balans-1-1670426594 | Danubiana}


04. February 2023 - 19. March 2023 Curator: Ľudovít Petránsky

Ján ŤAPÁK - 33 Years with Sculptures

There are stories that last for a short period of time but have the energy of artistic thought. And there are stories that last for 33 years and contain the power of continuity. Both moments can be found in Ján Ťapák’s exhibition at the Danubiana, which is also a retrospective of his sculptural work. Okamihy myšlienok (Moments of Thoughts) with an almost conceptual sound, as well as Toro or Kráľ a kráľovná (King and Queen) as archetypes of eternal sculptural themes. The scope is truly wide, and one cannot remain indifferent to Ťapák’s work. You can meditate with a good book below a rosette at Notre Dame, you can become a participant in a game of dice between Greek warriors Achilles and Ajax or you can balance with a tightrope walker above a bull’s neck. The sculptor changes the rhythm in order to bring the momentum of the thought closer. Ťapák’s register is wide and his compositions have a clear center of gravity. It still fascinates me how he can capture motion and yet maintain that legendary Balans (Balance). How his bronze sculptures levitate, how a thousand-year-old bee can fatally kiss a man and how medusas hover like mysterious constellations. Sometimes I have the impression that Jan is like his astronomer who can see into the most distant depth of the universe through his telescope, or if you like – parallel worlds. Yes, a long time ago Plato wrote that the origin of our world is not sensible but intelligible. That the nature of our world lies not in atoms, but in information which was later transformed into material particles. And this is what Ján Ťapák’s sculptures are about. They have a great inhale which however is not followed by instant exhale – because these sculptures are not for a single look. They reveal their secrets gradually like a well-composed thriller. They have the memory of trees which are silent witnesses of human acts, but they also have disarming smiles which make our world more bearable. In celebration of his 60th birthday, the artist offers a look back in order to emphasize the present. 33 years is a period when can be summarized. But for Jan, time is only a floating quantity and therefore his stories never end. Fortunately.

Ľudovít Petránsky


Ján Ťapák was born on December 27, 1962 in Bratislava. From 1978 to 1982 he studied at the Secondary School of Applied Arts in Bratislava, specializing in carving under prof. Ludwik Korkoš and Ján Šicko and from 1983 to 1989 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava at the Department of Sculpture under prof. Ladislav Snopek and Ján Kulich. He received scholarships from the Mikuláš Galanda Foundation in 1997 and in The Pollock – Krasner Foundation in 2004. In 2010 he organized a large exhibition entitled Samuraji (Samurais) under the auspices of Yoshio Nomoto, the ambassador of Japan in Slovakia. Ťapák’s most important works include the sculpture entitled Slovensko, srdce Európy (Slovakia, Heart of Europe), which he created for the UN in Nairobi, Kenya, and the five-meter tall bronze statue entitled Knieža Laborec (Prince Laborec) for the Slovak village of Habura. He has participated in dozens of joint and solo exhibitions, and his works are part of public and private collections in Europe and overseas. In 2019 Ťapák won the Krištáľové krídlo (Crystal Wing) award for visual arts. He lives in Bratislava and works in his studio in the village of Smolinské near Šaštín.