin, Warhol, Hopper and others. She publishes a lot and she is a regular contributor to the French art magazine Dada.

Bohdan Hostiňák

painter (Slovakia)

Bohdan Hostiňák has studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava (prof. Rudolf Sikora). He ranks among the authors expressing themselves solely through the media of painting and drawing which he classifies to series by thematic groups. He is a unique person in the Slovak contemporary fine arts – he makes use of classic painting styles and genres, mainly landscapes against planar background with realistic morphology and illusory perception of environment. His painting represents a systemic escape from industrial civilisation to the Golden Age of harmony between man and nature. He finds inspiration in the existing reality and history; he is interested in paintings of the Old Masters (P. Bonnard, N. Poussin). His paintings are full of symbolism and contrasts in the sense of suppressing the rational composition of a picture. In the second half of 90s the planar, emblematic character of pictures is replaced with a narrative form exchanging the picture to emotive mystic scenery with the present feeling of irony, dream, melancholy or reminiscence. Hostiňák´s artworks stand at the edge of rationality and irrationality, reality and fiction. However there is encoded the secret of his ambivalent stories. The author is included in private and public collections, exhibits at home and at important international exhibitions.

Gabriela Kisová

gallery director and curator, art theoretician (Slovakia)

Gabriela Kisová, a gallery director and curator, has studied sociology and fine arts and media studies at the University of Konstanz (Germany). She has gained her professional experience in the field of modern and contemporary fine arts in the Wessenberg Gallery Konstanz (Germany) and in Kunst Halle St. Gallen (Switzerland). In the period between 2009 and 2010 she lectured Sociology of Art course as an external co-operator at the Faculty of Arts at the Technical University of Košice. As a curator she has prepared tens of independent and group exhibitions of Slovak and foreign artists, she has compiled several catalogues. Since September 2012 she has been a postgraduate student at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava (Department of Theory and History of Arts) and since 2014 she has been a member of the Acquisition Committee of the Slovak National Gallery. As she is convinced that fine arts should be more anchored in our society she writes and publishes art blogs.

Charlotte Schepke

gallerist, art theoretician (Great Britain)

A well-known London gallerist (Large Glass Gallery) and art theoretician who feels like a fish in water in the world of prominent artists, directors of museums, galleries and collectors. In 2004 - 2011 she was director of Frith Street Gallery which represents artists in photography, painting and sculpture, such as Marlene Dumas, Thomas Schütte, Tacita Dean or Fiona Tan. She is a co-founder and former director of The Agency of Contemporary Art which presents and represents young British artists and foreign authors who are introduced to the London art scene. In 2011 Charlotte Schepke opened the world-renowned Large Glass in London, a new type of commercial and exhibition premises guided by the spirit of Marcel Duchamp which are aimed at presenting contemporary international art through a particular and uncommon lens. In 2002 - 2004 she was a visiting professor at Goldsmith University, and she continues teaching and holding senior art seminars. She was a member of this year's Catlin Art Prize jury.

Hynek Martinec

painter (Czech Republic / Great Britain)

One of the most successful young Czech artists. He was born in the Czech Republic, but he lives and works abroad (Paris, London). He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague and held a position at Middlesex University in London and Cooper Union College in New York. He became known to art lovers mainly with his photorealistic and hyper-realistic paintings, also thanks to the exhibition Beyond reality: British Painting Today held last year in a prestigious gallery Rudolfínum in Prague. Representing the United Kingdom, he joined the personalities like Jason Brooks, Damien Hirst and Chapman brothers. He exhibits his work in prestigious galleries of the world and he is represented in collections of the British Museum in London, National Gallery in Prague, and in many private collections. He received several significant awards, including The Changing Faces and BP Visitor Choice in London or BP Young Artist Award in National Portrait Gallery.

Nina Gažovičová

curator, art historian (Slovakia)

Curator and art historian, graduate of the visual art science at the Faculty of Arts, Comenius University in Bratislava. She defended a dissertation on the Slovak art market, its theory and history (Art Market in Slovakia, Conditions of its Formation and Modes of Operation after 1989) at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design. She is professionally engaged in contemporary art, theory and history of the art market in Slovakia. From 1999 she has worked in SOGA Auction House as auctioneer, curator and expert in 20th century art. As a curator, she prepared and organized a number of exhibitions of contemporary Slovak art for which an author catalogue was published by her. From 2005 she has been compiler of separate auctions of contemporary art. She provides professional advice on purchase of the works of art. She cooperates with renowned collectors and institutions in Slovakia and abroad. She is a member of the Acquisition Committee in the City Gallery of Bratislava.

