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Mountains of clouds

31. January 2023 - 19. March 2023 Curator: Juliana Mrvová

For many years, Žofia Dubová has dedicated herself to exceeding the limits of painting by stepping out of the painting format as well as transitioning to media such as glass and installation. In addition to studying the physical qualities of painting and the limits of the picture she has also recently been involved in studying natural atmospheric processes that have an ephemeral character. Waves, fog, clouds, snow, and hail had an impact on her latest series of paintings, in the same way that these forms of water create high mountain ranges. Žofia frequently likes to depict mountains, valleys, and ridges, but perhaps not as much as she likes to visit them. Her works try to capture the elusive atmosphere, a moment, an experience, which can only be discovered when we step out of our own comfort zone and thanks to long hikes in the Himalayas, Alps or Tatras. These three groups of mountains, the smallest and the tallest mountains of the world, are the source of light sceneries and rock structures in the paintings featured at this exhibition. A days-long hike through the Annapurna Valley in the Himalayas gave Žofia a huge amount of new material and a more distinctive range colors, brought by high-mountain villages and the people living in that rocky landscape. The colorfulness of the Nepalese fabrics and homes appear especially in the color “sample books” featuring pasty brush strokes in the bottom of the paintings. It also appears in smaller aquarelles and their reflections in wool fabrics. The inaccessibility of mountains dissolves in color and a difficult to depict light creates a feeling of transience, as if the mountains are a mirage. European mountains create a calmer impression, something known and homey. However, we perceive the inaccessibility of rocks and peaks drowning in a lake of clouds. Žofia used a wide scale of means, starting with charcoal and pastel drawings up to embroidery, to express various rock structures. She observes natural scenery and realizes the limits of her own perception; in painting she studies and purposely exceeds them. Thus, her paintings are not only a personal story but also a reflection of our perception.

Juliana Mrvová


Žofia Dubová (*1991, Bratislava) completed her studies of painting at the studio of prof. Daniel Fischer at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava (AFAD) in 2016. During that time she also took part in an internship at the studio of glass and several internships abroad (US, Portugal). In 2022 she wrote her dissertation under the supervision of doc. Emöke Vargová at AFAD’s Cabinet of Drawing. She has presented her works at several group and solo exhibitions in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Russia, the U.S., Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Belgium, France and Portugal, and she has won several awards, including the AFAD Rector’s Award and the Award of the Slovak Union of Visual Arts in 2016, the VÚB Painting of the Year Award in 2017, and the NOVUM Foundation Award in 2018. Her works are part of the collections of the Slovak National Gallery (2019) and MussVerre, Sars-Poteries, France (2017).