Rastislav Podoba (1975) continues to explore the space between representation and abstraction in his latest paintings. The territory of painting on the border between the depiction of the outside world (landscape) and the exploration of the possibility of painting as such receives a new impulse in changing the starting point. The starting point is no longer a normal country, but most recently aerial photographs of country topographies. The starting point is to move away from the viewer’s usual sight possibilities and turn into a machine topographic view of the landscape from above. The painter works with the existing technical image, which was created in different time, and is a representation (planimetry and hypsometry) of the earth’s surface on a different scale and from a point in space that is inaccessible to the human eye. The author transforms the technical image, reconstructs it in painting and presents it in our scale – within our perspective, waiting for the horizon. This comparison is the key to understanding current paintings by Rasťo Podoba and their current installation Lower levels.
The levels that can be considered here are set primarily due to the sight from the top view, where the ground layers overlap the surface from the level of clouds in the atmosphere, through for example smoke, tree-tops, vegetation, soil, water resources, river bottoms and sea bottoms…. The aerial image view can be targeted to layers of different heights and objects of different positions. By transcribing the original image in painting, this possibility remains, but it also extends to the possible perception of topographic motifs in relation to the texture and technological processes of painting, which brings us to the levels of layering and processing of painting material. Our view, broadened by techniques and imaging technologies, is reinterpreted and reevaluated here in the situation of an observing person, where values reappear: up and down, forward and backward, figure and background.
This brings us to the implicit motive of movement and time that is being a matter of the installation. What will be the result of getting closer to the real country? And what will be the result of approaching to her technical reproduction, and what, thirdly, will be the result of approaching a painter’s interpretation of technical reproduction? The movement closer and further is fragmented by the overlapping installation of different levels (details / units) on which the individual paintings of different formats focus. In addition to the pleasure that individual paintings offer, we can also ask questions about the broader problems of the relationship between our view and the landscape, what are our possibilities to look at the larger landscape units (or the whole planet), or the values hidden in this view, but also its consequences.
Exhibiting author: Rastislav Podoba
Curator: Michal Šedík
Venue: Bethlen’s house (Drawing room)
Duration of the exhibition: 29. 10. 2019 – 2. 2. 2020
Exhibition opening: October 29th, 2019 at 5 p.m. / Tuesday
We are looking forward to your visit!
Supported from public resources by Slovak Arts Council.
The founder of the Central Slovak Gallery is the Banská Bystrica Self-governing Region.