In my early life, I saw many people dying by violence. Later I witnessed the death of my friends and relatives... And that is only a fraction of why I do not paint optimistically and in pink colours.
Andrej Barčík (1928 – 2004) was a prolific artist and an active organiser of artistic events, who left an indelible trace on Slovak modern art. His name is closely linked with the Mikuláš Galanda Group associating artists with unconventional opinions and contemporary aesthetic ideas.
Barčík invented his unique art technique, which he further developed with the intuition of a passionate man and the deliberate tactics of a constructivist artist. Using a horizon line to create the illusion of space, he built his still lifes of familiar kitchen items, lamps, gloves, and playing cards out of calculated lines and contrasts.
In the mid-1950s, he focused on elaborated collage configurations lacking any descriptive details, which emphasised the contrasts and texture of paper. Apart from still lifes he also depicted figures; part of his creative energy concentrated on the sketches of female figures. In harmony with his life experiences, his works turned into pointed reflexion taking the form of a target. His targets can be perceived as both a representation of personal drama and a more complex reflection on art. If there is any chance in his work, it is limited by the cards he was dealt in life.
Supported using public funding by Slovak Arts Council.
Andrej Barčík (1928 Závodie – 2004 Žilina) was growing up in the period marked by social changes following the establishment of the Slovak Republic and by a tense atmosphere of World War II. Between 1946 and 1948 he studied at a private school of decorative art in Prague. The hours spent in the National Gallery examining the works by Bohumil Kubišta, Emil Filla and other artists served him as an excellent introduction to understanding the composition building based on the contrast of light and shadow. Since 1948 Barčík studied at the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava under the guidance of Ján Mudroch, later he moved to the to the Academy of Fine Art in Bratislava, the Department of monumental and decorative painting led by Ľudovít Fulla.
Barčík´s oeuvre was dominated by collage, which, at that time, was quite rare. An important role in his paintings, drawings and collages was played by the sense of the line, constructivist order of shapes, contrasts of pure colour surfaces and structure of monotype. From the very beginning, Barčík profiled himself as an artist of “solid and simple shapes“, which are also visible in works of other members of the Mikuláš Galanda Group. Despite the employment of signs and reduction and geometrisation of shapes, the Group members stayed true to the figurative art, although sometimes they found themselves at the verge of abstraction. In many pictures, Barčík employed playing cards to express a metaphor. They can also be found in his targets, wgich he usually composed of concentric circles and silhouettes of figures, or of horizontal line on which the cards were altering with the traces of bird shots. Barčík focused on painting, drawing, lithograph, and used waste paper from printing works. He combined things, leaving nothing to chance.