Ars: časopis Ústavu Dejín Umenia Slovenskej Akadémie Vied — 1987

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Siovak Book Art and Illustration 1945—1985

In the postwar development, particularly after Febru-
ary 1948, Slovák book art and illustration were given
weighty social impulses. Conditions were created for
setting up a book art and illustration as a specialized
branch of fine arts, for producing belletristic books
as a synthesis of literary, Creative and polygraphic
éléments. Artists of the founding génération of the
interwar period preserved continuity with the prece-
ding development. Works relating to classical writings
of Slovák literatuře predominated. National taies and
legends, in particular, found enthusiastic Interpreters
among the illustrators (M. Benka, E. Fulla, J. Vodráž-
ka, K. Ondreička, E. Makovický, J. Hála). In the fifties,
there was a prevalence of literary writings of epic
character and this was reflected also in the illustra-
ting paraphrase of the topic, where illustrative draw-
ings of a matter-of-fact, descriptive character pre-
dominate (Š. Bednář, A. Kováčik, A. Kajlich, F. Kli-
máček, V. Chmel, E. Semian, E. Kellenberger, J. Vrtiak,
J. Šturdík, E. Ilečko). Original writings, the topic of
the Slovák National Uprlsing, but also translation li-
teratuře were in the forefront of interest. The édition
of basic works of classical literatuře was linked with
the activity of the illustrator and teacher — V. Hlož-
ník, as also with the pioneering efforts of D. Sulc.
These efforts were carried on from the sixtes onwards
by further graphie illustrators (E. Krátký, in the
domain of belles lettres, I. Kovačevič in the graphie
layout of books on fine arts, K. Pecho and J. Švec in
the adjustment of books for children and the young).
Illustrators applying classical woodeut and other gra-
phical techniques, as a rule in relation to works of
national literary tradition (A. Pepich, E. Zmeták, R.
Dúbravec), or to works of social motivation (J. Szabó,
O. Dubay, J. Baláž), followed the artistic expression
on the basis of graphie display. Striking conceptual
Stimuli háve been brought into Creative co-operation
in book designing by graduâtes of the Bratislava High
School of Creative Arts, particularly by specialists of

Hložník's school (A. Brunovský, J. Lebiš, V. Bombová,
F. Hübel, V. Gergelová, J. Pavlíčková, T. Schnitzer,
E. Končeková-Veselá). In parallel with this, illustrative
work went on that was based on décorative stylization
and a poetic transposition of ideational sources of
a literary model (A Klimo, V. Kraicová, M. Cipár, M.
Zelibská). During the sixties and seventies, several
génération strata took part in the art of book design
and illustration which became reflected in a poly-
phony of créative planes and in a possibility of doser
specializations. Strongly represented is the illustrative
trend on the basis of a painting or colouristic approach
(S. Cpin, L. Nesselman, F. Hložník, T. Gáll, B. Vota-
vová, B. Kolčáková, J. Trojan, O. Zimka). Nor is there
any lack of experimenting in an application of com-
bined techniques (M. Cunderlik, J. Cihánková, J. Fillo,
V. Popovič, I. Tarasová). Related to the development
of original belles lettres, science-fiction and adventure
literatuře, was the new wave of interest in black-and-
white, graphie and drawing illustrative expressions
(V. Machaj, J. Cesnak, I. Schurmann, G. Strba, O. Lup-
ták, N. Rappensbergerová-Jankovičová). The period
between the second half of the seventies and mid-
-eighties has meant not only a stabilization of crystalli-
zed conceptions, but has also brought in Stimuli of spé-
culative endeavours. The various editing domains are
ecquiring, besides a thematic profiling, also a charac-
teristic visual form as a resuit of a systematic co-ope-
ration of book illustrators not only in the field of
a traditionally advanced créative culture (belleslettres,
books for children and the young, creative-artistic
publications, bibliophilies and special-occasion prints),
but also in that of political, health and natural-history
literatures. At the present time, our book art and
illustration dispose of a strong créative potential in the
various, differentiated expressions. Among these, young
créative artists assert themselves in a telling manner
and gradually take over the initiative in book de
signing.
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