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Juraj Meliš

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(*1942, Nové Zámky † 2016, Skalica)

sculptor, graphic artist, lecturer

1960 - 1966 studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava (Prof. J. Kostka)

One of the representatives of the alternative art scene. His work is strongly characterized by a socially turbulent atmosphere of the period in which he began to create. He was first dedicated to creating environments and objects and was one of the first representatives of the eco-art in Slovakia.  Meliš connects themes like nature, universe and ecology with a subjective view. Usage of the materials is consistent with his concept of anti-aesthetic "plebeian" looking at sculpture - he works with low-end, often rough treated materials and everyday objects (beams, slabs, stone, rusty metal plates, nails).

The dominant themes of the author's work are timeless and universal issues such as selfishness, stupidity, love and hatred presented with humour and irony. Meliš monitors the status of social consciousness and being, shades of ideology, handled well with the concepts of freedom, morality and ethics, in his work known as the "Idea". His first reliefs are more like diary entries and later creates also visual poetry, as a sculptural interpretation of his own texts. Lyrical phrases are set in contrast with a rough font. In 80th he came with his own death mask motif, which portrays in the intentions of controversy, grotesque and self-irony. That will become the dominant element of his following works.

Authors' works are part of collections of renowned domestic and foreign galleries and institutions, for example, universities in Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, France, the Netherlands, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the USA and also in the collections of private owners in the U.S. and Europe. His first solo exhibition took place in 1970. He also cooperated on several films (eg, Return of the Dragon, Miraculous Virgin). The author concluded his big theme of „Idea“ by six graphic albums. In 1989 he co-founded the Gerulata, free artistic association.

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