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Medzi selankou a drámou Príbeh zbierky insitného umenia v SNG

Katarína Čierna & Alexandra Tamásová

Bratislava 2013


Medzi selankou a drámou Príbeh zbierky insitného umenia v SNG 11. 04. – 02.06. 2013 SNG – Esterházyho palác, Námestie Ľudovíta Štúra 4, Bratislava Vydala: Slovenská národná galéria, Bratislava 2013 Generálna riaditeľka SNG: Alexandra Kusá Koncepcia edično-výstavného projektu: Katarína Čierna & Alexandra Tamásová Preklad: Michael Frontczak Pre-press: Anton Kajan Edično-produkčné zabezpečenie projektu: Irena Kucharová Autori fotografií: Martina Králiková, David Trčka, Peter Stach Reprodukcie diel zo zbierok a archívov: fotoarchív: SNG – Martin Dökereš, Anna Mičúchová, Sylvia Sternmüllerová; Archív výtvarného umenia SNG; fotoarchív OG Dolný Kubín – Stanislav Bodorík; Gemersko-malohontské múzeum Rimavská Sobota – Júlia Ferleťáková Grafická úprava a layout: Juraj Blaško Použité písmo: Preissig Antikva a Comenia Serif Copyright © Slovenská národná galéria, Bratislava 2013 Texts © Katarína Čierna, Alexandra Tamásová 2013 Photographs © Photoarchive of: Slovenská národná galéria v Bratislave; Oravská galéria Dolný Kubín, Gemersko-malohontské múzeum Rimavská Sobota 2013; Martina Králiková, David Trčka, Peter Stach Graphic design © Juraj Blaško 2013 Tlač: Foart, s r.o., Bratislava 2013 ISBN 978-80-8059-173-1

Slovenská národná galéria ďakuje zapožičanie vystavených diel: Oravská galéria Dolný Kubín, Gemersko-malohontské múzeum Rimavská Sobota Žiadna časť tejto publikácie nesmie byť bez predchádzajúceho písomného súhlasu SNG rozmnožovaná, zverejňovaná a rozširovaná, a to ani v tlačenej, ani v elektronickej podobe.


Príbeh zbierky insitného umenia v SNG Katarína Čierna

Z histórie vo svete Živý záujem o neškolené či primitívne umenie nepriamo sprostredkoval Paul Gauguin (1848 – 1903), francúzsky maliar, ktorý sa vydal na cestu do Polynézie, na Tahiti za „novým mýtom“ a k novej zmyslovosti v umení. „La barbarie, c ’est le reminissement pour moi…,“ zvolal, odvracajúc sa od súčasného sveta 19. storočia. V tahitskej mytológii hľadal a našiel symbol pozemského raja.1 Zastával názor, že maliari nájdu v budúcnosti formálne podnety v tvorbe tzv. primitívnych národov. Samotné Gauguinove maľby a drevorezy odrážali mýtický tón pôvodnej jednoty človeka spätého s prírodou. Bola to hlavná myšlienka filozofického romantizmu Jeana-Jacquesa Rousseaua (1712 – 1778), ktorý sa šíril v Európe od poslednej tretiny 18. storočia ako reakcia proti osvietenskej filozofii; Rousseau „znevažoval“ racionálne hodnoty (podobne ako neskôr Friedrich Nietzsche) a obhajoval intuíciu, spontánnosť a vášeň. Náklonnosť k mimoeurópskym kultúram sa začala prejavovať v poslednej tretine 19. storočia. Európa „objavila“ umenie loveckých a kmeňových kultúr, africkú plastiku a umenie prehistorických a prírodných národov a ocenila ich rudimentárne, znakové a archaické vízie. Artefakty týchto kultúr uchovávané v etnografických múzeách boli dovtedy často považované len za kuriozity a nemali umeleckú hodnotu. Obrat k týmto pôvodným prameňom znamenal pre umenie významný zvrat a začiatok novej éry. Pre „naše dejiny“ je dôležitý fakt, že Henri Rousseau (1844 – 1910) v roku 1886 prvýkrát (a potom pravidelne) vystavoval na „Salon des Indépendants“ (Salóne zamietnutých). V roku 1891 vystavil obraz Tiger v tropickej búrke, ktorý v recenzii ocenil Félix Vallotton: „Jeho tigra, ktorý prekvapil svoju obeť, si nesmiete nechať ujsť; je alfou i omegou maľby.“ Na začiatku 20. storočia pohľad mnohých umelcov smeroval okrem spomínaných zdrojov aj k neškolenému výtvarnému umeniu (ľudový a naivný, detský výtvarný prejav), i k „umeniu psychotikov“, v tvorbe ktorých objavovali archetypálnosť, výtvarnú invenciu, expresívnu výrazovosť, vnútorné napätie a znakovosť. Etnické umenie „primitívnych národov“ inšpirovalo gro vizuálneho umenia prvej polovice 20. storočia. Umelci vychádzali z Darwinovej evolučnej teórie, ktorá zdôrazňovala, že vývoj vždy smeruje od jednoduchšieho k zložitejšiemu.2 Na jednej strane fauvisti, expresionisti, kubisti, predstavitelia ruských avangárd a surrealisti obdivovali archaické a jednoduché tvary a inštinktívnu bezprostrednosť výtvarného výrazu. Picasso sa inšpiroval magickým a achaickým svetom afrického umenia, Deraina a Matissa podnietili k tvorbe zase masky rezbárov z Bogoty, Modiglianiho portrétne umenie i skulptúry z Pobrežia Slonoviny, Vlamincka, Schmidta-Rottluffa, Pechsteina očarili oslnivé farby etnického umenia. Do druhej skupiny patrili maliari a sochári drážďanskej skupiny Die Brücke, ktorí sa inšpirovali tvorbou ľudí s psychickou poruchou. V roku 1911 založili v Mníchove Vasilij Kandinsky a Franc Marc expresionistickú skupinu Der Blaue Reiter, vydali almanach pod rovnakým názvom, ktorý sa stal jedným z najdôležitejších programových diel umenia 20. storočia a v zmysle „Veľkého reálna“ oficiálne prehlásili naivné umenie za Umenie. Na 5


