Stano Filko

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Born June 15, 1937(1937-06-15)
Veľká Hradná, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia)
Died October 23, 2015(2015-10-23) (aged 78)
Bratislava, Slovakia
Web CEAD, abArt, Artyčok TV, Wikipedia-SK
Collections Art museums in Slovakia (Web umenia), Kontakt (Vienna), Nedbalka (Bratislava), Artandconcept Gallery (Prague)
Stano Filko, c.1967. Source.

Stano Filko (1937, Veľká Hradná - 2015, Bratislava) was a key figure in the Slovak avant-garde, associated primarily with environment, installation, happening, and action. He began his studies at the School of Applied Arts in Bratislava (1956-59) and later studied Monumental Painting at the Academy of Arts, Bratislava (Prof. Milly and Prof. Matejka, 1960-65). He emigrated from Czechoslovakia in 1981 to West Germany and the following year further to the United States. In 1990 he returned to Bratislava.

Filko began his artistic practice as a critique of modernist painting, appropriating maps as ready-made canvases and created work influenced by Concrete and Constructivist artists in the mid-1960s. His intricate visual systems created diagrams from everyday objects that were rich in symbolic meaning.

Filko was included in the 1968 exhibition Nová citlivost [New Sensibility], which was a key, large-scale public exhibition of neo-constructivist work in Czechoslovakia that took place around the time of the Prague Spring (a short-lived period of reform during the spring of 1968). Nová citlivost was first presented in Brno, Karlovy Vary, and then at the Mánes gallery in Prague during the period of normalization that followed the August 1968 Soviet suppression of the Prague Spring. Following this period, strict censorship laws were implemented, resulting in the widespread repression of art and development of underground art movements throughout the 1970s. Filko's piece in Nová citlivost, titled A Room of Love (1965–66), presented relationships between objects and their users. The installation with a mirrored floor supported two beds, each covered with sheets bearing a Latin cross. An inflatable mattress covered one of the beds and a girl sat on the other.

In his later series of conceptual statements, Asociácie [Association] (1968–69), Filko's interest in transcendental philosophy, cosmology, and metaphysics—which could be seen as a response to the Leninist material ideology—was evident in his offset prints that mapped symbolic images and words. Many works in Association resemble calligrams—for example, one work parsed the linguistic relationship between the words "universe", "earth", "fire", "water", and "air" by organizing each word within a diagram written in Czech, German, Spanish, French, and Latin.

Filko was also a key figure in Slovak Actionism. In 1965, he wrote "Manifesto of 'HAPPSOC' (Theory of Anonymity)" with theoretician Zita Kostrová and fellow artist Alex Mlynárčik—who was in dialogue with the Paris-based Nouveau Réalisme group. The tongue-in-cheek name was short for "happy society", or "happening" and "society", or "happy socialism". The HAPPSOC group questioned the status of artistic practice as autonomous and created work that intervened in everyday life. The manifesto showed the writers' openness to perceiving reality as a work of art, declaring all of Bratislava as a Happening from 2-8 May 1965, in HAPPSOC 1. (Source)

Film[edit]


Happsoc, dir. Kvetoslav Hečko, Slovak Television, 1996, 26 min.
Documentary film/homage. In Slovak with English subtitles. Source.

Works (selection)[edit]

Exhibitions[edit]

