Stano Filko

Stano Filko

Born June 15 1937, Veľká Hradná
Died October 23 2015

The creative life of Stano Filko, a Slovak artist primarily associated with environment, installation, happening, and action, is embodied in his studio in Bratislava. It was divided into five sections, each characterized by different topics and colours. Red means the biological space which is primarily related to his early works (Universal Environment, 1967); green symbolizes the social and political space, which is intended for sharing (HOPPSOC I., 1965); white is the colour of contemplation and represents the ontological space, the order of metaphysical entity (Biely priestor v bielom priestore, White space in white space 1973-1974); blue represents the cosmic yet still human space – that is why it also represents a reflection of the earthly historical context; black/ indigo is the colour of an individual, it represents the space of a subject. Filko's work is characterized by generosity, openness, and an exceptional effort to understand the world through personal philosophical models.


Stano Filko experienced clinical death twice in his childhood. Once after he fell into a quarry and once after an electric shock. The experience became a great source of inspiration for him later (projects for Documenta 7 and Venice Biennale in 2005).


Filko studied at the Secondary School of Arts and Crafts in Bratislava in the second half of the 1950s. He presented himself individually for the first time at the "Paintings – Graphics" exhibition in 1958.


Paintings - Graphics. (solo exhibition, )


In the early 1960s he continued his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. He studied under Professors Dezider Milly (1906 – 1971) and Peter Matejka (1913 – 1972) in the studio of monumental painting. As a figurative painter, he was influenced by cubism strategies and informal painting, and he also experimented with collage and assemblage techniques. In the "Current Altarpieces" exhibition, he discovered the principle of involvement of the spectator's entity (his reception) in the work of art, which was crucial for his later work.


Paintings (solo exhibition, Bratislava)


From 2nd to 8th May 1965 Stano Filko and Alex Mlynárčik, HAPPSOC, held a public event in Bratislava



Stano Filko. Dwelling of the present and the reality (solo exhibition, Prague)
External Environment - Communication (solo exhibition, Bratislava)
Graphics (solo exhibition, Prague)


At the end of the 1960s, Stano Filko and a number of his colleagues (Juraj Bartusz etc.) became very interested in outer space and cosmic issues. In addition to minor individual works (Associations I and II, offset prints cycles dealing with the conquest of space by man


White space was one of Filko's dominating topics in the mid-1970s. Along with Miloš Laky and Ján Zavarský, he tried to provide an experience of the colour white, which he considered the embodiment of spirituality and a source of mystical experience. In their efforts to draw attention to transcendental reality beyond the objective world, they painted all objects in white paint in a room which was also painted white. Two catalogues, including the artists' manifesto and texts by Jiří Valoch, Tomáš Štrauss, and László Beke, constituted part of the project which was presented on two occasions: in the Brno House of Arts in 1973 and in the Budapest Fiatal Művészek Klubja (Young Artists' Club) four years later. In their proclamation, the artists emphasized their efforts to create a visual equivalent of empty space, for the sake of which they decided to deny the existence of their own individuality, brushwork, the entity of things, and the painting tradition as one of the representative systems. Filko created a rather sophisticated system in which the colour white symbolized spirituality, blue was reserved for cosmologic themes, and red for biology.


Filko further deepened and theoretically elaborated the theme of white space in a number of author's prints, known as text-art. It was the "1978. Transcendence" text accompanied by a large picture cycle "Transcendention". It consists of series of black-and-white and black-and-gold photographs in which the figures depicted have their faces overlaid by a white square and the contours of the body of Stano Filko and Jesus Christ are "deleted". One of many other manifestos was "1977 – Stanislav Filko. Transcendental Meditation. 1980"
Stano Filko - Miloš Laky - Ján Zavarský (solo exhibition, Budapest)


Stanislav Filko - Emotion - 1977 (solo exhibition, Lublin)


Transcendence. 1978. Stano Filko (solo exhibition, Gdańsk)


In 1981 Stano Filko emigrated to Germany. He chose Düsseldorf as his place of residence.


