When I imagine Erika Miklóšová setting out for plein air, she also sets out on a trip with all of her painting equipment as well as food and drinks in her backpack. She finds the right spot, sets up her temporary studio and is ready for all kinds of surprises. Time and light are important for painting outdoors. The speed of painting is subject to completely different influences than studio painting. The comfort and safety of a studio is replaced with an environment that carries the style of here and now and is unpredictable and exciting. The time constraint is naturally linked to the current natural conditions. Slowness and speed appear on different scales. It is now the end of July – corn is being harvested, round bales of monocultural straw reminiscent of a multiplied solar system are tossed here and there, their shape and composition created by agricultural equipment controlled by a human. The wind is blowing, it hasn’t rained for a long time, clouds of dust have arisen from the arid land and all one can see is dust in the wind. It’s hot everywhere. A cat appears, out hunting mice; competition circles on the horizon. The plein air artist is a quiet observer hunting for the right moment. She mixes her colours, not striving for a hyperrealistic depiction.
She rather approaches Impressionism and Expressionism; showing something more. When plein air painting comes up with contemporary artists, it is more an alienating tendency. This is not the case here – it is pure plein air without any conceptual side effects. Erika Miklóšová (*1984) is a graduate of Daniel Fišer’s painting studio at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. Her area of interest is painting. The current exhibition presents a series that the artist created during her residency in Český Krumlov this July. The paintings we can see at the exhibition are therefore a record of a landscape and its changes during this month with a one-month delay in their presentation. Although this is quite a short period of time, the paintings are not presented for the first time, and some of us have already seen them.
They continuously appeared on social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram, where the artist gradually shared and published them as they were being created. Photographs of sceneries very often appear on these platforms and, aside from animals, they receive the most likes. The title of the exhibition refers to the article hashtag on Instagram and Twitter, where they can be presented fastest and attract a larger audience than a traditional gallery. Sometimes they are the reason that a member of the audience leaves the warmth of their mobile phone and monitor and sets out on an exciting and adventurous journey into the countryside or a gallery, a place of time constraints and different light conditions, but then again a place where they can experience the live scale of the paintings, smell the scents, be confronted with a social situation with multiple viewers and shared participation, which crosses the boundaries of a comfort zone and may lead to catharsis.