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Vasilij Kandinsky  Bez názvu. Strana z almanachu | Untitled. Page from journal.  Gemersko-malohontské múzeum Rimavská Sobota Vasilij Kandinsky  Kompozícia č. 4. Strana z almanachu. | Composition 4. Page from journal. Gemersko-malohontské múzeum Rimavská Sobota Der Blaue Reiter | The Blue Rider Almanach | Journal. 1912  Gemersko-malohontské múzeum Rimavská Sobota

výstave v tom istom roku vystavovali spolu s ich dielami aj obrazy Colníka Rousseaua a práce duševne chorých. V roku 1919 v Kolíne nad Rýnom zaradil Max Ernst „umenie psychotikov“ do koncepcie dadaistickej výstavy. Pre Paula Kleea bola detská kresba vizuálnym dokumentom, ktorého dešifrovanie mu pomohlo objaviť zázračnú krajinu poézie. Už rok po smrti Henri Rousseaua (1911) referoval Antonín Matějček o Colníkových plátnach. Emil Filla písal chvály o novoprimitivizme a v roku 1920 vydal Josef Čapek zbierku svojich úvah z rokov 1918 – 1920 Nejskromnější umění. V 20. a 30. rokoch 20. storočia sa v Čechách znova prehodnocoval odkaz Henri Rousseaua, predovšetkým na teoretickej úrovni, a to zásluhou Václava Nebeského a Vítězoslava Nezvala; novozaložený spolok Devětsil vyvolal širší záujem o jeho dielo, na jarnej výstave sa jeho členovia, vrátane Františka Muziku a Adolfa Hoffmeistera, programovo prihlásili k primitivizmu. Záujem o tvorivú prácu ľudí s psychickou poruchou je európskym fenoménom 20. storočia a odohralo sa teda v približne rovnakom čase, keď moderní umelci objavovali kmeňové a primitívne umenie. Prvá kniha adresovaná umeniu duševne chorých z hľadiska estetického, a nie klinického L ’art chez les fous, vyšla vo Francúzsku v roku 1907. Jej autor, psychiater Dr. Paul Meunier (pseudonym Marcel Réja ), chápal takúto produkciu nie ako patologickú, ale ako základnú formu pochopenia umeleckej tvorivosti všeobecne. „Sú divné obrazy šialených umeleckejšími ako práce kubistov?“ uvádzajú britské noviny v roku 1913 na margo

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Franz Marc  Bez názvu. Strana z almanachu. | Untitled. Page from journal. 1911.   Gemersko-malohontské múzeum Rimavská Sobota Franz Marc  Kôň. Strana z almanachu. | Horse. Page from journal. 1911.   Gemersko-malohontské múzeum Rimavská Sobota

rovnomennej výstavy Post-Impressionists v Royal Bethlem Hospital, na ktorej vystavovali Picasso, van Gogh, Matisse a iní spolu s psychiatrickými pacientmi.3 Boom umenia duševne hendikepovaných nastal začiatkom 1. svetovej vojny. Nemeckí expresionisti ako George Grosz či Oskar Kokoschka používali myšlienku „šialenosti“ vo svojej tvorbe ako odraz brutality vojny a provokáciu ako znak hlásateľov New Age. Walter Morgenthaler vo svojej publikácii Ein Geisteskranken als Künstler (1921) našiel paralely medzi umením expresionizmu a dadaizmu vo vzťahu k psychicky chorým autorom, ktoré demonštroval pozoruhodnou analýzou tvorby Švajčiara Adolfa Wölfliho. Nemecký psychiater a umelecký historik Hans Prinzhorn vydal v roku 1922 v Heidelbergu publikáciu Bildnerei der Geisteskranken o prácach umelecky neškolených psychicky hendikepovaných ľudí, často s diagnózou schizofrénie, ktoré neposudzoval z psychiatricko-diagnostického hľadiska, ale chápal ich ako autonómne osobnosti. Prinzhorn definoval umelcov z liečebných ústavov rovnakým spôsobom, akým sa dá aplikovať na všetkých umelcov bez ohľadu na vzdelanie, zvlášť keď spomenieme významný výrok Nietzcheho, že každý umelec tvorí z vnútornej nutnosti.4 Publikácia Hansa Prinzhorna udrela ako blesk z jasného neba do umeleckého sveta. „Poznáte tu znamenitú knihu od Prinzhorna, že? Poďme sa na ňu pozrieť. Tento obraz je krásny. Rovnako ako ten a tamten... Skutočne posvätné umenie. Priamo spirituálna vízia. Môžete teraz povedať, že patria do blázinca?“... spytoval sa Paul Klee v roku 1924.5 Prelom bol totálny a prevrátil naruby všetky umelecké tradície. Expresionisti či ruskí suprematisti a abstrakcionisti už nekládli dôraz na klasické akademické vzdelanie, ale v umení hodnotili najmä mimoriadnu umeleckú intenzitu. V roku 1924 vyšiel Bretonov Manifest surrealizmu. Základným kameňom jeho surrealistickej teórie kreativity sa stal psychický automatizmus. Dionýzovská výstrednosť psychotikov bola východiskom diel surrealistov, videných ako ekvivalent sna alebo halucinácie. Pomocou absolútnej fantázie, automatizmu a gesta, ako prejavov čistých emócií, ktoré vyrážajú z ľudského vnútra, pretrhávali zaužívané konvencie a prenikali do sféry neviditeľného a zázračného. Umelci, nadšení tvorbou ľudí s psychickou poruchou, v ktorej našli oslobodenie a uvoľnenie zdrojov primárnych tvorivých síl ale netušili, že o niekoľko rokov bude ich avantgardný prejav degradovaný na smutne preslávenej putovnej výstave Entartete Kunst (1937 – 1939).6

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Paralelne s objavovaním a výskumom výtvarného prejavu pacientov s mentálnym postihnutím sa uskutočnil v roku 1928 ich apollinský protipól, parížska výstava naivných maliarov Les peintres de Sacré – Coeur, na ktorej W. Uhde predstavil slávnu päťku autorov Henri Rousseaua, André Bauchanta, Séraphine Louisovú, Louisa Vivina a Camilla Bomboisa. Museum of Modern Art v New Yorku vystavilo v roku 1938 na výstave Fantastic Art, Dada and Surrealism naivné umenie, spolu s prácami detí a ľudí s psychickými poruchami, s dielami kubizmu, dadaizmu a surrealizmu a oslavovalo ho ako hnaciu silu moderného umenia 20. storočia.

