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Art Gallery of Ernest Zmeták in Nové Zámky

Category: Museums, galleries

Nové Zámky, town extended in the heart of Danube Lowland, once strategically important fortress and centre of anti-Turkish defence - is today one of the important cultural centres of the Nitra Region.

Atmosphere and distinctive identity of town is characterized by cultural legacy left by important natives, among which also artists have their peculiar representation, as for example Lajos Kassák, Otto Csicsátka, Lajos Luzsica, Gejza Kukán or Juraj Meliš.

This group of artists is complemented by academic painter, graphic artist, illustrator and not least also expert and avid collector of art - Ernest Zmeták, who with his lifelong creative and collector’s activity greatly contributed to cultural development not only of Nové Zámky, but of whole Slovakia. Thank to his initiative there was established, in his native land in 1979, an Art Gallery to which he dedicated, along with his wife Danica Zmetáková, large collection of works of Slovak, Hungarian and European art from period between the 16th and the 20th century. It was mainly the ancient art, focused on locality of the Central Europe and works of ancient masters, forming core of Zmeták’s collection, that could fill premises of main permanent exhibition along with paintings of representatives of Slovak, Czech and Hungarian modern painting and sculpture of the 19th-20th century.

In complex of exhibition rooms of the gallery there is also exposition dedicated to universal artist Lajos Kassák. This space is designed as tribute to legend of avant-garde in context of the Central Europe. Permanent exposition presents visual art production of the artist, under the frame of which we can see presentation of various positions of visual manifestations of author - through realistic works and symbolic countries, to abstract compositions in sense of picturial architectures, works created in spirit of constructivism where he connected constructive installation with his surrealistic figurative art. Besides these works exposition contains also works of artists reacting with their visual art on work of Kassák - tributes and various interpretations of projects organized during Kassák’s jubilee, we can see there also various documents and excerpts from literary work.

Exhibition activity is complemented by shows of short-term exhibitions of visual art, that in first place reflect the scene of visual art and activity in the field of modern art. Besides presentation of classic art and visual art media (expositions focused on traditional painting, graphics or sculpture), Gallery offers also space for more alternative manifestation and greatly presents current forms of art that are often on neo-conceptual level and thus they communicate more with person as such and they „force“ him to reflect deeper about himself, life, surrounding world… they offer art that doesn’t want to remain silent but it wants to talk about interesting and intransigently actual topics and ideas. Some expositions are designed as subjective statement of author aiming at absolute self-reflexion - evaluation of self, of own work and progress that accompanies his serach for answers to many question, but also exclamation points.