Ján Kralovič: Behind the mirror. Surrealism and the book

We cordially invite you to a lecture by Ján Kralovič at the Slovak National Gallery.

*reproduction: Rudolf Fabry, frontispiece from R. Dilong's book: Hviezdy a smútok, 1934




  • Thursday 8 February 2024, at 5p.m.


About the lecture

*The lecture as an accompanying program to the Biblioman exhibition will be selectively devoted to surrealist book works from the 1930s-1940s and their artistic (graphical, typographical and illustrative) adaptation.

Surrealism was an artistic direction accentuating freed imagination, "convulsive" beauty or optical effectiveness of the work. In this politically complicated period, there is an organic connection between literature and visual arts. A common platform became not only anthologies of literature and art / Áno a Nie (1938), Sen a skutočnosť (1940), Vo dne a v noci (1941), Pozdrav (1942) / but also several collections of poetry. In the lecture, the author will focus on examples of surrealist book design with a closer focus on two important authors: Rudolf Fabry and Ladislav Guderna, as well as the surrealist book editions Aligátor and Skarabeus. The motifs of typographic games, work with fragments (collage, photomontage) as well as book illustrations by important Slovak artists will be brought closer in the accompanying visual presentation.

Mgr. Ján Kralovič, PhD., studied History of Art and Culture at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Trnava in Trnava. In the years 2012-2016, he worked as a scientific researcher at the AFAD in Bratislava, where he currently works at the Department of History and Theory of Art, lecturing on the history of Slovak art of the 20th century, the history of new media, topics related to book culture and illustration, and leads seminars focused on the theory and interpretation of a work of art. He regularly publishes review contributions, professional texts and scientific studies on neo-avant-garde and contemporary art and book culture in professional journals (Jazdec, Ostium, FlashArt, artalk.cz, Fraktál, Profil, Vlna, etc.). He occasionally works as a curator. In 2014, he published the publication Teritórium ulica (The action art in urban space in the years 1965 – 1989 in Slovakia) and in 2017 a monograph focused on home exhibitions and artistic activities in the period of normalization under the title Mastery behind the door.

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