Database

Jana Želibská

Jana Želibská

Born May 3 1941, Olomouc
Lived in Bratislava

Jana Želibská belonged to the progressive generation of action and conceptual artists who entered the Czechoslovak art scene in the 1960's. In her early works she rethought the inspiration of international tendencies, in particular pop-art and French New Realism. In 1973 the theorist Pierre Restany (1930-2003) wrote a catalogue for her separate exhibition Chuť ráje v Paříži / The Taste of Paradise in Paris, in which he aptly called Jana Želibská the "eternal fiancée of spring." Želibská really was at the birth of environment and object in the 1960's, action and concept in the 1970's, postmodern object and installation in the late 1980's, and video art in the 1990's. She was the only one of her generation who openly dealt with intimate relationships between men and women, and ”celebrated“ the female body from the (proto-) feminist perspective.


graphics, drawing, collage, painting, assemblage, object, enviroment, action art, installation, video, land art, conceptual art, gender

1965

Jana Želibská actively entered the art scene in the mid-1960's after she graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava (1959-1965) and after her scholarship stay in Paris (1968). Her teachers were Vincent Hložník and Peter Matejka. However, as with her contemporaries (Alex Mlynárčik, Stano Filko and others), Želibská soon abandoned the tradition of hanging painting (paintings and graphic art) in favour of media deconstruction

1966

She
She (mixed media)


1967

She
She (painting)
Striptease (Head)
Striptease (Head) (mixed media)
Venus
Venus (sculpture)

Možnosť odkrývania (solo exhibition, Bratislava)
Jana Shejbalová - Želibská: Možnosť odkrývania (solo exhibition, Bratislava)

1968

In November 1968, as a protest, Želibská, Alex Mlynárčik (1934), and Karlem Lackem (1938) refused to participate in Danuvius, the international biennial of contemporary art in Bratislava. After 1971, she was forced to retreat from public life.

1969

At the request of Jindřich Chalupecký, she prepared Kandarya-Mahadeva, an environmental installation in the Václav Špála Gallery in Prague, as a free reflection of the Hindu temple Kandarije Mahádeva in Indian Khajurago, which dated back to the 11th century. Želibská created an illusive temple complex which she complemented with reliefs and multiples in the gallery. She used visual motifs and elements of popular culture (heavenly dancers in the hippy style, bright-coloured plastic, crepe-paper festoons), typical symbols and forms. The installation was intended to extend into the street, however, it was eventually constrained within the gallery due to the political situation. Thanks to her endeavour to create gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art), and at the same time, her efforts in dealing with the then topical issues of patriarchy and feminism, Želibská was ranked among the artists of New Realism in Paris (Niki de Saint Phalle, Jean Tinguel, Per Olof Ultvedt).
Jana Želibská: Kandarya-Mahadeva (solo exhibition, Prague)

