Róbert Makar: Lightboxes

Róbert Makar: Lightboxes

Author, exhibition title: Róbert Makar Lightboxes
Curator: Roman Popelár
Opening: 20.8. (Fri) 2021 at 17.00
Venue: Zahorie Gallery of Jan Mudroch in Senica, The Gallery above the Staircase
Duration of the exhibition: 2021/08/20 (Fri) – 2021/10/10 (Sun)

 The Gallery above the Staircase is the name of a new exhibition space in the Zahorie Gallery of Jan Mudroch. It is only a temporary place. In the autumn of 2022, the Baroque chapel on the 1st floor will probably be under reconstruction, and a few months earlier (perhaps even later) the attic will be converted into an exhibition space. It means that the exhibition spaces of the Zahorie Gallery will again be smaller.

The Gallery above the Staircase will thus temporarily cover the needs of artists until the completion of the planned reconstruction. Approximately at two to three-months‘intervals, visual artists, one by one, will present their work or a series of works overlapping with light art. I will introduce the exhibition concept together with Robo Makar whose light boxes partially open this space to the public. I am intentionally speaking about its partial opening because the entire basement must remain closed to the public for safety reasons and unsatisfactory hygienic conditions until the dehumidification of the building is carried out and the floor is renovated.

About exhibition

The small presentation of two luminous tubes by Robo Makar (1970) comes from a series of exhibited works (e.g. a solo exhibition LIGHTUBES, UMELKA Gallery, Bratislava, 2018). He even exhibited one of the objects in the Zahorie Gallery of Jan Mudroch (7th Meeting of Artists of Zahorie, December 2019 – March 2020). However, the context of the artist’s work escapes in exhibitions such as Salons, as well as in many theme-based exhibitions. Makar was fortunate to have spent several years studying in Paris in the early 1990s in the studio of recently deceased Christian Boltansky, a major figure of European Conceptual art of the last decades of the 20th century with considerable artistic influence in the 21st century. I am convinced that the study period in Paris fundamentally influenced Makar’s creative work in his whole life. Indeed, it is not just the influence of Boltansky, but rather his understanding of the philosophy, historical and cultural legacy of the Francophone environment. The presidency of François Mitterrand and Jacques Chirac favoured the development of culture in France, and the post-revolutionary years were open to visual artists from Central and Eastern Europe. Makar took advantage of this development. He integrated into his work traditional graphic techniques, light art and universally valid text abbreviations (slogans) in various languages ​​(mainly French, German, but also English and Slovak). His visual language has become internationally applicable: it means comprehensible for both the professional and lay public. In the mid-1990s, he was certainly one of the first graphic artists of the emerging generation to have the ambition to assert themselves in the broader international context. However, working in advertising and reducing his artistic creation limited this ambition. Nevertheless, the artist remained in the minds of several gallerists in Germany and France.

His ultra light luminous tubes (or boxes) are imaginary storage spaces for thoughts and messages, largely cultural-ethical and philosophical. They are mostly switched off (in less important group exhibitions, the artist often leaves them loosely leaning in the corner, as their message can easily be lost in the overpressure of other exhibits). At other exhibitions, however, they are lighted, flash on and off as warnings or their luminous moment is alternately highlighted and dimmed, depending on the light setting, not just formal. There are times when appeals make sense and when they are useless. At this stage, it is an effective connection between advertising and philosophy. That is, an overlap to Pop art. I perceive his work with text, fonts and light as a permanent artist’s experiment. All lines are layered, intersecting each other, but the message never disappears.    

Roman Popelár

doc. Mgr. art. Robert Makar, ArtD.
*1970, Handlová, SK

1988 – 1994 Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava (Prof. V. Popovič, doc. R. Fila, Prof. R. Sikora and guest Prof. Sandria Hu)
1993 Academy of Visual Arts Maastricht, Netherlands
1992 Ecole de Beaux-arts de Namur, Belgium
1991 Ecole de Beaux-arts de Paris, France (prof. Christian Boltanski)                                         
1990 Ecole de Beaux-arts de St. Etienne, France

Individual and collective exhibitions (selection since 2010)
ERINNERUNG – ABBILD – FORM, Kunstverein Passau, Germany
2016 WE ARE BORN INTO A PREINVENTED EXPERIENCE, Umelka Gallery, Bratislava, Slovakia
2015  A Different Perspective / Artwork by the Laureates of the Biennial of Drawing Pilsen 1996–2014, Museum of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Czech Republic
SIGN AND LETTER FROM GRAPHIC ART TO BOOK ART, Jagiellovska bibliotheca, Krakòw, Poland
2014 RE–IMAGINING PAPER AND FIBER, University Hawaii at Hilo, Hawaii, UH HILO Sumai Annual Exhibit, Main Gallery, Fountain Gallery, Hawai, USA
2013 ViseGrafiken+, The Slovak Institute in Vienna, Austria
2012 KÖNYVAJTÖK, Magyar Műhely Galeria [MMG], Budapest, Hungary
ROBERT MAKAR, Mánes, Prague, Czech Republic
MAKAR ROBERT, Drawings for impartial eyes, International Biennial of Drawing, Pilsen, Czech Republic
International Print Triennial – Krakòw 2012, Jagiellovska bibliotheca, Krakòw, Poland
2011 7th Biennale d’estampe contemporaine de Trois-Rivières, Maison de la culture de Trois-Rivieres, Trois-Rivières, Quebec City, Canada
2010 TOUT EST CLAIR, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, France


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