Solo exhibitions
  • Obrazy — Grafiky, Kultúrny dom, Bánovce nad Bebravou, 1958.
  • Obrazy, Reduta, Bratislava, 1962.
  • Stano Filko. Obydlí současnosti a skutečnosti, Galerie na Karlove náměstí, Prague, 3 Feb - 5 Mar 1967. Curated by Zdeněk Felix.
  • Grafika, Galéria Václava Špály, Prague, 1967.
  • Stanislav Filko, Environnement universel 1966-1967 und grafik, Galerie Ursula Wendtorf-Kunstverein, Oldenburg-Düsseldorf, 1969.
  • with Miloš Laky and Ján Zavarský, Biely priestor v bielom priestore, Dům umění, Brno, 1973.
  • with Miloš Laky and Ján Zavarský, Fiatal muvészek klubja, Budapest, 1977.
  • Stanislav Filko, Emotion-1977, Galeria LDK Labirynt, Lublin, 1978.
  • Stano Filko, Transcendencja 1978, Galeria GN ZPAF, Gdańsk, Mar 1979.
  • Stanislav Filko. Transcendencia I.-II. 1978-1979, Mala galeria PSP - ZPAF, Plac Zamkowy, Warsaw, 1980.
  • Stano Filko. Exhibit of Painting, North Arlinghton Public Library, North Arlinghton, New Jersey, 1984.
  • FYLKO. Special Exhibit of Recent Work 1983-1985, P.S.1 – The Institute for Art and Urban Resources, Long Island City, New York, 1986.
  • Stano Fylko,The Donnell Library Center, New York City, 1987.
  • Stano Filko - Výber z diela. I. Červená energia (cyklus Sondy), Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava, 1993.
  • Výber z troch energií, Mánes, Prague, 1994.
  • Výber z tvorby (Červená biologická energia, 3. dimenzia, Modrá kozmologická energia, 4. dimenzia, Biela metafyzická energia, 5. dimenzia), Slovak National Gallery, Zámok Zvolen, 1994.
  • Piata dimenzia, Galéria Cypriána Majerníka, Bratislava, 1995.
  • Galéria Tatrasoft, Bratislava, 1996.
  • with Boris Ondreička, Spolocnekazdysam, Stürzerova cukráren, Bratislava, 1997. Fourth annual exhibition of SCCA. [1]
  • Egoq, Východoslovenská galéria, Košice, 2000.
  • Stanislav Filko. Šeherezada - Žena - Venuša, Galéria Slovenská sporiteľňa, Banská Bystrica, 2001.
  • with Miloš Laky and Ján Zavarský, Biely priestor v bielom priestore, Hungarian Cultural Institute, Bratislava, 2001. [2]
  • Stano Filko, Sonda egoq 1937-2037 Geminiy, Galéria Slovenská sporiteľňa, Bratislava, 2003. Curated by Michal Murin. Poster, Flyer, Booklet.
  • Fiylkontemplaciakcieq, sonda 1950-1969, sonda 1971-1984, State Gallery, Banská Bystrica, 2003.
  • Up 300000 km/s, tranzit workshops, Bratislava, 2005. Curated by Vít Havránek and Boris Ondreička. [3]
  • Priáda – piata – štvrtá – d (dimenzia), Slovak Institute, Prague, 2008.
  • Filkova archa a oltáre súčasnosti, Bratislava City Gallery, Bratislava, 25 Sep - 26 Oct 2008. Curated by Ivan Jančár.
  • Mapy ženy rakety, Linea Gallery, Bratislava, 7 Mar - 25 May 2011. Curated by Michal Murin. [4] [5]
  • Stano Filko – Biela ako ontologický priestor a začiatok všetkého, Nedbalka Gallery, Bratislava, 25 Sep 2012 - 5 Jan 2013.
  • Stano Filko: 4. dimenzia kozmológia modrá čakra, Art Capital Gallery, Bratislava, 13-20 Nov 2014. Curated by Nina Vrbanová.
  • Stano Filko. Obaly, Linea Gallery, Bratislava, 24 Feb - 31 May 2015. Curated by Aurel Hrabušický.
  • Filko - Fylko - Phylko, Zachęta Gallery of Contemporary Art, Warsaw, 2 Jun - 16 Aug 2015. Curated by Lucia Gregorová Stachová and Joanna Kordjak. Brochure.
  • Poézia o priestore – kozme, Esterhazy Palace, Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava, 24 Jun - 25 Sep 2016. Curated by Lucia Gregorová Stach and Aurel Hrabušický.
  • Stano Filko: 2037, Kunshalle LAB, Bratislava, 23 Jun - 3 Sep 2017. Curated by Nina Vrbanová.
Group exhibitions

