Wednesday, May 5, 2010

(Social) Realism: Slovakia

Martin Benka (1888 - 1971)

Martin Benka (21 September 1888, Kostolište - 28 June 1971, Malacky) was a Slovak painter and illustrator. He is regarded as the founder of Modernist 20th century Slovak painting. He was given the title National Artist. He is buried in the National Cemetery in Martin. Whilst searching for characteristic features, forms and colours of Slovakia, Benka would visit regions where people lived simply, in communion with nature. Benka would often travel around the countryside, documenting rural life and nature in his works, many of which he did outdoors and spontaneously. In addition to this, Benka built himself a countryhouse, which is today the The Martin Benka Museum as outlined in his will, in which he bequeathes his work to the state.

Mária Medvecká (1914 - 1987)
Akademická maliarka Mária Medvecká (11. september 1914, Medvedzie - 23. apríl 1987, Bratislava) bola slovenská maliarka, predstaviteľka slovenského realistického impresionizmu.
Po maturite v Košiciach študovala na Pedagogickej akadémii v Bratislave. Pôsobila ako učiteľka v Zubrohlave, Tvrdošíne, Jablonke a Námestove. Po vojne pokračovala v štúdiu na Akadémii výtvarných umení vo Viedni a v Prahe u profesora Želibského. Stala sa maliarkou rodnej Oravy a jej ľudu. Od 50. rokov minulého storočia sa venuje i angažovaným témam socialistického realizmu obrazmi industrializácie a budovania socialistickej spoločnosti.

(Academic painter Mary Medvecká (born September 11, 1914 Medvedzie - April 23, 1987, Bratislava) was a Slovak painter, representative of Slovak realistic impressionism. After graduation in Kosice studied at the Pedagogical Academy in Bratislava. She worked as a teacher in Zubrohlava, Tvrdošín, Jablonka and Namestovo. After the war she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and Prague with Professor Želibského. Became the painter of native Orava and its people. From 50th the last century and committed to be paid to the themes of socialist realism paintings of industrialization and construction of socialist society. Google Translate)

World (Social) Realist Art (Index of Countries)
This blog page is part of an ongoing project by artist and part-time lecturer Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin ( to explore Realist / Social Realist art from around the world. The term Realism is used in its broadest sense to include 19th century Realism and Naturalism as well as 20th century Impressionism (which after all was following in the path of Courbet and Millet). Social Realism covers art that seeks to examine the living and working conditions of ordinary people (examples include German Expressionism, American Ashcan School and the Mexican Muralists).

Click here for (Social) Realist Art Definitions, World (Social) Realism and Global Solidarity, Art and Politics, Social Realism in history and Country Index.

Suggestions for appropriate artists from around the world welcome to

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