Ludmila Hrachovinová - Participatory Presence

In the recent years, painting has become the starting point and medium of thinking of Ludmila Hrachovinová. She feels the need to make visible those characteristics and attributes which are not necessarily apparent at first sight.

MEDIUM Gallery, Hviezdoslavovo námestie 18, Bratislava

Curator: Miroslava Urbanová


Ľudmila Hrachovinová approaches painting as the mediator of sensations, information, fragments of stories and experiences interconnected not only with our intellectual background but also with our perception of space, colours and structures at the physical level. She reflects on the potential of a hanging picture, stages well-planned moments of installation and adds performative acts. She moves within an extended field of painting.

On the canvas’s surface, she paints robust and gestural abstract shapes and forms. Through their organisation, they refer not only to the fragmented movement of a tangle of limbs without beginning or end but also to the physical experience caused by painting itself. The artist often supports this effect by activating the viewer in—for him/her—unusual positions or by engaging the performers in dialogue with her paintings in exhibition space. She examines the boundaries of a classical hanging painting and our habits related to its perception. A spectacle is foreign to her. She works with details, such as format size (its human scale), ordinary props (a chair, an exercise bar) and slow civil movements of the performers of different ages and physical composition. Through the manipulation with paintings, not only the exhibition display is constantly changing but also some sorts of time capsules are being created, bringing a deceptive sensation of stopping in an elusive moment of presence.

Many drawings, pencil sketches run next to her paintings in a delicate but indivisible line. They are limitless variations, possibilities, paradoxically, much more concrete in their reference to the physical than the resulting bunches of colourful substances on the canvas. The performance with paintings challenges us to change the possible perspectives, our own interactions and perception of painting as such, which is not created on a painting easel and is not intended for hanging in the center of the gallery.


Ľudmila Hrachovinová graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. Later, she studied at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm and at the Städelschule in Frankfurt. In 2012, she became a finalist of the competition Painting – the VUB Foundation; this year, she became a finalist of the Oskár Čepan Award. The selection of solo and group exhibitions, artistic residences: Movement Shapes the Distance, Distance Shapes the Present (Knoll Galerie Wien, 2019), Fast Kotzen (Pilotenkueche AIR, Leipzig, 2019), Shared Memory (Műtő Gallery, Budapest, 2018), Choice of Perception (Gallery 35m2, Prague, 2017) and many more in Slovakia and abroad.