Catalogues and monographs[edit]

Stano Filko: II., 1965-69. Tvorba. Works-Creations. Werk-Schaffung. Ouvrages, 1970, PDF.
  • Stano Filko - Obydlí 1966 (Skutečnosti - současnosti), 1967, [6] pp. With text by Zdeněk Felix. [9]
  • Stanislav Filko: Environment universel 1966-1967, Oldenburg: Galerie Ursula Wendtorf, [1968], [10] pp. With text by Jürgen Weichardt. (German)/(French)/(English)
  • Stano Filko: Transcendencja 1978, Gdańsk: Galeria GN, 1979, [20] pp. [12] (Polish)/(English)
  • Stano Filko: Białe przestrzenie. Prace z lat 1973-1978, Łódź: Galeria Wschodnia, 1985, [6] pp. With text by Grzegorz Sztabiński. [13] (Polish)
  • Stano Filko: Sonda Egoq 1937 - 2037 (Geminiy), Bratislava: rgb, 2003, [6] pp. With text by Michal Murin. [14] (Slovak)/(English)/(German)
  • Patricia Grzonka, Dušan Brozman, Stano Filko, trans. Jonathan Quinn and Jana Zoubková, Prague: Arbor vitae, 2005, 144 pp. On the occasion of Filko's participation at Venice Biennale 2005. [15] (Czech)/(English)
  • Metafyzicko- ontologicko- nadčasovo- absolútna- transcendencia, Prague: PPF Art, 2008, [32] pp. With texts by Fedor Blaščák and VB. (Slovak),(Czech) [16]
  • Stano Filko. Filkova archa a oltáre súčasnosti / Filko's Arch and the Altars of Presence, Bratislava: Galéria mesta Bratislavy, 2008, 34 pp. With text by Ivan Jančár. [17] (Slovak)/(English)
  • Stano Filko – Biela ako ontologický priestor a začiatok všetkého, Bratislava: Calder, 2012, 86 pp. With text by Zsófia Kiss-Szemán. [18] (Slovak)
  • Stano Filko: 5.D., ed. Marek Pokorný, Ostrava: Plato, 2015. With texts by Lucia Gregorová Stach and Marek Pokorný. (Czech)/(English)
  • Stano Filko 1, eds. Lucia Gregorová Stach and Aurel Hrabušický, Bratislava: Slovak National Gallery, 2018, 440 pp. Excerpt. Publisher. [19]. Review: Jablonská (Artalk). (Slovak)/(English)
  • White Space in White Space / Biely priestor v bielom priestore, 1973-1982. Stano Filko, Miloš Laky, Ján Zavarský, eds. Daniel Grúň, Christian Höller, and Kathrin Rhomberg, Vienna: Schlebrügge, 2021, 228 pp. Project archive. Publisher. [20] [21] (English)

Artist's books[edit]

  • with Miloš Laky and Ján Zavarský, Biely priestor v bielom priestore / A White Space in a White Space / Unespace blanc dans l'espace blanc / Weiser raum im Weisen raum, [c1974], [4+16] folded leaves. (Slovak)/(English)/(French)/(German)
  • Emócia/L’émotion/Emotion, 1977. Text-art.
  • Transcendentálna meditácia 1980: text-art / Meditation transcendental 1980 / Transzendentale Meditation 1980, [1980], [1] folded leaf. (Slovak)/(German)/(English)/(French)

Writings[edit]

  • Stano Filko, Zita Kostrová, Alex Mlynárčik, "Happsoc", in Primary Documents: A Sourcebook for Eastern and Central European Art Since the 1950s, eds. Laura Hoptman and Tomáš Pospiszyl, New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2002, pp 85-87. (English)

Interviews[edit]

Literature[edit]

See also catalogues and monographs.

