Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Warm Seduction of Karol Felix's Prints

Karol Felix is a printmaker extraordinaire from the central European Slovak Republic. Felix's work came to my attention after meeting a delegation of Slovak officials last year at Benedictine University. Felix's prints are also quite popular in exlibris circles.

His images swim between the Egyptian-influenced god-like statues, abstracted tattoo-like lettering, the occasional exposed breast and some mightily creepy, pointed fingers which direct the viewer through his compositions. The colors are warm and seductive, sepia browns, violet and greens. Even his open spaces are full of mark-making which leaves a history of ones passage through the surface.

In some of the work, Felix portrays a woman's face, frontal and lips parted in an unspoken, wanton invitation. Some of his prints feel like I am looking at a Dali figure, there one second, and then not there; evolving out of a mass of marks and brown, syrypy resin.

Felix's scale is moderately intimate, and draws the viewer to his work, but I have seen some larger pieces, and still the complex color combination do not loose their strength when their scale is enhanced. In all there is a sensuality of figuration, and surface.
His flip between balanced, frontal compositions and the more soupy, dreamy mixture of his other works work well together. The work is quite dependent upon the color to evoke his feelings. There is some mystery as to what the work is about, and the hieroglyphic-influenced pieces call us back to the mysteries of learning the ancient symbolic script.

These works are rich and inviting, and the man is a master of his craft.We can only hope he will gain more western recognition for his work. Benedictine University(in Lisle, IL) has a number of his prints in their permanent collection.

1961 Born, in Košice (Slovakia)

1980-81 Studied at the Teachers Training College, in Nitra.
1981-87 Studied at Academy of Fine Arts, Bratislava
Department of Graphic Art and Book Illustrations with Prof. Albín Brunovský
1987-88 Army Artistic Studio, Prague, Czech Republic
1988-89 Ľudovít Fulla Scholarship
1990 Frans Masereel Centrum Kasterlee (Belgium)
collaboration with printer Martin Štěpánek
1991 Foundation Taylor, Paris (France)
1996 Co-founder of the Union of Graphic Artists G-Point Group

Tel. +421 37 7411692
kfelix@naex.sk, zbyso@karolfelix.com
Mailing address:
Jána Galbavého 5
949 01 Nitra
Slovakia, Europe

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