Z histórie na Slovensku Generáciu slovenských výtvarných umelcov po roku 1918 odchovalo moderné umenie Paríža. Zo študijných ciest sa vracali poučení modernými umeleckými smermi 20. storočia, inšpirovali sa majstrami, ktorí vychádzali z geometrizovaných tvarov prehistórie, z umenia prírodných národov Afriky, Oceánie a Ameriky. Prostredníctvom diel Picassa, Chagalla či BrâncuŞiho a iných objavovali v slovenskom ľudovom umení výtvarnú invenciu, expresívnu výrazovosť, vnútorné napätie a znakovosť – princípy, ktoré boli zásadné pre európske umenie 20. storočia. Preto v tvorbe predstaviteľov slovenského výtvarného umenia od 20. rokov existovala permanentná oscilácia medzi centrami, kde moderné umenie vznikalo, a medzi domácim ľudovým prostredím a umením.7 Okrem výtvarníkov sa o výskum ľudového výtvarného umenia zaujímali viaceré vedné disciplíny – od etnografov v súvislosti so štúdiom duchovnej a hmotnej kultúry až po historikov umenia, ktorí skúmali súvislosti medzi slohovým a ľudovým umením. Prejavilo sa to najmä v prácach Rudolfa Bednárika, Viléma Pražáka a Josefa Vydru, riaditeľa bratislavskej ŠUR, ktorej činnosť (1928 – 1939) vychádzala zo zásad Bauhausu vo Weimare, neskôr v Dessau a bola prepojená s domácou tradíciou ľudového umenia. Václav V. Štech prišiel na základe porovnávania ľudového a profesionálneho umenia k záveru, že ľudové umenie je inšpiračným zdrojom akademického, a tým do značnej miery korigoval Naumannove tézy o poklesnutých hodnotách. Historik umenia Karel Šourek na príklade pražskej výstavy Staré umenie na Slovensku (1937) analyzoval vzájomné vzťahy tzv. vysokého a ľudového umenia. Autorov výklad v publikácii Umění na Slovensku (1938) bol odvážnym pohľadom kritika, hľadajúceho odpoveď na otázku, ktorá je pri každom umeleckom diele najdôležitejšia – či už ľudovom alebo „vysokom“: aká je jeho duchovná zákonitosť, ktorá našla svoj výraz vo výtvarnej podobe? Záujem o ľudové umenie vzrástol ešte viac zásluhou filmu Karla Plicku Zem spieva (1933). „Časť maliarov študovala farebnosť, vzťah detailu k celkovej kompozícii a výrazu. Uchvacovalo ich spojenie naratívnosti prvého plánu obrazu s poetizovaním druhého plánu, čo ponecháva divákovi vyvolanú situáciu a dej individuálne domýšľať. Druhá skupina slovenských moderných umelcov sa síce v proklamáciách bránila nadväzovať na vonkajšie stránky ľudového umenia, napr. na ornament, znaky odevu, architektúry a pod. rovnako sa ale nezaobišla bez tvarového a farebného typizovania, čo sa práve učila z ľudovej tvorby – maľby a plastík. Formy zjednodušovali často do znakov natoľko abstrahovaných, že z podstaty reality zachytili pratvar smerujúci k ideogramu.“8 Najmarkantnejšie sa to prejavilo v diele Ľ. Fullu a M. Galandu. V rokoch 1930 – 1932 vydávali Súkromné listy, kde píšu „… o novom maliarstve, ktoré nám je alfou a omegou“ a zakladajú „tribúnu vyrastajúcu zo základu nekompromisného boja o nové umelecké smery, o nové maliarstvo vôbec… umenie je hra a rozkoš… maľba je hrou línií a farboforiem… absolútny obraz je diagram duše“. 8


Anarchisti a konformisti Trienále Insity v kontexte meniacich sa vzťahov medzi profesionálnym a insitným umením Alexandra Tamásová Insitné umenie sa tradične chápe ako samostatný fenomén, nezávislý od kontextu profesionálneho umenia – ako čosi uzavreté v ohrádke, kam neprenikne nič z dobových trendov. Nadväzujúc na dlhú tradíciu podujatia trienále Insity, rozhodli sme sa pripraviť výstavu zo zbierky insitného umenia SNG, kde by sme chceli tento fenomén predstaviť naopak v súvislostiach vývoja súdobej spoločnosti aj umenia – ako čosi, čo je „syndrómom“ modernej doby, a je podmienené v prvom rade aktivitou profesionálnych umelcov a teoretikov. Povedané inými slovami, aktuálna výstava by mala pojem insity dekonštruovať, aktualizovať jeho význam pre dnešnú dobu, ba dokonca možno až spochybniť jeho tradičné chápanie. Tvorbu neškolených autorov konfrontujeme s dielami „profesionálov“ tak, aby sa ukázali rozličné úrovne prepojenia medzi oboma oblasťami. Na úvod preto urobíme malý exkurz do histórie; do čias, ktoré o niekoľko desaťročí predchádzali usporiadaniu prvého Trienále insitného umenia. V roku 1922 bola po prvý raz publikovaná práca Hansa Prinzhorna Bildnerei der Geisteskranken (Výtvarná tvorba duševne chorých),1 venovaná výtvarnej tvorbe ľudí s psychickými poruchami. Prinzhorn (1886 – 1933) bol vyštudovaný kunsthistorik a psychiater, ktorý obdivoval diela expresionistov, a práve záujem o pôvod kreativity ako takej ho priviedol k štúdiu druhého spomínaného odboru. Pre svoju ojedinelú kvalifikáciu dostal príležitosť spracovať rozsiahlu zbierku výtvarných prác pacientov psychiatrickej kliniky v Heidelbergu. Jeho kniha je zhrnutím tohto výskumu a stretla sa s nadšeným ohlasom časti moderných umelcov, ktorí videli v dielach autorov s psychickými poruchami prejav prapôvodného, ničím nezaťaženého prameňa tvorby. Išlo najmä o niektorých expresionistov, surrealistov a vôbec predstaviteľov avantgardných smerov. Mnohí z nich (ako napríklad André Breton, Max Ernst, a predovšetkým Jean Dubuffet) toto umenie zbierali, propagovali, či vystavovali. Pohyb bol teda obojsmerný – na jednej strane nadšenie pre expresívne polohy profesionálneho umenia nepriamo priviedlo Prinzhorna k štúdiu tvorby ľudí s psychickými poruchami; na strane druhej, diela týchto autorov spätne inšpirovali mnohých profesionálov. Práve do tohto obdobia sa obvykle datuje začiatok dlhého príbehu toho, čo dnes označujeme ako insitné umenie, naivné umenie, art brut, prípadne outsider art.2 Jeho súčasťou je aj Trienále insitného umenia, ktoré v roku 1966 po prvý raz usporiadal v Bratislave historik umenia Štefan Tkáč. Dnes, po vyše 47 rokoch, prezentuje Slovenská národná galéria výstavu, na ktorej jednak zhodnocujeme dlhú históriu tohto podujatia, a zároveň, ako som už uviedla, sa snažíme zasadiť ho do širšieho kontextu súdobého profesionálneho „veľkého“ alebo „vážneho“ umenia. V tejto súvislosti musíme mať na pamäti dlhú vynútenú prestávku medzi rokmi 1972 až 1994, ktorá rozdeľuje históriu Insity na dve pomerne odlišné etapy. Kým prvá nesie pečať osobnosti hlavného organizátora Štefana Tkáča, pod druhú sa podpisovala ako kurátorka Katarína Čierna. Zároveň jednotlivé ročníky podujatia odrážali meniace sa dobové kultúr-