1970

In the late 1960's, Želibská started to deal with the countryside as an open structure to be freely adapted. Such a tendency was comparable to the activities of Zorka Ságlová (1942-2003), Ludmila Popieł (1929-1988), and Barbara Kozłowská (1940-2008). The concurrent endeavour of Eva Kmentová (1928-1980), Alina Szapocznikow (1926-1973) and Mária Bartuszová (1936-1996) should also be noted, in regards to the examination of corporality through land-art and environmental art. In the first half of the 1970's, she created a free series of exterior installations, performances and happenings in which she took into account the themes of game, chance, the relationship between the countryside and men, and mythology (Hodvábnik morušový / Silk Moth, Snúbenie jari / Spring Wed, Amanita Muscaria, Vianočné dary / Christmas Presents, all in 1970). The most famous of the these, Snúbenie jari / Spring Wed, dealt with celebrations and cycles of nature / life. At the same time, it strongly reflected the structuralist philosophy which was very influential at that time. She also dealt with the relationship between nature and men in the conceptual performances Oslava slnka / Celebration of the Sun (1972) in Bulgaria and 10 dní s Afroditou / 10 days with Aphrodite (1974) on the island of Cyprus.
Amanita muscaria
Amanita muscaria (photography)
Amanita muscaria
Amanita muscaria (photography)
Amanita muscaria
Amanita muscaria (photography)
Amanita muscaria
Amanita muscaria (photography)
Amanita muscaria
Amanita muscaria (photography)
Playing a gift
Playing a gift (photography)
Playing a gift
Playing a gift (photography)
Playing a gift
Playing a gift (photography)
Playing a gift
Playing a gift (photography)
Playing gift
Playing gift (photography)
Sea greeting
Sea greeting (photography)
Sea greeting
Sea greeting (photography)
Sea greeting
Sea greeting (photography)
Sea greeting
Sea greeting (photography)
Sea greeting
Sea greeting (photography)
Sea greeting
Sea greeting (photography)
Engaging Spring
Engaging Spring (photography)
Engaging Spring
Engaging Spring (photography)
Engaging Spring
Engaging Spring (photography)
Engaging Spring
Engaging Spring (photography)
Engaging Spring
Engaging Spring (photography)
Engaging Spring
Engaging Spring (photography)
Engaging Spring
Engaging Spring (photography)
Engaging Spring
Engaging Spring (photography)

Contemporary Czechoslovakian Graphic (group exhibition, )
The 1st Open Studio (group exhibition, Bratislava)

1971

In 1971, Želibská participated in the I. otvorený ateliér / Ist Open Studio of Rudolf Sikora (1946) with her installation Amanita muscaria – možnosť sporenia po celý rok 1971 / Amanita Muscaria - Possibility of saving all year round 1971.

1973

At the Paris Biennial of Young Artists, Želibská presented her Chuť raja / Taste of Paradise installation (1973). She hung a golden apple high in a tree beyond the reach of hands, as an embodiment of forbidden knowledge. The situation of an undisturbed orchard (paradise as an orchard) was amplified by simulated birds' singing and the possibility of eating real apples. In the same year, Želibská also exhibited in the Musée d'art moderne/ Museum of Modern Art in Paris within the Concours Miss d‘ Amour conceptual cycle. She dealt with the so called "to-be-looked-at" concept, which particularly involved females, and used the entrance colonnade of the building for the installation of pink relief marionettes


1975

From the mid-1970's, Želibská dealt with the index


1979

After the closure of Sikora's Otvorený ateliér / Open Studio, Želibská regularly participated in the subsequent Majstrovstvá Bratislavy v posune artefaktu / Bratislava Artifact Shifting Championship, which was annually organized by Dezider Tóth (1947). After a series of conceptual collages, she prepared a light object Moje meno je vpísané len vo mne / My name is only written in myself for the year 1985, as a symbolic shift of Bruce Nauman's work My Name As It Were Written on the Surface of the Moon of 1968. The work also included a series of black-and-white photographs.

1981

Searching and finding
Searching and finding (photography)
Searching and finding
Searching and finding (photography)
Searching and finding
Searching and finding (photography)
Searching and finding
Searching and finding (photography)
Searching and finding
Searching and finding (photography)
Searching and finding
Searching and finding (photography)
Searching and finding
Searching and finding (photography)
Searching and finding
Searching and finding (photography)
Collected grass ...
Collected grass ... (photography)
Collected grass ...
Collected grass ... (photography)
Collected grass ...
Collected grass ... (photography)
Collected grass ...
Collected grass ... (photography)
Collected grass ...
Collected grass ... (photography)
Collected grass ...
Collected grass ... (photography)
Collected grass ...
Collected grass ... (photography)
Collected grass ...
Collected grass ... (photography)
Collected grass ...
Collected grass ... (photography)


1982

With Július Koller (1939-2007), Radislav Matuštík, and Petre Meluzina (1947), she took part in Terén / Field, which was a workshop in the open air and which, to a certain extent, followed on from the countryside programmes from the turn of the 1970's. However, they built on them in the factual meaning


1987

Guests of the Gallery H (group exhibition, )

