Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Slovakia’s Open (Art) House

Posted by jonathanfryer on Wednesday, 7th March, 2012

The Slovak Embassy in London inhabits remarkable and rather beautiful premises at the very top of Kensington Palace Gardens in Notting Hill Gate. They definitely got the better half of the bargain when the former Czechoslovak Embassy was divided following Bratislava and Prague’s ‘Velvet Divorce’. This evening the huge main space of the building was turned over to a remarkable exhibition, which will be running until 10 April: ‘Independent Scene: A Segment of Slovak Visual Art 1960-2000’. It is a selection of the collection owned by the First Slovak Investment Group in Bratislava, put together with the canny eye of someone who realised that it was worth preserving the sometimes openly subversive art that had somehow managed to thrive in the eastern half of Czechoslovakia through the Prague Spring and beyond. It is utterly non-Socialist, and at times dissident, but for the most part simply post-Modern, in a way that will be familiar to connoisseurs of art production of the second half of the 20th Century. The intrinsic quality varies, and the mood too, from the whimsical to the startlingly sado-masochistic. Ambassador Miroslav Wlachovsky, who is relatively new to London’s diplomatic scene, deserves credit for hosting this exhibition, which can be viewed by prior appointment: (020) 7313.6493.



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