Erik Binder

painter (Slovakia)

Erik Binder is one of the most outstanding personalities of the middle-aged generation on the domestic visual art scene. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, in the studio of Professor Jankovič, Professor Fischer, and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, with Associate Professor Kokolia. He was a twice finalist in Oskár Čepan Award, he represented Slovak fine art at a prestigious Venice Biennale. In 2010 he defended a dissertation Intersections of Science and Art. He exhibits his works in Slovakia and abroad (France, Spain, Germany, Hungary, Austria...) and participates in selective exhibitions of contemporary art in Europe on a regular basis. His works are represented in the collections of the Slovak National Gallery, City Gallery of Bratislava, SOGA Auction House, Nedbalka Gallery, ZOYA Gallery, Societé General, European Central Bank in Frankfurt, UniCredit Collection Italia, European Investment Bank in Luxemburg, and in many Slovak and foreign private collections.

Pawel Jarodzki

 painter, graphic and comics author (Poland)

One of the most important contemporary Polish artists, successfully exhibiting in Poland and abroad. Between 1979 - 1984 he studied at Wyższą Szkole Sztuk Plastycznych in Wrocław, led by Konrad Jarodzkieg and Leszka Kaćmy. At present, he is a lecturer there. He has been concentrating on comics and graphics since his studies and in early 1980s, he established an author magazine Luxus, which was made manually. During that work he established and led also the LuXus group, which started its activities in 1983. The Group was organizing discussions, issuing the magazine and was active on the artistic scene. The authors belonging in the Group took inspiration from the mass culture, Dadaism, they were interested in the city and feelings it evokes, they wanted to draw attention - their motto was "not the abstraction but attraction". Today, Jarodzki's artistic creation has similar fundamentals.

Rudolf Sikora

conceptual painter, graphic, creator of objects and installations, pedagogue (Slovakia)

Rudolf Sikora is among the most important personalities of the Slovak art of the second half of the 20th century. Since his first appearance on the painting scene at the end of 1960s, he has been interested in alternative expression and teamwork projects. A conceptual mélange of media, graphic techniques, composite photography and painting dominated his creation. His work is characterized by systematic application of his own spiritual theories and his program effort is to find common features and visual codes of both areas - art and science, to express the relation of inherent laws of existence of human beings and cosmos. In 1989, he was at the birth of movement Verejnosť proti násiliu, in the coordination committee of which he worked. He has significantly contributed to the building of new fundamental principles of the Academy of Fine Arts, later of the Košice faculty of fine arts.

Jan Skřivánek

art historian, chief editor of magazine Art+Antiques, expert in investment in art (Czech Republic)

He studied art history and history at the Masaryk University in Brno and media at the Charles University in Prague. Since his studies, he has been interested in journalism and possibility to intermediate art and make it more popular, he was publishing articles in MF Dnes and weekly magazine Euro. Since 2006, he has been on the lead of the most respected art magazine Art+Antiques (exclusive monthly magazine of visual arts, architecture, design and antiquities – Umenie žiť s umením). His interest in contemporary art is best reflect in an activity which resulted in J&T Banka Art Index, which is an index of success rate of Czech visual art artists. This activity takes into account his education, general knowledge and ability to estimate the future development. Since 2013, he has been a member of the acquisition committee of the Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art of the National Gallery in Prague. He regularly publishes popular and humorous articles about art and art investment appreciation.

Tibor Somorjai Kiss

graphic and pedagogue, dean of the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest (Hungary)

Active artist and renown graphic Tibor Somorjai Kiss is a representative of the central European cultural model. He was born in Bratislava, studied graphics at the Leipzig University. At present, he is a pedagogue and dean of the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest. He was awarded a number of awards for his works: Munkácsy Award (2002), Derkovics Award (1993-96), etc. He regularly exhibits in Hungary and abroad, his works are in state and private collections.