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Plagát k 1. trienále insitného umenia. 1966 | Poster for 1st triennial of insitus art  Plánik k 1. trienále insitného umenia. 1966 | Plan for 1st triennial of insitus art

no-spoločenské, ale aj umelecké trendy. Navonok sa to prejavilo predovšetkým postupne sa zvyšujúcim podielom tzv. art brut alebo outsider art, ktoré na výstavách sčasti nahradilo pôvodne dominujúce naivné umenie a ľudovú tvorbu.

„Slovanské Tahiti“ Na prvých troch Trienále (1966, 1969, 1972) dostala zďaleka najviac priestoru oblasť umeleckej produkcie, ktorá sa najbežnejšie označuje ako naivné umenie.3 Podľa Ota Bihalji-Merina (vtedy jedného z najvýznamnejších odborníkov a autora viacerých publikácií o naivnom umení4), naivní umelci „… netvoria …nijaký smer. Stoja mimo duchovných výtvorov profesionálnych umelcov. Skutoční naivní maliari tvoria z hĺbok a mocnej túžby svojho srdca.“5 Naivné umenie je teda také, ktoré stojí mimo historicity (na rozdiel od profesionálneho západného umenia), nie je viazané na určité štádium biologického vývoja (ako detská tvorba), a nemá ani súvislosť s patologickými psychickými stavmi (ako v prípade tzv. outsider art alebo art brut). Štefan Tkáč však s týmto termínom polemizuje hneď v úvode prvého katalógu ako s dvojzmyslom, ktorý má navyše pejoratívny nádych.6 Preto navrhuje alternatívne pomenovanie insitné umenie, ktoré má potenciál širšieho záberu a „dobre vystihuje podstatu tohto javu“.7

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3. trienále insitného umenia, 1972, Ivan Rabuzin 3. trienále insitného umenia, 1972, Štefan Tkáč Plagát k 3. trienále insitného umenia pred Hlavnou stanicou v Bratislave | Poster for 3rd triennial of insitus art, at Bratislava‘s main train station

Vytvorenie nového termínu a jeho uplatnenie na predtým nesformovanú skupinu objektov a javov chápem ako nanajvýš sebavedomý čin, ktorým Tkáč udelil existenciu novému fenoménu. Pomenovať znamená uviesť do života, potvrdiť jestvovanie. Ako teda Tkáč definuje insitné umenie? „Spoločnou črtou všetkých autorov insitnej tvorby sú bohaté zdroje psychična: sila imaginácie a tvorivá fantázia a vlastnosti veľkých majstrov: sviežosť, čistota, úprimnosť, večne trvajúci úžas a nekonečná radosť z objavovania.“8 A ďalej: „Insitné umenie orientuje dnes estetiku na kult reality, života, bezprostrednosti a zdravia cíteného priam fyzicky. Jeho prvotnosť sa často stavia ako protiklad k degenerovanej vyčerpanosti salónnej kultúry, čo je do určitej miery aj opodstatnené.“9 Tkáč sa často odvoláva na staršie texty a výstavy venované neprofesionálnej umeleckej tvorbe, a pochopiteľne, nebol zďaleka prvým, kto sa týmto javom zaoberal. Napriek tomu bol jeho tvorivý vklad veľmi výrazný, ba dalo by sa takmer povedať, že sa spolu s tímom spolupracovníkov stal sugestívnym a sebavedomým kreátorom nového fenoménu. Nielenže rozhoduje o tom, čo bude zahrnuté „pod strechu“ insitného umenia (a to v rámci širokého medzinárodného kontextu!10), ale navyše konštruuje aj jeho históriu, pracujúc s termínom preinsitný prejav. Sem zahŕňa „... také výtvarné prejavy, ktoré zostávali [vo svojej dobe – AT] na okraji odborného záujmu.“11 Ide napríklad o maľované strelecké terče, drobné votívne plastiky, vývesné štíty a podobne. V Tkáčovom chápaní insitného umenia cítiť napätie medzi historizujúcim a estetizujúcim pohľadom na tento jav, keď na jednej strane naznačuje pokusy o napísanie jeho dejín, a na strane druhej chápe jeho podstatu čisto ahistoricky, ako konštantu prítomnú na všetkých dejinných úrovniach naprieč geografickým priestorom. To znamená, že význam artefaktu

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↑ Ondrej Šteberl  Žena s hadom | Woman with Snake. 1969 → Ivan Rabuzin  Vetvičky | Branches. 1979

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Strach z prรกzdna | Fear of Emptiness

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↑ Adam Nidzgorski  Bez názvu | Untitled. 1966 → Miloš Urbásek  K-85-115. 1985 ← Igor Kalný  Stojaca postava | Figure Standing. 1986

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Mediumita, surrealizmus, nevedomie | The Force of the Medium, the Surreal, and the Subconscious

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Anton Jasusch  Symfónia | Symphony. 1922 Cecilie Marková  Farebná kompozícia IV. | Colour Composition IV. 1970

