Pavle portret | Danubiana}

Jonah and the Whale

12. December 2015 - 28. February 2016

Throughout his oeuvre Ivan Pavle contemplates the fundamentals of painting, how simple and at the same time how complex it is. Painting appears to be irreplaceable and inexhaustible, in its essence, self-reproductive. Although his lack of interest in adjusting to the current trends pre-determines him to the role of a peculiar, solitary artist, the quality of his painting cannot go unnoticed. He exhibits at several major exhibitions and advances steadily, not only in Slovakia, but also abroad. His artistic exploration is directed not to whatever is in fashion at the time but towards the essence of painting. From the very start of his career, he has been an exemplary figurative painter.
He varies the human figure in hundreds of his studies – he studies its matter, analyses the possibility of its decomposition, movement and its sequences; he also projects human emotions in a relaxed mental state. Ivan Pavle’s contemplation of the form of the human body, in all its beauty and ugliness, has its roots both in the Gothic perception of the body as a vehicle for the soul and also in the Renaissance search for the symbiosis of body and soul.
These also seek out exits from the isolated world in which he or she is frequently to be found. An analysis of the human body entails the display of a naked, predominantly female, fuller and sensual body. Other figurative motifs − various mythical or mythological animals, a favourite horse and fish or their skeletons washed ashore − emerge steadily in his work. Babylon remains the major motif. Pavle treats religious themes with great respect; whether the act of prayer itself or motifs with angels, the Crucifixion, the Descent from the Cross and the like.
He attends a number of study stays (New York, 1996, Delft, 1998 Punta Gorda, Florida, 2003, Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, 2004, Veli Lošinj, Croatia, 2005, Phuket, Thailand, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009; New York, 2012) which provide further inspiration to fulfil the statement by Paul Klee, who characterises long-term efforts to make the invisible visible: “Art does not reproduce the visible; rather it makes visible.”

Ivan Jančár


Academic painter Ivan Pavle is one of the most significant personalities of the middle generation in Slovakia. He was born in 1955 in Galanta, and grew up in Prievidza. In 1981, he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, Department of Monumental Painting, Bratislava (Prof. Castiglione and Prof. Vychlopen).
He lives and works in Bratislava. He devotes himself mainly to painting and drawing but also sculpture, furniture objects, and sporadically also to illustrations. He has exhibited in prestigious Slovak and foreign galleries, and is represented in public and private collections all over the world. He has participated in several creative visits, mainly in the USA and France, where he received the award of the jury at the International Painting Festival in Cagnes-Sur-Mer in 1989.
The work of Ivan Pavle is characterized by a prolific painter´s unrest and distinct handwriting. His interest in contact with the best works of the past has led him to the application of forgotten techniques and formulas in his own painting procedures. His numerous works are a combination of his knowledge of tradition and respect for material with a contemporary content.