Amy Dickson

curator, art historian and theoretician (Great Britain)

A leading British art theoretician and curator focusing on modern art. She started her professional carrier at Tate Liverpool. Later she was appointed a curator at the famous Tate Modern in London. She has worked on many exhibition and art projects including Cildo Meireles, Gauguin or Gerhard Richter. Recently she has been appointed as the Managing Curator of Artist Rooms at Tate and National Galleries of Scotland located in London and Edinburgh known for its inspirational collection of modern and contemporary fine arts. Dickson´s interest is also in female artists and the so-called feminist art. She is an author of several books for Tate Publishing.

Magdalena Juříková

art historian, curator (Czech Republic)

A director of the City Gallery Prague (Galerie hlavního města Prahy). After finishing her studies of art history she has worked for various galleries. She was the Head Curator, Expert and Head of Sculpture Collection at the National Gallery in Prague. In the 90´s she worked as a consultant for purchasing modern Czech art for Komerční banka (Commercial Bank). Since 1999 she has been working with Vladimír Železný. She participated in building his unique collection of the Czech modern art for which she had purchased more than a thousand works of arts, thus helping to build one of the best and largest private collections of Czech art. She was the head of the Zlatá husa Gallery, where Železný´s collection is located. Juříková is active also as a critic, she writes for Art+Antiques magazine. She is the author of books about Czech photographers Jan Ságl and Tono Stano. She is interested in contemporary Czech plastic art. She is engaged in the International Workshop for Contemporary Art and Management.

Veronika Wolf

art historian, curator, director of the Lobkowicz Collections (Czech Republic)

She studied the history of art at the Palacky University in Olomouc, the Czech Republic. During her studies she spent one year at the Univerzite Ca’ Foscari in Venice. She finished her studies by writing a book Czech and Slovak Artists at the Venice Biennale 1920-1970. Then she did her internship in Venice, at the prestigious Peggy Guggenheim Collection. She worked in London as an art critic for five years; she liaised with the Tate Modern Museum and many renowned contemporary artists. During her stay in Great Britain she worked as a curator in The Bettie Morton Gallery in London (2005-6). She has been regularly contributing to art journals. Currently, she is the director of The Lobkowicz Collections, which is the oldest and largest privately owned collection of old art in the Czech Republic. The Collections include key works by Rubens, Velázquez, Canaletto and Brueghels.

Juraj Čarný

art critic, curator, art manager and lecturer (Slovakia)

Juraj Čarný is the president of the Slovak Section of AICA (International Association of Art Critics) and since 2012 also the Vicepresident of AICA International. He studied Fine Arts Science at the Comenius University in Bratislava and cultural management at Cultural University Copenhagen and in International Center for Culture & Management in Salzburg. He is a founder of BillboArt Gallery Europe, Crazycurators Biennale, Crazycurators Award. In cooperation with Giancarlo Politi editore and Prague Biennale Foundation he curated (2005, 2007) and co-organized (2009, 2011, 2013) Prague Biennale, the biggest contemporary art show in Central Europe. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Czech and Slovak edition of Flash Art Magazine. In addition to his numerous curating, journalist and publishing activities he is a lecturer of Management and Marketing Basics for Artists at the Bratislava Academy of Fine Arts.

Jiří Švestka

gallerist, curator, art historian (Czech Republic)

A renowned Prague gallerist. He is the owner of the Jiří Švestka Gallery, which is the leading Czech private gallery promoting Modern and Contemporary art in the Czech Republic and abroad. The gallery represents top Czech and foreign artists. Švestka in his galleries (Prague, Berlin) organizes regular exhibitions and sells their works of art, well-deserving the title „supporter of young artists". Aside, the Jiří Švestka Gallery manages also the collection of certain part of the so-called Kramář Collection which in addition to world artists (e.g. Picasso, Braque) includes also some representative works by the Czech artists (Czech Modernism and Czech Cubism) from the heritage of the top Czech collector Vincenc Kramář.

Veronika Wolf

art historian, curator, director of the Lobkowicz Collections (Czech Republic)

She studied the history of art at the Palacky University in Olomouc, Czech Republic. During her studies she spent one year at the Univerzite Ca' Foscari in Venice. She finished her studies by writing a book Czech and Slovak Artists at the Venice Biennale 1920-1970. Then she did her internship in Venice, at the prestigious Peggy Guggenheim Collection. She worked in London as an art critic for five years; she liaised with the Tate Modern Museum and many renowned contemporary artists. During her stay in Great Britain she worked as a curator in The Bettie Morton Gallery in London (2005-6). She has been regularly contributing to art journals. Currently, she is the director of The Lobkowicz Collections, which is the oldest and largest privately owned collection of old art in the Czech Republic. The Collections include key works by Rubens, Velázquez, Canaletto and Brueghels.

