Biography, awards and recognitions, exhibitions
“Reverberating with imagination and allegory, Katarína Vavrová’s figurative paintings undoubtedly represent the peak of the imaginative and poetic line in Slovak contemporary art. Her permanent dialogues on human alienation and reconciliation, on the emotional states of the soul swept by the whirl of struggles and doubts, are exceptional and unique.”
PhDr. Danica Lovišková
We have met with the name of Katarína Vavrová on the Slovak art scene since the beginning of the 1990s. Although she studied book illustration with professors Albín Brunovský and Karol Ondreička at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava (1990), her artistic expression gradually developed in the interest of drawing, graphics and painting techniques. Already the collection of drawings Day and Night from 1989 to 1991 clearly suggests that it is a natural and surprisingly distinct talent, for which the orientation on figural creation will be decisive. The basic attributes of her artistic expression are imagination, attention to detail, precise drawing and sensitive color vision. The author is a brilliant drawing artist who, through several sovereign lines, once dynamic, sometimes disciplined, can capture the character, essence and soul of the motive.
In her early paintings in the early 1990s, the author puts more emphasis on drawing, and color only emotionally completes the story. Gradually, however, the basic principle of image construction is being formulated – the contrast between easily pen-drawn sketched details and precise painted motifs.
During the 1990s, Katarína Vavrov fills and develops the whole area of paintings and drawing gives way to the painting of the plot, idea, composition, or creates a balance between the two components. Gradually he creates his own painting technique, combining gouache, pastel, air-brush and ink.
On the surface of images, there are several stories, motifs, spaces, human characters, among whom we seek connections. The works are full of hidden meanings. The author amazes us with the thoughtfulness of the composition, its interplay in a number of segments, details. With characteristic lightness, ease, courage and imagination, he paints and draws his stories.
The thematic range of her paintings, graphic works and drawings is very wide. Katarína Vavrová, very sensitive and receptive to all impulses of reality, extends to topics long past and present. Equally close is her literature, poetry, music, religious, mythological themes and the world that surrounds her. Literary characters, biblical stories, childhood memories, travel experiences (Thailand, Korea, China and especially Italy) come alive in works to fill them with new meanings.
The central motive of her stories is a woman. Beautiful, noble, tender, fragile and courageous, mysterious, vulnerable and wounded, shrouded in secrets, sadness and joy. The greatest emphasis is placed on the face in which she concentrates all emotions, the essence of the story. Sensitive brush strokes and fine color rollers, precisely, down to the smallest detail, model her typically oval elongated form with both live and sad eyes. Its almost renaissance beauty, sensual grace and grandeur are highlighted by many remarkable details – ornaments, jewelry, flowers, beautiful toilets, through which a fragment of the landscape or plant ornamentation is surprisingly winding. They are once richly shirred, sometimes economically modeled and only partially overlapping the sensual female body. Their guides are mostly lightly sketched and mysterious men. Men humbled, desperate and challenging, affecting the rings of life, suggesting permanent dialogues about alienation and approach. Sometimes characters do not communicate with each other, they are deep in themselves, in their thoughts, thoughts, they live their own lives.
These sparkling stories about the very essence of human existence are surrounded and endowed with a wealth of wonderful and magical details. Fragments of architecture, landscape cuts, flowers, fruits, noble animals, colorful birds, butterflies, fish, bees, plants, interior details and segments of the natural environment form part of the figural scenes. Often angels, their wings or feathers appear as guardians and protectors of our certainty and destiny. Many details are not subject to the earth’s attraction, they float, levitate to enrich and enhance the plot of the work.
The rhythm of the line, the subtle drawing of the hand, softly embracing and characterizing faces and shapes, is enhanced by color. Once they are generously conceived areas of pure color, sometimes delicate, tender color rollers. Glow, it is rich, bold and soft, pulsating with unusual shades, halftones, sets and chords. She is almost demoniacally refined, dreamy and intensely recognizes the chords of our moods. Its trembling vibrations are enhanced by a specially crafted handmade Japanese paper, which by its unmistakable textures and structures creates an interesting illusive space and multiplies the emotional charge of the statement. Beautiful embossed lines of paper surface are used for original layering of structures, colors, shapes and stories.
Illustrations are an integral part of Katarína Vavrová’s work. Already her diploma work from 1989 on illustrations to the book by Grozdana Olujicova Heavenly River indicated the basic attributes of her original illustrative expression: surprisingly mature fantasy charge, sense of impressive details, strong colorist feel, whole organically composed of many beautiful details, brilliantly precise, perfect line and a master characterization abbreviation well understood and decrypted. The unusual figurative, emotional and inothy saturated figurative work of Katarína Vavrová represents the pinnacle of the imaginative-poetic line of contemporary Slovak visual art and has an irreplaceable position in its richly structured structure.
PhDr. Danica Lovišková