1989

In 1989, Jana Želibská participated in the establishment of the Čenkové děti / Children of Cenkova group (from 1994 Untitled). Other members were Matej Kren (1958
Was member of Čenkovej deti
Smile, joke and grin (group exhibition, Prague)

1990

In the 1990's, Želibská prepared several performances dealing with forward motion and finding the way. The Krajina v krajině / Countryside in Countryside (1993) and Láska a rozum / Love and Reason (1995) performances were also interesting for the fact that Želibská actively performed in them as a witch-doctor. Video-art clips and photography cycles from the same period, for example the socio-critical Kreslo pre hosťa / Guest Chair (1991) and STV?!, and the intimate Sestry I. / Sisters I. (1997) and Sestry II. / Sisters II. (1999), illustrated the unusual approach of the artist who typically took the role of a director in relation to her works.
90 Authors in the Year 1990 (group exhibition, Prague)

1991

Art of Action (group exhibition, Prague)
Dream about Museum (group exhibition, Žilina)

1992

Minisalon (group exhibition, Prague)
Font in the Picture (group exhibition, Brno)
Czech and Slovak Drawing 1989 - 1992 (group exhibition, Žilina)

1993

Posledné kŕmenie (solo exhibition, Žilina)
Power Station T (group exhibition, Poprad)

1996

In the mid-1990's, Želibská repeatedly returned to the "to-be-looked-at" concept and made two staged situations

1997

Sculpture and Object II. (group exhibition, Bratislava)


2000

The contemporary works of Jana Želibská are characterized by ease and genre richness. In the She is Everywhere (2000), Pod vodou / Under Water (2003), and RED No. 1 (2009) installations, she dealt with the intimate mental space of a woman in a necessary coexistence with the shared world which is full of the reflection of media, light, shapes, and colours. The Žeby mimozemšťan? / Maybe an alien? (2012) installation was an example of the opposite approach, which dealt with the situation of a complete stranger in a homogeneous community.
The End of the World? (group exhibition, Prague)
Art in Central Europe 1949–1999 (group exhibition, Barcelona)

2001

Slovenská fotografie 1925 – 2000 (group exhibition, Bratislava)
Umenie akcie 1989 – 2000 (group exhibition, Poprad)
Umenie akcie 1965 – 1989 (group exhibition, Bratislava)
Slovenská fotografia 1925-2000 (group exhibition, Bratislava)
(New) Art 1936-2000 (group exhibition, Banská Bystrica )

2002

Minisalon (group exhibition, Ubud)
Madona v slovenskom výtvarnom umení (group exhibition, Nitra)
Slovenské vizuálne umenie 1970 – 1985 (group exhibition, Bratislava)


2004

Wspólczesna sztuka slowacka 1960-2000 (group exhibition, Kraków)
The Broken Image (group exhibition, Trnava)
Jana Želibská. Instalace (solo exhibition, Prague)

2005

Contemporary Slovak Art 1960 - 2000 (group exhibition, Budapest)
Time-space sculpture and PGU Sampler (group exhibition, Trnava)
IV. New Zlin Salon (group exhibition, Zlín)

2006

(ne)stála expozícia umenia 20. storočia (group exhibition, Bratislava)
Slovenská grafika 20. storočia (Stála expozícia do roku 2008) (group exhibition, Banská Bystrica )
IN(TER)MEDIA(S)RES (group exhibition, Žilina)



2009

Out of the City. Land Art (group exhibition, Košice)
formats of transformation 89 – 09 (group exhibition, Brno)
The Eighties. Postmodern in Slovak Visual Art 1985 – 1992 (group exhibition, Bratislava)






2015

The World Goes Pop (group exhibition, London)
Ludwig Goes Pop + The East Side Story (group exhibition, Budapest)

2017

Czechoslovakia / A Critical Reader (group exhibition, Bratislava)
Jana Želibská / Swan Song Now (solo exhibition, Venice)
Kozmikomiks (group exhibition, Bratislava)

Muzeum umění Olomouc 2011-2016