Ivan Csudai

artist, university professor (Slovakia)

A respected and renowned painter and graphic artist, a leading personality of the Slovak Postmodernism, a „classic" of the Slovak contemporary art scene whose works have long been very popular among art collectors. He studied photography and restoration; however his interest lies in painting. He lived in Zürich and Vienna; he held tens of individual exhibitions in Slovakia and abroad. His works are included in the Slovak National Gallery collections and several other galleries in Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Germany. For more than 20 years he has shared his knowledge and experience with the students at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava where he is currently holding the position of Vice-Rector and is also the head of the Department of Painting. He has raised a strong generation of painters. Out of his studio several personalities of young Slovak painting have arisen, including Erik Šille, Michal Czinege and Michal Černušák.

Vladimír Beskid

art historian, curator (Slovakia)

He studied art history in Slovakia and also abroad – in Poland, Switzerland and France. Later, he gave lectures at the Faculty of Arts at the Technical University in Košice and at the University of Trnava. He worked in several cultural institutions in Slovakia and abroad. Since 1987 he has curated more than 80 exhibitions of domestic and foreign artists. He was the director of the Ján Koniarek Gallery in Trnava and head curator of the Young Art Museum in Prague. Currently, he is the art director of Košice 2013 – European Capital of Culture.

Tomáš Císařovský

painter (Czech Republic)

In the eighties he studied painting at the Fine Arts Academy in Prague. He has been active in the Czech painting scene for twenty years already and during this period he became not only its important part, but his work resonates also in the European context. His portfolio features one-man exhibitions at the most prestigious addresses such as Rudolfinum Gallery or the National Gallery. Regardless of fashion waves or the current boom, he is focused on the traditional painted painting. His work is dominated by traditional genres: figural and portrait painting, which he supplemented in the last years by landscape painting. He works with oil and the result are mostly painting cycles – visually attractive compositions with alternating social and historic themes and motifs and purely private ones. Melancholic motifs, sophisticated and balanced colourfulness in a sophisticated composition make Císařovský a living classic.

Eszter Radák

painter, vice-chancellor of the Fine Arts University in Budapest (Hungary)

In the nineties she studied at the Hungarian Fine Arts University at the faculty of painting, where she is currently engaged in the function of a vice-chancellor. She supplemented her home studies participating at the professional stages and workshops. Besides pedagogical work, she is also an active painter, which is proven by her participation in many exhibition projects. Her work is dominated by a strong colouristic character complemented by a selection of intimate and private themes. Seemingly graphic effect of compositions of her works breaks the emphasis on the painting structure. Her works are represented also in the public and private collections around the world.

Zora Rusinová

fine arts theoretician and pedagogue (Slovakia)

She studied fine arts science at the Faculty of Arts of the Komenius University in Bratislava. She entered the professional scene very significantly during her engagement as a curator of the modern and contemporary art in the Slovak National Gallery, where in the nineties and zero years she prepared several profile and a variety of professional projects. She was a curator of the monumental 20th century project, author of the conception of unforgettable exhibitions such as Epikuros’ Garden, Baroque and Present or Autopoesis. She was the first winner of the Oskár Čepan Prize specially designated for the theoreticians, namely for the exhibition project Autopoesis. She cooperated in the great project for the Vienna MQ Gender Check. Currently, she has been pedagogically and scientifically engaged as a professor at the Fine Arts College in Bratislava.

Peter Tajkov

fine arts theoretician and curator (Slovakia)

He studied fine arts science and archaeology at the Faculty of Arts of the Komenius University in Bratislava. In the zero years, he was a curator of contemporary art exhibitions in the Museum of Vojtech Löffler in Košice, where he prepared a variety of monographic and thematic projects and catalogues. Since 2001, he has been engaged at the Fine Arts and Intermedia Department at the Arts Faculty of the Technical University in Košice. In 2010, he successfully terminated his external doctor’s degree study at the Faculty of Arts of the Komenius University in Bratislava. In the field of contemporary art, he made a significant contribution to forming, mapping and promoting the contemporary East Slovak scene. He prepared exhibitions of artists such as Ugo Rondinone, Pavol Megeysi, he cooperated with Kassa Boys, Ján Vasilko and others.