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Summary The History of the Collection of Naive Art at the SNG In the early 20th century, many artists’ world view was inclining to unschooled visual art (folk art, and art with a naive, childlike aspect), as well as to ‘psychotic art’, which showed archetypality, artistic inventiveness, expression, inner tension and the emblematic. The ethnic art of ‘primitive peoples’ inspired the bulk of visual art in the first half of the 20th century. Fauvists, expressionists, Cubists, Russian avant-gardists and Surrealists esteemed archaic and simple shapes; painters and sculptors of the Dresden group Die Brücke drew inspiration from the art of those with psychological disorders. In 1911 in Munich, Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc founded the expressionist circle Der blaue Reiter, and published a journal with the same title, which became one of 20th century art’s most important program works; in the sense of the ‘great real’, they officially declared naive art to be Art. At an exhibition that same year, along with their own work, they displayed pictures by Rousseau ‘the customs officer’ and pieces by the mentally ill. A boom in art by the mentally handicapped occurred at the beginning of World War One. In their art, German expressionists used the idea of ‘madness’ as a reflection of the war and provocation as an emblem of New Age proponents. In 1922 in Heidelberg, the German psychiatrist and art historian Hans Prinzhorn published Bildnerei der Geisteskranken. This was about pieces by those with mental handicaps, often diagnosed schizophrenia, who had no artistic training; he did not define them in terms psychiatric, diagnostic terms, instead understanding them as autonomous personalities. Prinzhorn saw artists in treatment institutions the same way all artists can be seen regardless of education, particularly when we recall Nietzsche’s significant statement that every artist creates from an inner need. It was the modern art of Paris that edified the generation of Slovakia’s artists after 1918. They returned from their study tours, schooled in modern 20th-century artistic streams. Works by Picasso, Chagall and BrâncuŞi and others led them to discover in Slovakia’s folk art inventiveness, expression, internal tension and the emblematic – principles fundamental to 20th-century European art. This is why Slovak art from the 1920s showed continuous oscillation: between the centres where modern art originated and domestic, folk environments and art. In addition to artists, scholars of various disciplines took interest in visual folk art: from ethnographers studying spiritual and material culture overall to art historians examining the connections between formally-composed and folk art. This was particularly evident in work by Rudolf Bednárik, Vilém Pražák and Josef Vydra, director of Bratislava’s applied arts school ŠUR; the school’s activity from 1928 to 1939 was based on Bauhaus principles in Weimar, later in Dessau, interlinked with the domestic folk art tradition. The art historian Karel Šourek, using the example of the Prague show Staré umenie na Slovensku [Old Art in Slovakia] (1937), analysed the mutual relationship between ‘high’ and folk art. His spirited commentary in the publication Umění na Slovensku [Art in Slovakia] (1938) gave the view of a critic looking for the most important answer for any work of art, whether folk or ‘high’: what is the spiritual pattern that found its expression in this form? Interest in folk art grew even more thanks to the Karol Plicka film Zem spieva [The Earth Sings] (1933). Another grouping of Slovakia’s modern artists in their proclamations avoided manifest association with the external aspect of folk art, but could not avoid the typical shapes and colours they had learned from it. This was most evident in pieces by Ľ. Fulla and M. Galanda. From 1930 to 1932 they published Sukromne listy [Private Letters], stating ‘art is play and pleasure... painting is a play of lines and colour scales... the absolute picture is a diagram of the soul’. At the end of World War Two, the French painter Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985) began systematic collection of pieces by mental patients. He originated the term art brut (raw, rough, unrefined); as he understood it, this is often comprised of rather ‘unartistic’ elements – found objects, detritus of everyday life and so on. In 1949 he published Art Brut preferred to Cultural Art, which might be seen as his manifesto. This very provocative text in content places the art of the mentally ill on equal footing with art in general, and defends his prototype of ‘raw’ art, which refers to one of the fundamental negative emotions of 20th-century civilization, namely the loneliness of a human being lost in a crowd.

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The folk art tradition in many parts of Slovakia survived in a nearly untouched form until after World War Two. The organization Umelecká beseda slovenská programmatically and intentionally organized (in 1948) a Slovak folk art exhibit in Bratislava, later reinstalled in Prague’s Mánes Exhibition Hall (1949). The exhibit’s co-organizers Alžbeta Güntherová-Mayerová and Jozef Kostka thus focused expert attention on the kind of folk art that until then had been peripheral to art historians’ consideration. In 1949, Karel Šourek became the Slovak National Gallery’s first director, and divided the forthcoming collections into three departments: Medieval/Renaissance, folk and modern art. The folk art department was to be specific to Slovakia, to enable the SNG ‘to function in a new, original and unconventional mode, that there be no envious gaping at international gallery institutions’. In 1953, the Slovak Committee for Art Affairs initiated a Slovak Centre of Creative Folk Art (Slovenské ústredie ľudovej umeleckej tvorivosti), a facility for thought and methodology regarding art as pastime in Slovakia. It also created an Education Centre (Osvetové ústredie), later the Educational Institute (Osvetový ústav), along with an independent publisher Osveta, and publication began of the periodical Výtvarníctvo, fotografia, film. A seminar on issues of amateur art in Slovakia, which the Educational Institute held in December 1959 in Bratislava, saw the beginning of a new, bolder direction. Štefan Tkáč (1931 – 1989), a young specialist in its art department, made a key presentation with a new conception for developing children’s and amateur artists. He put forth (mainly in contrast to the prevailing practice of drawing as utilitarian and passive reproduction) the specialness of the child’s world, which fosters creative fantasy. In addition to this institution’s work on aesthetics education in art classes, he proposed they focus research activity on original, ‘uncultivated’, individual, ultimately naive creations as a manifestation independent of period tendencies. Thus systematic research and collection began the Educational Institute’s organized attention to this whole area, until then regarded a marginal aspect of ‘great’ art. V. Kompánek and A. Barčík (members of the M. Galanda group) were close friends of Štefan Tkáč. In 1961 – 62, they put together a group of pieces of Slovak naive art to be presented together with Czech art over the next two years in the exhibition Naive art in Czechoslovakia (Brno, Prague, Ostrava, and Bratislava). The recognized art historian and critic Arsén Pohribny (1928 – 2012) was curator of the Czech portion. On 1 September 1965, a department for naive art was attached to the Slovak National Gallery. It was initially created in conjunction with the Educational Institute; Štefan Tkáč became its head. At the time, the SNG and the Educational Institute were preparing the 1st international triennial of insitus art. Tkáč introduced this term ‘insitné umenie’ in Slovak, or ‘insitus art’ (from Lat. insitus – insita – insitum = native, original, sincere, instinctive). He considered standard labels – such as Sacred Heart painters, holiday painters, folk masters, 20th-century primitives, Sunday painters, amateurs and the like – to be insufficiently fitting and apt, as he felt naive and primitive art carried a pejorative tinge. He was also the first to characterize and analyse this artistic creativity, a natural human expression from the most ancient times. An appreciative and systematic interest in ‘insitus art’ led Tkáč to a purposeful and thoroughgoing program to assemble a survey that would relate it in its full scope, time and space. The SNG began to build its own collection. An emphasis on authenticity and artistic quality characterized Tkáč’s criteria for including pieces in the collection. From its very founding, the profile was certain: specialization in layers of art without trained composition. From the first, the collection was built with the intention of reflecting the relationship between professional and unschooled art, and their mutual incursions and influence. This focus on the work of unschooled artists was not just a quest for authenticity in visual art, not just a revisiting of the roots of creating, but also a broader study of the essence and import of art as such. In the collection’s earliest years, the SNG gathered exhibits that would form the foundation for future collecting: traditional folk art of national significance, naive art from Czechoslovakia and abroad, and initially inclusion of children’s art. The first purchases (of Ondrej Šteberl, Juraj Lauko, Anna Ličková, Zuzana Virághová and Žigmund Hubaček) took place just after the SNG founded its department; A. Barčík and V. Kompánek were other members of the acquisition commission. This constituted a solid base for the collection, featuring what have become classics of ‘insitus art’ (by Ondrej Šteberl, Juraj Lauko, Anna Ličková, Ľudovít Kochoľ, Zuzana Virághová, Július Považan and 139


