Ars: časopis Ústavu Dejín Umenia Slovenskej Akadémie Vied — 1983

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c tohkh apeiiMii pasBHTH», HeaKTyaJlbHoii. Teiifleiriinoanoe
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CHBHOMy pan b ht Mio cnoBaiiKoä xhbohmcu.
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MHMO rpaHHH TpaAHHHOHHOrO BHfla HapOHHOÜ XHBOnHCH.

On Dialectics of the Delevopment of Modern Slovák Painting

The principles of transposing modern world and man into
the domain of fine arts in Slovák painting were formulated
S1multaneously in the works of artists of varions générations,
Creative views, schools and thematic interests at the turn of the
twenties and thirties of this Century. The unidirectional mode
°f assigning trends in the views on fine arts, applied thus far to
mterwar Slovák painting, does not allow for revealing the ideatio-
nal essence of the origin of modern Slovák fine arts against a back-
ground of an expressive heroization and monumentalization of
the folk-genre topic. As a matter of fact, ail existing attempts for
art historical analysis of Slovák painting of the twenties and
thirties resulted from a premise that the principles of the Creative
expression of the so-called Founding Generation derived from
an exalted atmosphère of national consciousness prevailing during
the first decade of the new Republic. As against this, the present
study in tends to show that the retarda tive influence of 19-th
Century romantic aesthetics preserved its décisive efficiency also
after the conditions that gave it birth had ceased to exist, parti-
cularly in painting motivated by the national genre. And it is
Precisely the mutual interaction of the phenomena of historicism
and regionalism that played a décisive role here. The Slovák
nation has only one real historical tradition, viz. that of the Great
Moravia. Hence, an absence of their own historical past forced
the représentatives of a romantically-oriented intelligentsia of

mid-19th Century to search arguments for their own political, but
also cultural programme in the life of the plebeian society that
had preserved its national consciousness in an unaltered form.
Therein lie the nuclei of the romantic myth about the patriarchal
continuity of lile of Slovák country folk. On the other hand, the
rigorous revolutionary puritanism of the aesthetics of Ludovit
Štúr and of his companions led to an explicitly utilitarian and
tendentious formulation of the functionality of artistic création.
Man’s disinheritance complex from history remelted into a
boundless faith in the ontological abilities of art. Hence, not even
the foremost painters of the romantic era represent the individual
as a type in a real world, but rather as an idealized phenomenon
representing the “desired” traits of the national association.
A tendencious formulation of the form of folk-genre préserves
then a considérable influence also in its modern history. It may
be seen in its most conspicuous form in numerous painters of the
interwar period (Hála, Kern, Ondreička, Ladvenica, Polkoráb,
Straka, Žabota and several others), whose premise resides in
a glorification of the folkloristic tradition. Howcver, the nonexis-
tence of objective “content-supports” under the conditions —
substantially altered by capitalism — that prevailed then in the
Slovák countryside, led these neoromantics to a gradually disillu-
sioned négation of reality. Their later works involve still lesser
realistic image of the country life; they strive to find an image of
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