Jana Želibská

The Parts of the Entity

Opening reception : Monday September 29th from 18.00 to 20.00
Exhibition september 30 - November 28, 2014


The first exhibition of Jana Želibská in Gandy gallery in Bratislava called "The Parts of the Entity" will begin on September 30 and will last until November 28. It will present photo documentation Actions (1960) of some of her performances in nature, printed works from 1960/70 and a installation from 1990s. The graphic art will be presented in extensive way since it is not very well known among the general public, considering those few exhibitions where it has been displayed. In her silkscreen prints and lithography Želibská deals with human body in such a way that she decomposes it in smaller anatomical fragments or she brings forward naked female body represented as a passive erotic object, which can be observed and seized by a visitor without obstacles.
Jana Želibská (1941, Olomouc), visual artist living and working in Bratislava, play a key role on Slovak artistic scene from the end of the Sixties. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava and she started her artistic and exhibition career in 1967 with the exhibition Možnosť odkrývania (Possibility of uncovering) at Gallery of Cyprián Majerník in Bratislava. During the following year she spent several months in a residency program in Paris, but she returned back to already occupied Czechoslovakia. Despite this fact, her exhibition activity was and still continues to be very rich. Her work was exhibited in many Slovak and international institutions: Zachęta – Narodowa Galeria Sztuky (Warsaw), Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig (Vienna), Gosudarstvennyj centre sovremennovo iskusstva (Moscow), Space Apollonia (Strasbourg), Galleria Valentina Moncada (Rome), Muzeul Na?ional de Arta˘ Contemporana˘ (Bucharest), Centre tchèque (Paris), Embassy of the Slovak Republic (Washington D. C.), Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Wörlen (Passau), Národní galerie v Praze (Prague), XLVIII. Biennale di Venezia, Czechoslovak pavilion, Giardini di Castello (Venice), Courtyard Gallery (New York), Musée d´Art Moderne de la ville de Paris (Paris), Museo Universitario (Mexico) and others.

In her work, Jana Želibská is focusing on one specific area of topics executed in different types of artistic techniques. She mostly questions the situation of a woman in the society, the dominance of men, not only in the art world, but as well as around in different relationships between a man and a woman. She uses a human body - mainly woman´s one and its symbols represented by its fragments as breasts or rhombus of female genitals. Despite all these rather serious themes, Želibská never misses a certain sense of humour or irony . It is maybe why she never considered herself as a feminist artist who wanted to change the whole society, but rather as someone who pointed out a current condition.

Jana Želibská created traditional painting and prints as well as pop-art objects and environments. Later, during the “normalisation” period in the seventies in Czechoslovakia, Zelibská focused on more subtle expression such as performances in the nature, happenings and conceptual art. The most recent works include mostly video and large installations.
Graphics 1960-1970
Photos Actions 1970-1980
Amanita Muscaria. 1970. Bratislava (1st Open Studio), 17x23cm (each)
Saving boxes - amanita muscaria "come out" of the damp room trouhg a small window into the exterior.
Every participant is given an "amanita muscaria" to start the whole year saving.
A Piece of Land lI. 1974. Earth Art. Low Tatra Mountins, 61x43cm, edition 3
A Piece of Land IlI. 1974. Earth Art. Low Tatra Montains, 61x43cm, edition 3
Natural materials (stones, grass) through the intervention of the artist are transformed in to the signs of the male and female principles in symbolic archetypal forms.
Grass Taken from Place "A" Grows in Place "B" in a Designed Pattern,1981, Bratislava and Surroundings, 23x16cm (each)
Grass taken from the open countryside and re-planted into a wooden box, specially made to give it a designed fundamental "primeval" shape.
Will the grass "yoni" live or will die in the urban milieu?
Search For and Finding the Lost. 1981. Concept. Place Without Detonation, 19x19 (each)
Different objects are found in a winter landscape.
Suddenly there is a flash of human figure. Have we found him, or not?
She - The Nymph Transposed into the Terrain in Surroudings of Bratislava, 1983, 40x30cm (each) (4photos)
The nymph is "taken out" of the Lefebvre's painting (La nymphe Aglae au jardin Hesperides) and transposed into landscape.
The landscape structure is changed by the seasons of the year. The nymph represents two temporal interventions:
1/ overlapping of the period when the original painting was completed into autumn and winter of 1983.
2/ the penetration of Greek mythology and the element of immortality (the apple of immortality from the garden of Hesperides). Nature is immortal - after winter re-awakening comes again.
Sign - Its Origin and Decline. 1984. Event. Vicinity of Bratislava. Color photography. 29x23,5cm (each)
Participation in the set of actions Terrain III. Spring 1984.
"Nine rhombic elements (polished metal), gradually added to each other - at first one,then four and eventually nine - create a small, larger and the largest "sign". The sign then falls apart. In addition to the origin and decline, the idea is the connection of non-living metal (of a given shape) with nature which is reflected in its reflections - it connects with it." (Jana Zelibska)
Installations 1990 - 2014
"The different life of goat" J.Z
Small instalation (little table, skull, light, mirrors) 70x50x38cm, 1997
The Stone (stone, grass, wood, glass) 50x50x35cm, 2014
Jana Želibská CV

exhibitions Prague 1992/2005      exhibitions Bratislava 2005      gandy gallery