others). Soon afterwards, gifts of pieces by Kovačice-based painters were acquired after the Maliari z Kovačice show (December 1965), organized by Slovakia’s ministry for education and culture and the Educational Institute in Bratislava; many artists exhibited (Michal Bíreš, Ján Garaj, Zuzana Chalupová, Martin Jonáš, Ján Kňazovic, Martin Paluška, Ján Sokol, the Veňarský brothers, founders of the ‘Kovačica school’). From the collection’s beginning, acquisitions occurred intensively; eventually Czech artists were also added (including Natalie Maslikova-Schmidtová, Václav Žák, the Procházkas, Antonín Pařík, Václav Šilhán, and Jan Hruška); pieces by the exceptional Czech mediumistic art practitioner Cecilie Marková were also to come in. Further acquisition resulted from mounting the individual festivals of the insitus art triennial; the collection expanded as more artists (such as Ilija Bosilj, Francesco da Silva, Waldomiro de Deus, and Erich Bödeker) donated their works. The collection grew to include pieces by naive artists working from memory or in the fiction of paradise lost, return to the old days and the mythical ‘golden age’. Even after Štefan Tkáč’s involuntary departure from the Slovak National Gallery (1974), after the ‘ideological’ elimination of the triennial and Insita bulletins, the work went on in the stifling atmosphere of normalization, with research on folk artists and in the acquisition of ‘insitus art’. This led to obtaining further pieces by artists represented in the collection (Ondrej Šteberl, Štefan Siváň, Július Považan, Mária Žilavá, Juraj Lauko, Nela Kompánková, Karol Hraško, Pavol Bavlna, Ondrej Sklenka, Alžbeta Korkošová, and others) and by new artists (like Jozef Lackovič, Pavol Hronec, Ján Hlavatý, Ján Hadnagy, and František Ježovít), with the intention of capturing the ample diapason of their work. In the early 1990s, the Slovak National Gallery revived the concept of organizing international surveys of naive art. The first project among these events was the exhibition Návraty k insite [Returning to Insitus] (1992), put together for the 20th anniversary of the 3rd triennial of insitus art, which had been the last in Bratislava. It also honoured the triennial’s founder Štefan Tkáč. The first of the renewed survey exhibitions, in fact the fourth overall, took place in 1994. Twenty years had passed, and naive art had become complicated by over-commercialization. This inflation had already begun in the 1970s – primarily in Yugoslavia, but also in Italy, France, Poland, the Netherlands and elsewhere. This came from mass production of ‘pleasing pictures’ that had little in common with true naive art. There was an important change in the triennial’s conception: the project’s purpose was to present the two main groups within insitus. The first represented authentic (categorically) naive art, while the second included art brut and outsider art. It was a major undertaking, which had direct impact on acquisitions in the context of the collections’ future direction and concept. In contrast to naive painters, the artists classified in the second group often use non-traditional techniques, creating more expressively in arcane and dramatic symbols and archetypes; or they subconsciously render the dark side of their lives. The art brut works enriched the SNG’s collection to include a major international context. Generous gifts to the collection over the last two decades – by such admirable artists as Kiymet Benita Bock (Grand Prix Insita 2000), V. Romanenkov (Grand Prix Insita 2004), Nikifor, Enrico Benassi, Pietro Ghizzardi, and many more – have enlarged it. These came mainly through the activity and instigation of: Dino Menozzi, editor of the journal L’Arte Naive; Vadim A. Pomecshchikov, the Moscow curator of the Caricyno Museum; Gérard Sendrey, director of the Musée de la Création Franche in Bègles, France; and the director of Galerie Hamer in Amsterdam, Nico van der Endt. Yet even beyond the international jury members, the artists themselves (Ognej Jeremic, Jean-Michel Messager, Pierre Silvin, Yeshayahu Scheinfeld, Joaquim Baptista Antunes, Jan Nowak, Jean-Pierre Nadau and others) helped expand the collection to include these new phenomena. The gift of Adam Nidzgorski, an outstanding representative of the art brut of France and indeed of Europe as a whole, was exceptional. The effort of the Olomouc collector Pavel Konečný brought works by Leoš Wertheimer to the SNG collection. The gallery’s own acquisition practice further extended the collection, to include pieces by the mediumistic artist Anna Zemánková and by Eva Droppová, dynamic, botanic and ornamental organisms rooted in the psychic automatism or virtuoso minute drawings of Z. Semerák. In 1995 the SNG mounted a monographic exhibition of the Croatian naive artist Ivan Rabuzin (Grand Prix Insita 1969), and on that occasion he donated several prints to the collection. Since 1997, the ‘insitus art’ collection, which together with folk art comprises over a thousand works, has a permanent exposition at the Galéria insitného umenia at Schaubmar Mill in Pezinok (under SNG administration). This is the 140


first and only gallery of its kind in Slovakia. In addition to housing its permanent exhibition, it prepares monographic and thematic shows and interpretive presentations, drawing attention to the broader thought and artistic background to the coexistence between professional art and the phenomenon of unschooled expression.

