18. may 1929 - 21. november 2011
Nature and homeland landscape were the main source of inspiration and centre of the artwork of the Slovakian painter, graphic artist and relief designer Eduard Antal. From the start, the theme of natural scenery predominated over other motifs, Antal gradually reduced the seen landscape composition to the form of silent, balanced and minimalist reliefs of white landscapes.
Detailed examination of the urban, rural or provincial landscape and stays in the countryside were for Eduard Antal fulfilling. Every year with his wife Elvíra and a group of friends / Z. Rusková, J. Švec, M. Veleba / they were organising open-air stays to work on gouache and oil paintings. Early realistic paintings represent lonely, abandoned sceneries, which might refer to the urban aesthetics of the Group 42 and landscape poetics with technical elements of Kamil Lhoták.
The gradual transformation of Eduard Antal´s landscape motifs towards geometric abstraction relates to the period of pedagogical activity at Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava (since 1953), where he led the drawing studio. Cooperative fields and fresh meadows became his regular themes.
Some paintings such as First Snow, 1966, Urban motive, 1966, Transformation, 1966, Crossroads, 1966 have a unique character. Here, Eduard Antal utterly reduces the compositional scheme and applied morphology to move towards the program of the group of artists from the The Concretist Club, with whom he exhibited his works during the collective exhibition at the House of the Lords of Kunštát in Brno.
In the late 1960´s Eduard Antal abandoned classical painting to focus on the white relief structures. The incidence of light on the surface of the reliefs casts the shadows of low lines and surfaces of the gypsum, patiently superimposed and rubbed by its author in the picture plan. The plasticity of the relief varies depending on the light effect and allows the viewer to distinguish a whole range of whites with its diverse surface textures.
In the 1970´s, the colour enters in the white structures that goes beyond the painting and refers to the surrounding architectural space. Thus, the relief is often divided into two or more parts, identical or mirror-oriented. The colour line might be perceived as an imaginary axis of symmetry that helps to maintain the balance of the whole structure.
Realization in architecture is also an integral part of Eduard Antal´s work, mostly large-format wall reliefs made of aluminium plates that reflect light and the surrounding space.
In the course of his art work, Eduard Antal devoted great attention to graphics, more precisely to intaglio printmaking technique. Graphic sheets were issued in limited quantities and formed a complete cycle of several sheets in which Eduard Antal developed various relationships between features of the composition and the factor of motion.