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Silk Dream

31. August 2021 - 16. January 2022 Curator: Barbara Brath

Academic painter Jana Kiselová-Siteková was born on May 24, 1942 in Prešov. She studied at the Department of Free Graphic Arts of the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava under the guidance of professor Vincent Hložník and graduated in 1967. She uses the classical techniques of drypoint and etching for her graphic art, but she loves to experiment in book illustrations, where she combines line drawing, aquarelle and tempera in the manner of ancient oriental painted scrolls and colored wood engravings. She also paints on textile (white starched linen).
She concentrates on works by significant writers, classical and modern fairy tales and biblical themes. During her long career, she has won the Certificate of Merit in the competition Najkrajšia kniha ČSSR (The Most Beautiful Book of the Czechoslovakia) for the publication Muško a Miško na severnom póle (Musiko and Misiko of the Far North) in 1975; the Award of the Mladé letá Publishing House for Čarokruh (The Magic Ring), the book of verses, in 1983; the Ľudovít Fulla Award in 1986; the BIB ’91 Plaque for her illustrations for the book Zbojníkova dcéra Ronja (Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter; and the BIB ’95 Golden Apple for her illustrations for the book Adam a Eva (Adam and Eve). In 1996, she was entered in the IBBY Honor List, while in 2001 she won the BIB ’01 Golden Apple for her illustrations for the book Palculienka (Thumbelina) and the BIB 2009 Plaque for the book Anjelíčku, môj strážničku (My Guardian Angel).
The character of her illustrations is specific due to the technique but especially the calm atmosphere that they radiate. Ancient Japanese culture has a marked impact on her work. By modest means she creates grandiose space on a small plane. Her domain is the fragile line with equally fine color which results in a poetic or dramatic expression of the picture, where she focuses on refined detail and fluffy, almost ethereal scenes. Her illustrations are characterized by a multiplicity of floral and zoomorphic elements whose ordering and repetition create a decorative impression. Her trembling, almost ephemeral gesture point out magical figures among a tangle of dreamy and natural visions which ripple in small nuances in the soul of the reader. Jana Kiselová-Siteková lives and works in Bratislava.

Barbara Brath


Selected works: Dagmar Wagnerová: Kúzeľný klobúk (The Magic Hat, 1971), Tomiko Inui: Muško a Miško na severnom póle (Musiko and Misiko of the Far North, 1975), Christine Nostlinger: Čo nás po kráľovi Uhorčiakovi (The Cucumber King, 1978), Sorche Nic Leodhas: Rybár a prsteň morskej panny (The Fisherman and the Mermaid’s Ring, 1979), Ljudevit Bauer: Paroloď Kolombína (Steamship Columbine, 1983), Ján Čarek: Čarokruh (The Magic Ring, 1983), Dievčatko a medveď (The Little Girl and the Bear, 1985), Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin: Čierny šál (The Black Shawl, 1986), Hovhannes Thumanjan: Chrabrý Nazar (Nazar the Brave, 1987), Astrid Lindgren: Zbojníkova dcéra Ronja (Ronja the Robber’s Daughter, 1989), Ondrej Sliacky: Adam a Eva (Adam and Eve, 1994), Maša Haľamová: Hodinky (The Watch, 1999), Milan Rúfus: Anjelíčku, môj strážničku (My Guardian Angel, 2008), Hans Christian Andersen: Palculienka (Thumbelina, 2001), Erik Jakub Groch: Píšťalkár (The Piper, 2006), Rozprávky Tisíc a jedna noc (Tales from One Thousand and One Nights, 2010), Juraj Kuniak: O stratenej rukavičke (The Lost Glove, 2012), Marie Voříšková: Čarovné pero (The Magic Pen, 2014), Jaroslav Seifert, translated by Ľubomír Feldek: Mamička (Mommy, 2016). She cooperates with the following publishing houses: Mladé letá, Slovenský spisovateľ, Tranoscius, Buvik, Ikar and others and for the children’s magazine Slniečko (Sun).