Anarchists and Conformists. The Insita triennial in the context of changing relationships between professional and naive art. Naive art is typically understood as a phenomenon independent of the professional art context – as something shut away some place where no contemporary trends penetrate. Drawing on a long tradition of triennial ‘insitus art’ events, we decided to prepare an exhibition from the SNG collection of naive art. In it we hope to present this phenomenon in connection with the development of contemporary society and art – as a kind of ‘syndrome’ of the modern era, and primarily conditioned on activity by professional artists and theoreticians. In other words, this exhibition is meant to deconstruct the term ‘insitus’, bringing its meaning up to date for the current time, and perhaps even to question how it is understood. We have confronted the work of unschooled artists with pieces by ‘professionals’ in order to show the various layers of interconnection between both. Today, after more than 65 years, the Slovak National Gallery presents an exhibition that both assesses this event’s long history and attempts to place it in the broader context of contemporary professional, ‘great’ or ‘serious’ art. In this context, we have to remember the long and imposed hiatus between 1972 and 1994, dividing the ‘insitus’ triennial into two rather distinct stages. While the first (1966 – 1972) bore the mark of the main organizer, Štefan Tkáč, the second stage was run by the curator Katarína Čierna (1994 – 2010). Individual Insita events, too, reflected the changing socio-cultural and artistic trends of the periods. Most visibly, this came through principally in the increasing share taken by art brut or outsider art, which in part replaced the earlier dominance of naive and folk art. At the first three triennials (in 1966, 1969 and 1972), artistic production most often referred to as naive received by far the most space. Oto Bihalji-Merin (then one of the greatest experts and author of several publications on naive art) defines naive art as that which stands outside historicity (in contrast to professional western art), is not bound to any stage of biological development (such as children’s art), and is unconnected to pathological psychic states (as is the case of ‘outsider’ art or art brut). However, Štefan Tkáč disputes the use of this term at the beginning of the first catalogue, as a double-meaning that carries a pejorative tinge. This is why he proposed the alternative label insitné umenie [Slovak for insitus art], as it has potentially wider scope and ‘concisely captures the essence of this phenomenon’. So how did Tkáč define ‘insitus art’? ‘A common feature of all insitus artists is rich psychical sources: the force of imagination and creative fantasy, and the qualities of great masters: freshness, purity, sincerity, eternal wonder and boundless joy in discovery’. Tkáč’s contribution to the field was great; it could even be said that he and his collaborators became the suggestive, self-confident creators of a new phenomenon. Not only did he decide about what would be included within the scope of insitus art (even at an international level!), but he also constructed its history as he worked with the term pre-insitus expression. In Tkáč’s understanding of insitus art, one feels the tension between historicizing and aestheticizing perspectives; on the one hand he indicates efforts to write their history, while on the other he often sees its essence ahistorically, constantly present at all historical levels throughout geographic space. This means an artefact’s meaning is localized only in its own essence, without any need of knowing or taking into account any external circumstances behind its origin, such as geographic space, the artist’s knowledge of other artists, socio-economic conditions and the like. The initiative to establish the Insita triennial grew from a local context: for Czech artists and intellectuals, Slovakia since the mid-19th century functioned as a ‘Slavic Tahiti’ – a picturesque living history of traditional farm and pasture life and folk culture and art. The historic first director of the SNG, the Czech art historian Karel Šourek, proposed dividing the institution’s future collection into three parts: pre-modern, modern and folk art. Thus an affinity for folk expression (which of all insitus art most nearly resembles the naive) was predestined by the long-term development of Slovak culture. 141


In his introduction to the catalogue published for the first triennial, Tkáč writes of major exhibitions and publications devoted to non-professional art, and names new galleries created for this purpose. This can be seen as part of the argument to have a triennial, but also as an implicit effort to define ‘insitus art’ as something impenetrably separated from other artistic production. Theoretically, though this might result in protecting insitus art from the ‘contamination’ of the official culture, it likewise excludes the opposite movement, i.e. the penetration of this art’s principles and values into this culture’s structure. We now leave aside the question of whether this would be possible – for our purpose is reconstructing Tkáč’s ideas (and above all the function he ascribed to insitus art). Insitus art is understood as a continuation of folk art, now that the latter has lost its nurturing ground with the collapse of the traditional lifestyle. The affinity for naive art thus partly grows out of the ‘Slovak myth’: national self-identification based on a rural, agricultural/pastoral way of life. So we can see insitus art as an expression of traditionalism, a representation of this way of life, which despite having gone definitely extinct has become the carrier of values still highly cherished. One such value is Christianity, as religious motifs often appear in pieces by naive artists; Slovak insitus artists in work and personality represent a societal model that is non-belligerent, honours traditions and traditional social roles, and so on. Thus in reality these are not universal, pan-human values, but rather values of a specific, strongly rural-anchored patriarchal society. Idyllic pictures of country life, natural scenery or animals are not media with revolutionary or seditious potential – neither on the part of the artists nor the audience. In parallel with insitus art here, in the West the phenomenon art brut developed, mostly at the initiative of Jean Dubuffet. He characterized this ‘art in a raw state’ as something originating outside official art structures, represented by academies, galleries and museums. Above all else he prized authenticity, conditioned by the artists’ social and psychological isolation – most were people with psychological disorders. The artefacts and the fates of these artists are decidedly more ‘dramatic’ than ‘idyllic’. Dubuffet gave his most spirited attention to the issue in the 1940s, when he founded the Compagnie de l’Art Brut (a society to foster ‘raw’ art), organized many shows and began to build his collection (Collection de l’art brut). However, even during the period when the first triennials were undertaken the art brut phenomenon was still vital. In the 1960s several of Dubuffet’s texts appeared in domestic periodicals, and Tkáč doubtlessly knew – after all, Tkáč maintained correspondence with him, and informed him of the triennial. Yet a chasm separated the approach these two took to non-professional art. For Tkáč, as we have mentioned, naive art was a space for temporary escape and respite from the cares of modern man, while Dubuffet wanted to use it as a way to change the foundations of society, and especially of art. He felt Art brut possessed a revolutionary potential, seeing it as an instrument for achieving cultural anarchy. The basic difference in the approach of the two advocates of non-professional art can be condensed to this: whereas for Dubuffet art is a medium richer than language because it captures thoughts in a form not yet crystallized, Tkáč admires works that have a narrative ‘story’ element, which are ‘more linguistic’ – drawing on specific life experience, circumstances and environment. In this context it is interesting to observe parallels between the promising development of the triennial project on the one hand and advances in contemporary professional art on the other. In the second half of the 1960s, thanks to the looser political/social atmosphere, progressive movements in visual arts prospered too, receiving space in exhibitions and in the press. There are numerous indications that the dematerializing tendencies then current in visual art were disagreeable to Štefan Tkáč. Unwillingness to accept the most current artistic trends apparently arises from the function Tkáč attributes to ‘real’ art, which alone held value for him; from a man that appreciates an artist’s ability to convince the viewer that ‘the sky is blue, birds sing and butterflies flutter’, it is hard to expect he would sympathize with artistic forms like 1965’s conceptual HAPPSOC I., now regarded a breakthrough on the domestic scene. Funnily enough, it was the neo-modern, dematerialized art of artists like Alex Mlynárčik, Peter Bartoš and Rudolf Sikora that had revolutionary potential, or the intent of reordering society (even as Jean Dubuffet wanted to do with the help of ‘his’ art brut). So we might sum up the function of ‘insitus art’ in Czechoslovak culture as follows: above all, it built naturally on the strong folk art traditions that characterized (and in some measure still characterize) Slovak culture, from the perspective 142