  • Klaus Groh, "Stano Filko", in Groh, Aktuelle Kunst in Osteuropa, Cologne: Dumont, 1972, pp [62-64], HTML. (German)
  • Tomáš Štrauss, Slovenský variant moderny, 1979 (samizdat); 2nd ed., Bratislava: Pallas, 1992, 285 pp. (Slovak)
  • Geneviève Bénamou, L'Art aujourd'hui en Tchécoslovaquie, Paris: G. Benamou, 1979. (French)
  • Jürgen Weichardt, Kunst in sozialistischen Staaten. Beitr. zu e. Standortbestimmung, Oldenburg: Isensee, 1980. [23] (German)
  • Radislav Matuštík, ...Predtým. Prekročenie hraníc, 1964–1971, 1983 (samizdat); repr., Žilina: Považská galéria umenia, 1994. (Slovak)
  • Tomáš Štrauss, Tri otázniky: od päťdesiatych k osemdesiatym rokom, Bratislava: Pallas, 1993. (Slovak)
  • Aurel Hrabušický, "Počiatky alternatívneho umenia na Slovensku", in Šesťdesiate roky v slovenskom výtvarnom umení, ed. Zora Rusinová, Bratislava: Slovenská národná galéria, 1995, pp 218-251. (Slovak)
  • Tomáš Štrauss, Utajená korešpondencia 1980-1998, Bratislava: Kalligram, 1999, 184 pp. (Slovak)
  • Tomáš Štrauss, Metamorfózy umenia 20. storočia, Bratislava: Kalligram, 2001, 268 pp. (Slovak)
  • Mária Orišková, Dvojhlasné dejiny umenia, Bratislava: Petrus, 2002. (Slovak)
  • Vít Havránek, "The Post-Bipolar Order and the Status of Public and Private under Communism", trans. Ivan Gutierrez, in Promises of the Past: A Discontinuous History of Art in Former Eastern Europe, eds. Christine Macel and Joanna Mytkowska, Zurich: JRP|Ringier, and Paris: Centre Georges Pompidou, 2010; repr., abbr., in Art and Theory of Post-1989 Central and Eastern Europe: A Critical Anthology, eds. Ana Janevski, et al., New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2018, pp 185-193. (English)
  • Vjera Borozan, "Stano Filko", Flash Art CZ/SK English Issue, 2011, pp 60ff, PDF. (English)
  • Nina Vrbanová, "Fenomén Filko", Jazdec 4:2, Bratislava: Galéria Cypriána Majerníka, Apr-Jun 2012, pp 8-9. (Slovak)
  • Tomáš Pospiszyl, "Národní konceptualizmus. Obrozenecké motivy v díle Stana Filka a Júliuse Kollera", ch. 3 in Pospiszyl, Asociativní dějepis umění: poválečné umění napříč generacemi a médii, Prague: tranzit.cz, 2014, pp 81-121. (Czech)
    • "National Conceptualism: Slovak National Revival Motifs in the Work of Stano Filko and Julius Koller", trans. Ivan Gutierrez, in Pospiszyl, An Associative Art History: Comparative Studies of Neo-Avant-Gardes in a Bipolar World, Prague: tranzit.cz, and Zurich: JRP/Ringier, 2017. (English)
  • Michal Murin, "Stano Filko", in LAB Kunsthalle Bratislava 2014-2017, eds. Katarína Trnovská and Nina Vrbanová, Bratislava: Kunsthalle Bratislava, 2017, pp 157-159. [25] (Slovak)/(English)
  • Daniel Grúň, "Úvaha o chýbaní. Biele práce Stana Filka a Mladena Stilinovića", in Umění a revoluce. Pro Milenu Bartlovou, eds. Johana Lomová and Jindřich Vybíral, Prague: UMPRUM, 2018, pp 574-595. (Slovak)
  • Boris Kršňák, et al., Ume? Nie! Príbeh zbierky Artandconcept, Bratislava: Petrus, 2020. (Slovak)

See also[edit]

Links[edit]