Francesca Pola

fine arts theoretician and curator (Italy)

Historian and critic of contemporary arts. Currently, she is working as a curator at the Museum of Modern Art MACRO in Rome. Author of many books, essays and articles about personalities of the modern Italian and international art. She also works for the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice and is curator of modern art exhibitions Arte Contemporanea and Villa Pisani including, as well as for the international project Zero and Italy.

Peter Pakesch

curator, gallerist, fine arts theoretician and professor (Austria)

He is one of the legends of the international world of arts and considered the nestor of modern and contemporary art. Despite the fact that he started his professional career as an architecture student, crucial was starting of his own art gallery in 1981 in Vienna. Here, he presented a very up-to-date program and promoted key authors of the world scene including Ilya Kabakov, Mike Kelley, Sol LeWitt or John Baldessari. He belongs to the personalities of the European artistic life and has been for many years the head of renowned galleries and institutions dedicated to contemporary art. Currently, he is the head of the Museum Joanneum and Kunsthalle in Graz.

Stanislav Diviš

painter and professor (Czech Republic)

One of the most significant representatives of the Czech fine arts. He is the key co-founder of the legendary group of artists called the “Stubborn“. As the organizer of the Confrontations exhibitions he introduced an alternative exhibition platform, which was in opposition to the culture supported by the previous regime and presented the best of the then up-to-date artistic events. Outstanding figure of the Czech painting with a distinguished painting style. His works are exhibited at home and abroad.

Karol Weisslechner

fine artist and professor (Slovakia)

Currently, rector of the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava. He is also an active artist in the field of jewellery, object, installation, as well as interior architecture, design, stage design. Highly recognized was also his pedagogical work and especially his conceptual management of the university studio called S, M, L, XL, which succeeded in confuting common downgrading of the applied art. Today, he is a tireless promoter of authorial jewellery and its understanding as an artistic artefact. He is a lecturer as well as an organizer regularly taking part in creative symposiums in Slovakia and abroad. He organizes international symposiums about artistic jewellery, exhibitions, professional colloquia and study trips.

Frigyes König

rector of the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts, fine artist and professor (Hungary)

He graduated from Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest, later (1990) he started teaching at this school at the Department of Artistic Anatomy, Drawing and Geometry and he is heading the department until today. At present, he is serving in the function of a rector of the university. Moreover, he is also an active artist, winner of the Niveau Prize granted by the Ministry of Culture of the Hungarian Republic. Besides working in the school and his artistic practice, he is also the author of the book about analysis of artistic space, a theme that is also a central content of his works.

Katarína Bajcurová 

Chief Executive Officer of Slovak National Gallery, curator, monograph author (Slovakia)

She majored in fine art science at the Faculty of Arts of Comenius University in Bratislava. After graduation, she was engaged as a science worker in the Slovak Science Academy and later on as a curator of the Painting Collection from the 2nd half of the 20th century as well as expert deputy in the Slovak National Gallery, where she has been working as the CEO since 1999. She belongs to the leading experts of her generation. She authored the fundamental publication about the Slovak Fine Art Modernism (together with J. Abelovský) and she also wrote several monographs (J. Kostka, J. Meliš, R. Uher, M. Benka, Ľ. Fulla – in print) and prepared many exhibitions for which she received several awards. She is interested in the 20th century art, a specialist for the Slovak fine art modernism, modern Slovak sculpture and painting.

Jiří Olič 

art theoretician and critic, curator (Czech Republic)

Jiří Olič is a famous essayist and literary and fine art critic. He shocked the cultural community by his “exile” to Slovakia. He published a number of works on fine art and monographs about its representatives (Josef Váchal, The Stubborn Group, Josef Lada). His fine art criticism in 1980´s marked an entire decade. His amusing insights and critical essays are in addition to their professional scope a welcomed expansion of the genre. He was awarded Tom Stoppard Prize for 1994 and became a knight of Řád zelené berušky (“Green Ladybird Cross”). Currently, he works as curator of Collection of Drawings for the Olomouc Museum of Modern Art.