of both neighbouring countries and Slovaks themselves. The triennial offered an alternative, too, to the spiritually malnourished socialist realist art, but also to intellectually more rigorous and conceptual artistic strategies. In the socialistic society, it functioned as a space for working people to relax, as a pure spring at which to refresh themselves and for a moment forget the troubles of life in an industrialized, impersonal system. And after all, last but not least, insitus artists and their work helped affirm our culture’s traditional values. In 1972 the third triennial took place, which was to be the last for some time. A long twenty-two years passed before it was possible to build on the interrupted tradition, when in 1994 the fourth Insita triennial occurred in the newly-opened Esterházy Palace, under the curators Katarína Čierna and Zita Kostrová. The resumed triennial had a similar spirit to the first events – it was once more international, with artists exhibiting from twenty countries. Since then, the Insita event has been prepared on a similar scale until 2010, its last year so far. The functioning of an international jury returned too, with its members among the most recognized experts in non-professional art – of all of them, let us at least mention Roger Cardinal, the British art theorist and originator of the term most typically used today: outsider art. In cooperation with this jury, K. Čierna using the reproductions submitted selected Insita participants, and eventually its Grand Prix winner, who at the following event was given the chance to exhibit monographic work at the exhibition. Even as Štefan Tkáč put maximum energy and spirit into his endeavour to outline, exhibit and reflect theoretically the main movement in insitus art, K. Čierna conceived the event such that it reflected or even imparted an international trend. Participation in this exhibition, for artists practically from the entire world, became a confirmation of their work’s quality, and Insita remains the most significant event yet in non-professional art. The term insita however has been changing or expanding – instead of the naive art that once comprised an absolute majority of the exhibited works, the event came to concentrate more on art brut, or outsider art – both terms indicating the work of artists who for various reasons found themselves on the periphery of majority society. Besides those with the psychological disorders that the term originally signified, the interest has shifted to work by artists with mental disabilities. So in addition to scenes of country life, visitors were confronted with more raw, expressive pieces in which the artists often never even attempted technical perfection. In general it could be said that the ‘outsider art’ phenomenon is prospering internationally. The existence of many specialized galleries and studios, where talented individuals with mental or psychological disabilities get art education, is proof of this. However, this field has not, in comparison to the first half of the 20th century, attracted such vital interest by professional artists. It seems to have lost the initial function that ‘other’ outcomes of creativity then fulfilled. In those days, the art of ‘madmen’ interested intellectuals that felt a painful contradiction between the rationalist society and the inner need for a spiritual dimension to life. If insitus art attracts some critics and public today, it is for other reasons; one of these may be what much of contemporary art looks like, generally strongly ‘conceptualized’ and intellectual, speaking to a much smaller group of people compared to the period a hundred years ago. Creators of ‘outsider art’ are often those incapable of conceptual thinking, and intellectually unreflected expression is what characterizes their works. Contemporary professional art to a considerable degree ‘takes place’ in the texts that are written and published about them – in this sense it resembles philosophy. By contrast, the ‘insitus scene’ is based more on personal contact, and the meeting of specific people (at social service homes, specialized studios, courses and so on). Those who participate in this scene, whether artists, teachers or gallery managers, form a special community of close mutual contacts even internationally. In the present time, characterized by ‘spectatorship’, virtual reality and electronic communication, perhaps this is the aspect of insitus art that is most attractive. Insitus art (or outsider art, which is a more widespread term in other countries) might now take one of two basic paths. Either it will continue to profile as a ‘brand’, as something consciously separate from the professional scene that wants to distinguish itself and figure as its alternative, or the opposite will hold true – the main effort will not publicize the phenomenon but rather individual talented artists, who may merge into the professional scene and become equal partners, and ‘insitus’ or ‘outsider art’ would thus cease to exist. The future will have to resolve this question.

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Medzi selankou a dramou / Príbeh zbierky insitného umenia v SNG  

Between Idyll and Drama. The Collection and Story of Naïve Art at the Slovak National Gallery. Kurátorky / Curators: Katarína Čierna, Alexan...

Medzi selankou a dramou / Príbeh zbierky insitného umenia v SNG  

Between Idyll and Drama. The Collection and Story of Naïve Art at the Slovak National Gallery. Kurátorky / Curators: Katarína Čierna, Alexan...

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