• Probe 1 – The Story of Slovak (Post)Conceptual art
    12 Dec 2018 − 24 March 2019

    Prague City Gallery / Stone Bell House Curated by: Vlado Beskid and Jakub Král Loans by Kontakt: Ján Mančuška, Julius Koller, Stano Filko, Roman Ondak The exhibition will introduce Czech public into one of the crucial tendencies found in modern and contemporary Slovak art. It will focus on the origination and development of Conceptual and post-Conceptual Art within the horizon of the past fifty years in Slovakia, i.e. from the alternative, unofficial scene of the 1960s to the post-1989 legal artistic platform. The oeuvres of two generations of artists, such as Viktor Frešo, Jozef Jankovič, Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkáčová, Martin Kochan, Július Koller, Marek Kvetan, Ján Mančuška, Roman Ondák, Boris Ondreička, Monogramista T.D, Rudolf Sikora, Pavla Sceranková, Peter Rónai and Jaro Varga, will serve to present particular forms of Conceptual artistic morphology, as it was shaped by the new aesthetic criteria with their codes, in the context of time. The exhibition, held as a specific contribution to the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the existence of Czechoslovakia, will go hand in hand with interventions by several Czech artists (Jan Brož, Alice Nikitinová, Vít Soukup, Pavel Sterec, Antonín Střížek, Michaela Thelenová) who will loosely contextualize selected historical, social, economic and world-view facets of our history. Their main subject of interest is the transformations of the internal social paradigm, presented the loss of the utopian outreach of our thinking in connection with the declining big ideologies.


Kontakt. The Art Collection of Erste Group and ERSTE Foundation focuses on Central, Eastern and Southeastern European artistic activity which has accompanied the social and political developments of the past decades and has been contributing significant works to European art since the late 1950s.

The collection's purpose is to reflect on conceptual forms of art production within Europe's changing political geographies. This involves placing the art of the formerly socialist countries in an international art context and drawing attention to its reciprocal connections and varied practices. Kontakt aims to collect works which play an integral role within European art history while also claiming an exceptional status within a politically heterogeneous terrain.

There are several categories of interest which developed within the art scene of the 1960s and correspond with the major themes of the collection: the reflection on and approach to modernist structures, the redefinition of material in space, issues of the political and the public, and matters of the body on both a performative and a gender-emancipative level.

Reflections on such developments in these regions serve as the point of departure for assembling and expanding a collection of artworks in a variety of media and formats. The younger artists represented by Kontakt often relate to the works of their precursors from the 1960s and 1970s, lending the collection coherence in media and thought.

The presentation of the collection's artworks remains decentralized and relational, and is independent of an institutional or locally anchored exhibition space. In general, the artworks are available as loans for context-specific exhibitions and presentations. Currently, over 100 artists from 15 countries are represented in the collection.

A further aim of the collection is to function as a research tool that helps international scholars and curators gain more insight concerning specific fields of interest, providing information about individual artworks in order to facilitate their circulation in exhibitions as important art-historical testimonies. Hence, the mission of the collection consists in bringing together a body of art-historically unique, yet in their entirety coherent works which, taken together, allow for a new understanding of art from various political and social angles.