Albín Brunovský, the most important Slovak graphic artist and illustrator, brought a special combination of reality, dream, fantasy, as well as color etching and aquatint technique perfection to our fine art. His graphic and painting work featured the consistent polarity of reality and the mysteriousness of imagination, which was always associative in his works through the logical combining of un-combinable phenomena. This imagination was emphasized by the sensual experience of the artist, sensibility and lyrism, as well as the poetizing of the most ordinary relations of man and nature. His artwork was influenced by certain forms of Surrealism and historical transformations of Fantasy Realism which he developed in his peculiar fantasy-imaginative pictorial world that favored brilliant drawing and an abundantly developed imagination. His stay at the Academia di Belle Arti in Rome also had great impact on his work.
In addition to painting and free graphic work, he did illustrations for children’s and adult books. He illustrated his first books for children as a student in 1958, and by the 1960s his book illustrations won many international awards, such as the Biennial of Graphic Arts Prize in Lugano, Italy, the City of Paris Award at the Youth Biennial and the Biennial of Graphic Arts Prize in Krakow, Ljubljana, Varna and Venice. Brunovský intentionally left something unfinished in his works which imbued them with a touch of mystery and even mysticism. His metaphors, intimate memories and allegories created a dreamy, fantasy and unreal impression. This is because he freely used iconographic attributes and layered citations and symbolism from various historical periods.
He exhibited at prestigious galleries all over the world, but particularly noteworthy were his many solo presentations at institutions such as Musée de la ville de Paris, the Jacques Baruch Gallery in Chicago, Galerie Wiegand in Cologne and the East West Shop in New York.
Dagmar Kudoláni Srnenská
Albín Brunovský was born on December 25, 1935 in Zohor. From 1951 to 1956 he studied at the School of Applied Arts in Bratislava under prof. Miroslav Fikari and from 1955 to 1961 he continued in his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava at the Department of Graphic Arts under prof. Vincent Hložník. He was the head of the Department of Book Design and Illustration from 1967 to 1990 and in 1981 he became a university professor. In 1967, he was a co-founder and organizer of the 1st year of Bienále ilustrácií Bratislava (Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava). His first designs of postal stamps were created in 1962. He was also engaged in graphic design, ex libris, posters, stage design and the design of banknotes. In 1977 he was selected to design the new series of Czechoslovak banknotes, for which he won the World’s Most Beautiful Banknote award in France in 1989. In 1980 he received the title Meritorious Artist and in 1985 the title National Artist. He died on January 20, 1997 in Bratislava.