Jarmila Kováčová 

director of Turčianska Gallery in Martin, fine art theoretician, curator (Slovakia)

Director of Turčianska Gallery in Martin, fine art theoretician, curator She studied culture theory at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Pavol Jozef Šafárik in Prešov and at the Faculty of Arts of the Charles University in Prague. Presently, she is known as an agile and creative curator, author and initiator of many exhibition and educational projects and programs for young artists. Under her management, Turčianska Gallery in Martin has recently become a significant regional cultural centre for young fine artists. Exhibitions as well as other events organized in the gallery are aimed at a whole spectrum of modern fine art expression and its current tendencies. Her notable author project is the international competitive and exhibitive overview of children fine art creation A Biennale of Fantasy (Bienále fantázie) organized since 1987.

Francesco Tedeschi 

art theoretician and critic (Italy)

He works as an art critic being currently engaged as a host professor at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan where he is dedicated to contemporary art history. In his works he specialises in 19th, 20th, and 21st century Italian art and international contemporary art. Recently, he has also focused more generally on artists of the 2nd half of 20th century. Moreover, he helped to organise several exhibitions of young artists and participated in Periscopio (1997—2002), an exhibition project. He is also affiliated with Banca Intesa Sanpaolo as a consultant looking after the 20th century art collection. His articles and essays are published in a number of art magazines and newspapers.

Beata Jablonská

curator, art historian (Slovakia)

She studied fine art science at the Faculty of Arts of the Comenius University. Since 1996 she has worked for the Slovak National Gallery as a modern and contemporary art curator. Dealing with contemporary arts, she is focused especially on paintings. In this field she has acted as a curator of a number of exhibitions and written several studies. Publishing articles not only in professional but also daily periodicals, she has significantly contributed to promoting art in general. At present, she has been working on a large exhibition and edition project dedicated to the Slovak art of 1980´s.

Karol Weisslechner 

fine artist (Slovakia)

He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava (prof. V. Vilhan), where he currently acts as a rector. He joined the fine art scene as a member of the 1st post-modern wave of artists at the beginning of 1980´s. Worth mentioning is his pedagogical work and especially his conceptual management of the university studio called S, M, L, XL, by which he confuted the common downgrading of the applied art.

Eva Ľuptáková 

curator, art historian (Slovakia)

She studied fine art science and history at the Masaryk University in Brno. She works as a professional fine art expert. She had worked in the State Gallery in Banská Bystrica before joining the Orava Gallery in Dolný Kubín in 1981, which she has managed since 1984. A permanent art exhibition, which she and her team prepared in the Orava Gallery, was awarded the Martin Benka Prize. Apart from authoring the concepts of many exhibitions, in the 90-ties she started organizing international painting symposiums followed up by a part of the exhibition and acquisition program of the Orava Gallery.

Mária Hlavajová 

curator, art theoretician (Slovakia)

She studied culturology at the Comenius University in Bratislava and started her career as the director of Soros Contemporary Art Centre in times when a lot was at stake. Since 2000, she has been engaged as artistic director in Basis voor actuele kunst (BAK) in Utrecht. As a curator she prepared several projects, exhibition catalogues and other publications. This year she was the curator of the Dutch pavilion at the Venice Biennale. She is interested in art theory matters and their philosophical background, she is greatly involved in presentation of art from Eastern Europe in the “West“. Currently she lives in Amsterdam.

Marek Pokorný

curator and art theoretician (Czech Republic)

He graduated from the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague. In the 90-ties he worked in many cultural editorial offices e.g. in the daily Prostor, in Lidová demokracie, MF Dnes, in magazines Detail (founder) and Týden. In 2003, he became the main curator of the House of the Lords of Kunštát in Brno and since the beginning of 2004 he has been the director of the Moravian Gallery in Brno. His gallery program is concentrated on the disputed so-called curator exhibitions, which always mean a shift in the given issue. Not uninteresting is the fact that he is mapping also Slovak art. He lives in Prague, Brno and Rome.

Karol Weisslechner 

fine artist (Slovakia)

He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava (prof. V. Vilhan), where he currently acts as a rector. He joined the fine art scene as a member of the 1st post-modern wave of artists at the beginning of 1980´s. Worth mentioning is his pedagogical work and especially his conceptual management of the university studio called S, M, L, XL, by which he confuted the common downgrading of the applied art. He lives and creates in Bratislava.

