Collection of Rudolf Sikora
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Name of collection
- Private collection of Rudolf Sikora
Provenance and cultural activities
Rudolf Sikora is one of the most active and influential artists in Slovakia, despite not being a member of official academic structures. He was born in 1946 in Žilina and in graduated from the University of Creative Arts in the 1960s. At the same time, he studied scenography at the University of Performing Arts. He does not consider himself strictly a painter, since he works with photography, graphics, text, and collage as well.
Rudolf Sikora was regularly interrogated by the state security apparatus, the ŠtB. His activities were followed. Although his work is wide-ranging, he dealt mostly with ecological sustainability and a common earth habitat. The anti-regime nature of his works did not reside in his attacks on the state or its ideology; rather, it lies more in the fact that he did not create or performedwithin the frame of the official structures. His interest in environmental protection very much looks to the future: within the framework of the Cold War and the Czechoslovak normalisation policy, he tried to combat an ignorant attitude towards nature. Along this line of thought, he also cooperated with a variety of semi-official environmental circles. During the 1970s and 1980s, he enriched his works with other artistic practices, mainly from photography. Among his most notable works are “Out of town,” “Black holes,” Pyramid,” “Contacts,” and “Anthropic principle.”
In 1976, he managed to avoid the official “Union of Slovak creative artists” and thanks to the Polish embassy, he filed his works to the Biennale posters exhibition. He felt close to its leitmotiv “Habitat,” and he created pieces for it related by a common idea of a shared world house for which he won the first prize. But he could not accept the award because he was not a part of official party artistic structures. This situation clearly demonstrates the nature and extent of his anti-regime status: he could work but could not exhibit.
Sikora’s personal collection has been retained during his life, and it represents essential memories for the artist. Indeed, he had to maintain this collection because he was not allowed to exhibit his work during the communist period. The situation changed after the regime change, and his work now appears in both publich and private galleries. Currently, the Slovak national gallery holds the majority of his works, thus the majority of Sikora’s artwork is accessible to the public.
Description of content
- The majority of Rudolf Sikora’s private collection has been moved gradually to the Slovak national gallery (mainly in the years 2016 to 2017). Nonetheless, some posters, notes, and artefacts are still held in his private collection, most of these originating from the so called 1. Open atelier. These are objects that symbolically started his career, which was defined as oppositional within the communist regime’s rule.
- artifacts: 10-99
- paintings: unknown quantity
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
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Creator(s) of content
Important events in the history of the collection
- parts are closed to the public
- SIKORA, Rudolf. Alone with photography. Richard Guzman - RICHIE, 2016, 328 s.
Author(s) of this page
- Ivančík, Matej
Sikora, Rudolf, interview by Ivančík, Matej, November 23, 2017. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection