Dorota Sadovská: Saint Clare of Assisi II
Dorota Sadovská: Saint Clare of Assisi II

TERM: MAR 7 – MAY 26, 2024
OPENING: MAR 7, 2024 at 6:30 PM
VENUE: Olomouc Archdiocesan Museum
AUTHORS OF THE EXHIBITION: Gabriela Elbelová, Dorota Sadovská
CURATOR: Gabriela Elbelová
TRANSLATION: Zuzana Henešová
EXHIBITION DESIGN: Dorota Sadovská, Vlastimil Sedláček
INSTALLATION: Vlastimil Sedláček, Daniel Opletal, Filip Šindelář, Ondřej Žák
PROMOTION: Lukáš Horák, Tomáš Kasal

Dorota Sadovská is one of the main representatives of contemporary Slovak painting, but she also works in the field of photography, video art, spatial installations and performance. She was born in 1973 in Bratislava, and she still lives and works there today. She graduated from the local Academy of Fine Arts in 1997 and two years later, she completed her studies at the French École Nationale des Beaux Arts in Dijon. She first presented herself to the public In 1995, she first presented herself to the public at the Acta exhibition in Nova Gallery, Bratislava. Since then, she has had about eighty solo performances, participated in at least two hundred group exhibitions, and has re-ceived thirteen domestic and international awards. Her works are represented in many private and public collections (Slovak National Gallery, National Gallery Prague, Albertina in Vienna, The University of Arizona Museum of Art in Tucson).

Dorota Sadovská’s entire intermedia work is united by an intense interest in the human body, which she handles in a specific way in each of the segments of her work. However, it is always a true, deep and intimate artistic statement. From the beginning, she has worked very sovereignly with the medium of classical painting and traditional painting themes. With great respect and at the same time in an innovative way, she takes on the depiction of Christian figures – Christ, the Virgin Mary, saints and angels, which had already become established in her work in the mid-1990s. Usually monochromatic figures, whose models are specific people, are conceived by the artist in a minimalist way, without any attributes as clothes or hair, and with an expressive language of gestures and looks. The angle chosen to capture the figures of the saints from above the ground is very unusual and gives the impression of an above-ground perspec-tive. Dorota Sadovská also often works with the exhibition space in a very sophisticated and individual way, thanks to which her paintings often go beyond the scheme of a classical two-dimensional work, and they function even as objects.

In the context of Dorota Sadovská’s previous exhibition instal-lations, the exhibition at the Archdiocesan Museum in Olomouc is the first project whose focal point is a direct encounter between her paintings and old art. This brings the expected and anticipated dialogue of permanent and time-tested values with contemporary painting, which combines a bold, unconventional and provocative approach with an awareness of the eternal and spiritual transcend-ence of the chosen themes. The story of the exhibition is symbolically opened by paintings from the Saints series, which in the work of Dorota Sadovská represents an initiation and at the same time an ongoing and open work. The artist gives life, emotions, gestures and bodies back to the saints, which she extracts into concentrated perspectival abbreviations. This opening communion of images of male and female saints creates a symbolic antechamber to dwell a little near the images of the Holy Family in the following part of the exhibition. This part of the installation is furthermore punctuated by the meeting of two canvases of the nursing Madonna, whose creation is separated by almost four centuries. The humanity of the Madonna by the Neapolitan Baroque painter Bernardo Cavallino is not expressed, as in Dorota Sadovská’s work, by a meaningfully accentuated nudity, but by a model of a simple girl from the street, no less provocatively for that time. The following two rooms bring an agonizing despair and helplessness in the artist’s interpretation of the theme of Pieta and the final catharsis in the paintings of the Blue-Green Christ with Wounds and the White Christ in the last room of the Gallery.