The Oskár Čepan Award* was created in 1996 and it is intended for visual artists until the age of 40. Participation in the competition is not limited to a specific art medium.

Lucia Gavulová (Director of the F-CCA and Oskár Čepan Award)
Foundation – Centre for Contemporary Arts
New Synagogue Žilina

The contemporary Slovak society is a community full of contradictions. It has been enjoying the time of historic prosperity, while at the same time being painfully polarized in the understanding of its past, present, and future. Should we want to look for something specific in this year’s finals of the Oskár Čepan Award, it is precisely the way in which each of the artists involves the social standpoint in their work. They do it on different levels, yet thanks in part to this, the whole of the exhibition gives the impression of an interesting look at the possibilities of approach of contemporary Slovak art to individual spectators, specific communities, and the society in whole. Some of the artists place their oeuvres in relation to the role of tradition or rural countryside while others investigate the community’s memory and conscience. A substantial theme that reaches beyond the scope of art is then definitely the present day position of mothers, and even with such seemingly autonomous topic as the physical relation between painting and its spectator we can ultimately discern a challenge to take a more active human stand.

Viktor Čech

Photography Author: Richard Kohler