Filko participated in Documenta 7 in Kassel in which he presented, in addition to photographs from the "Transcendetion" cycle, canvases with imprints of bicycle and car wheels. There was a white space in their centre: a white painted car, a Skoda MB, the car in which he emigrated to Germany.
The journey to the United States of America (New York) caused Filko to involve dramatic expressivity in his work, both in colour (red, orange, and pink shades) and themes (sexuality, carnality, violence).



In 1986 Stano Filko received two scholarships: from the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation and from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation.
In the second half of the 1980s Filko's painting calmed down and started to incline towards geometrical morphology and to reflect minimalistic strategies. Filko used the form of polyptych and combined monochromatic canvases with artificial materials, known from installations (mirror foil etc.).
FYLKO. Special Exhibit of Recent Work 1983-1985 (solo exhibition, New York (NY))


Stan Fylko (solo exhibition, New York (NY))


Filko returned to Czechoslovakia after the Velvet Revolution. He changed his studio into a peculiar artistic space – he divided it into five parts, each of which represented one of his lifelong themes
Artists Tribute to Jiří Chalupecký (group exhibition, Prague)


Art of Action (group exhibition, Prague)



Fifth Dimension (solo exhibition, Bratislava)
Last Paintings from New York (solo exhibition, Bratislava)


[PRÁZDNÉ] (solo exhibition, Bratislava)


Filko and the conceptualist, Boris Ondreiček (1969), prepared the Stürzer environment "TOGETHER EVERYONE ALONE" on the premises of a former confectionary in Bratislava. It was the beginning of their cooperation which, at the turn of the millennium, resulted in another reflection on the so-called white space and mutual attendance at the Venice Biennale in 2005. In 2000, Filko and Ondreiček prepared the meditative installation "EGOQ – 5th dimension" in a rotunda in Kosice. They partially filled the inner space of the rotunda with artificial fog and lit it with seven halogen lamps. The installation was complemented by a colourful chakra made of seven car wrecks in front the building.
Sculpture and Object II. (group exhibition, Bratislava)


Old and New Testament (solo exhibition, Bratislava)
Aspects / Positions. 50 Years of Art in Central Europe 1949-1999 (group exhibition, Vienna)


EGOQ (solo exhibition, Košice)


Stanislav Filko. Scheherazade - Woman - Venus (solo exhibition, Banská Bystrica )
White Space in White Space (solo exhibition, Bratislava)


FIYLKONTEMPLACIAKCIEQ, PROBE 1950-1969, PROBE 1971-1984 (solo exhibition, Banská Bystrica )
Stano Filko. Probe EGOQ 1937-2037 GEMINYI (solo exhibition, Bratislava)


Out of the City. Land Art (group exhibition, Košice)


Ostalgia (group exhibition, New York (NY))
Maps: Art Cartography in the Centre of Europe 1960 - 2011 (group exhibition, Bratislava)
Paper round - Slovak Collage XX. and XXI. Century (group exhibition, Prague)


The Earth Turns And All Things Slip Away (group exhibition, Prague)


The soft codes. Conceptual Tendencies in Slovak Art (group exhibition, Wrocław)
Stano Filko: 5.D. (solo exhibition, Ostrava)
FILKO – FYLKO – PHYLKO (solo exhibition, Warsaw)
Ludwig Goes Pop + The East Side Story (group exhibition, Budapest)


Stano Filko│Poetry on Space – Cosmos (solo exhibition, Bratislava)


Czechoslovakia / A Critical Reader (group exhibition, Bratislava)
Visual Poetry - 50 Years of Relationship of Fine Arts and Poetry in Slovakia (group exhibition, Banská Bystrica )
Kozmikomiks (group exhibition, Bratislava)


Difficult Ceremony (group exhibition, Prague)
Probe 1 – The Story of Slovak (Post)Conceptual Art (group exhibition, Prague)

Muzeum umění Olomouc 2011-2021