The 2007 Magda Valčíková Calendar

The 2007 Magda Valčíková Calendar contains twelve of the painter's most recent oil paintings. Six are landscapes, three still-life paintings and three bouquets, which accurately represent the proportion of these genres in her body of work. The focus of her painting crystallized early on in her career and represents a constant in the nature of her personal style. The same holds true for her technique in oils, which allow both concentrated and spontaneous expression. For these reasons, the current collection may be considered as a struggle between changeable inspirations and attempts to methodically describe the unseeable - but using forms and techniques that resist time, fashion and transience. Each of the seemingly stabilized genres represented in the calendar contains within itself the unrepeatable possibilities of conjuring and invoking time, i.e. they contain within themselves something that might be best termed as a "proto-calendar". In spite of the fact that painting has since time immemorial questioned the possibility of representing the temporal or story lines, it has been attempted many times in landscape painting. Changes in the environment that occur as a result of the changing seasons are a natural subjects for a calendar and on the other hand calendars offer the opportunity for reviving landscape painting. In contrast with a landscape, the still-life generally evokes permanence and stability, "dead" nature, silence, calmness. The genre of the bouquet is in certain senses a hybrid between the landscape and the still-life - it presents life but life transferred into an unchanging form. Magda Valčíková does more than take advantage of the potential of these genres but she also tests them in an unforced and natural manner by shifting one to the other and observing how each may be enriched. At first glance, her landscapes seem to oscillate between the concrete depiction of a mostly rural world and imaginary, dreamy paintings of a harmonious meeting of civilization and nature. Even though the geometry and space of civilization contrast sharply with the spontaneity and pastose in her paintings, the landscapes of Magda Valčíková are conflict-free, idyllic, and calm - like a still-life. Houses, churches and bridges are located in the natural environment in such a way that they appear that they have always been there. It is only nature that changes in these landscapes, civilization remains in its apparently patriarchal forms. Time in these landscapes is never hurried, measurable by actions but flows naturally in the repeating rhythms and cycles of nature. These natural changes can be seen in the seasons of the vegetational cycle and the work typically intimately associated with each. The lively, spontaneous and minute brushwork and the atmosphere, which uses the constructive, expressive and most importantly designative functions of colors, represent the vegetational cycle in the paintings of Magda Valčíková. More complex elements of time do however begin to appear in her landscapes. This is evident in this collection when the evocation of time in the painting is not limited to natural changes and rhythms but also but references to other works and locations linked to artists for whom Magda Valčíková expresses admiration and empathy. This is something that would seem to be characteristic only for her landscapes but does in fact appear in her flower bouquets, although in an inverse form. While geometric shapes in her landscapes are always placed within a broader natural framework, her bouquets are natural items situated within the context of civilization that takes the form of mute objects: the vase, tabletop, interior spaces. Her still-life paintings have a marked polarity in a different way. While her landscapes and bouquets are dominated by the previously mentioned contrast between vegetation and civilization, her still-life paintings contrast the animal and material worlds. Animals, domesticated or trapped, are presented with references to the living past. They also have an additional symbolic function. Variously colored cats and interior settings can bring to life the seasonal atmosphere in part because they symbolize a tie to the Sun and Moon as they both react in a sensitive fashion to both bodies that have been used to measure time for time immemorial. Crabs refer to the constellation Cancer, recalling the months of June and July. Everything mentioned here provides clear evidence that this calendar by Magda Valčíková is not simply a collection of twelve new paintings but an attempt by her to make a deeper connection between calendars and painting.

Magda Valčíková (born April 17, 1973 in Kyjov, Czech Republic) received her artistic training in the art studio of her father Josef Valčík. She has been a professional, freelance artist since 1993. She has exhibited with her father in Austria and in this country; she has had exhibitions in Zlín, Pardubice, Přerov, Uherské Hradiště, Brno and Prague. She has also presented her paintings in private galleries across the Czech Republic. Her works are on permanent display in the family's Gallery Atelier Valčík Original. Magda's paintings may also be seen in private collections in Austria, Germany, France, Italy, Greece and the United States. She lives and works in Brno.

Docent Marian Zervan, Ph.D. (b. 1952) is a theoretician and esthetician in the fields of art and contemporary architecture. He is the author of books of sacred iconography and as a curator has organized exhibitions on Slovak architecture at home and abroad. He has also written the catalogs for these exhibitions. He is docent at both the Faculty of Architecture of the Slovak Technical University in Bratislava and the College of Fine Arts in Bratislava.