Laco Teren 

fine artist and activist (Slovakia)

He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. He belongs to the key members of the 80-ties generation – painters who followed the post-modern stream of neoexpressionistic painting; the arrival of this generation allowed the principles of the so-called post-modernism (transavantgard) to enter our fine art. The author’s works of art can be found in all relevant state and many private collections. Recently he has become more engaged in organizational matters related to fine art, he has devoted himself to students and the Transit Association. He lives and works in Bratislava.

Laco Teren 

fine artist and activist (Slovakia)

In 1979 – 1985 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. The author is a bearer of the prestigious Řád Zelené Berušky (Green Ladybird Cross) and became one of the first laureates of the annual SCCA prize awarded by the international jury appointed by the foundation at annual exhibitions. The author belongs to the key members of the 80-ties generation – painters who followed the post-modern stream of neoexpressionistic painting; the arrival of this generation allowed the principles of the so-called post-modernism (transavantgard) to enter our fine art. The author’s works of art can be found in all relevant state and many private collections. Laco Teren ranks among the cult figures of the Slovak fine art scene, recently he has become more engaged in organizational matters related to fine art, he has devoted himself to students and the Transit Association. He lives and works in Bratislava.

Lóránd Hegyi

curator and art historian (Hungary)

(Director of Le Musée d'art moderne de Saint-Etienne in St. Etienne and founder of Centre Arte Contemporanea in Naples) 
Lóránd Hegyi is not an unknown figure in Slovakia. He entered the context of the Slovak art in 90-ties as the Director of the Museum of Modern Art – Ludwig Foundation in Vienna. As a curator, he specializes in presenting the Central and Eastern Europe within the context of Euro-American art. He organized several principal exhibitions dedicated to the art of post-communist countries, which he became an expert in. Most recently, exhibitions such as Aspects/Positions – 50 years of Art in Central Europe 1949-1999 (Museum of Modern Art, Vienna, 1999) and Europe Passage: Art of Central and Eastern Europe (Museum of Modern Art, Saint-Etienne, 2004). He is the author of many expert publications (New Sensibility – Change of Paradigm in Contemporary Art, 1993, etc.). In 1993, he co-curated the prestigious La Biennale di Venezia, in 1995 he presided over Sculpture Triennial of Stuttgart and in 2003 he curated Valencia Biennial. He alternately lives and works in St. Etienne and Naples.

Jaroslav Róna 

painter and sculptor (Czech Republic)

He majored in glass design at Arts and Crafts College (1978–1984) in Stanislav Libenský´s class, a charismatic glass designer. Today his diploma paper can be found in collections of the National Gallery and the Gallery of the Capital City Prague. He is a professor of sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. Róna is a painter stemming from the craft, worshipping the colour as a matter and simultaneously a medium of transformation, the alchemy of spirit – he paints as if he was modelling. He belongs among the founding members of the legendary art group called THE STUBBORN (1987). In 1993-1994, Róna, being a complex personality, was involved in the making of a film entitled Amerika (America) that was nominated for Český lev film award (Czech Lion). His place at the artistic and cultural scene is confirmed by his prominent membership in Stará parta (The Old Crew) and being a knight of Řád Zelené berušky (Green Ladybird Cross). He lives and works in Prague.

Ivan Melicherčík

journalist, collector (Slovakia)

He studied journalism at the Faculty of Arts of the Comenius University in Bratislava (1962–1967) and in 1976he obtained his PhD at the Charles University in Prague. Since 1967 he worked in ČTK press agency (the Czechoslovak Press Agency), later in TASR and SITA. As a foreign correspondent of ČTK he was deployed in Beograd and Vienna. In 1994 he became the CEO of TASR. Currently he manages the International Editorial Board in TASR. He has been collecting artworks for 25 years already. He presented his collections of modern painting, sculpture, naive art and African tribal art in many galleries and museums. Simultaneously, he is also the author of many catalogues and a superintendent of several exhibitions. He wrote eleven publications, e.g. Galanda and Galandas, Pictures, African Art, Sculptures, Art of Instinct, etc. He was awarded the Martin Benka Prize (1999) and Kovačica Prize (2000). He lives and collects in Bratislava.