Rudolf Fila

Rudolf Fila

Born July 19 1932, Příbram na Moravě
Lived in Bratislava
Died February 11 2015, Bratislava

An important representative of Slovak painting, which he enriched with new means of expression and techniques. He dealt with analyzing the nature of painting as such, its structural qualities. The gradual simplification of shapes and augmentation of details brought him to abstraction, thoroughly independent of the original, external attributes of a depicted female nude and her surroundings. Well known pieces by old masters inspired him to repaint them in new, surprising forms. He used various techniques of work on paper (drawing with varied material, pastels, frottage) and drawing interventions to prints, reproductions, texts and photographs.

painting, drawing, graphics, artist's book, illustration


When he started at the Secondary School of Applied Art in Brno under the influence of professor Bohdan Lacina, he tended to favour objectless depiction and structural painting with reference to artistic lyricism. The artist appreciated the professor as a painter and a teacher who gave students freedom and, at the same time, introduced knowledge important for their own work through literature, music and poetry.


He attended the painting class of Ján Mudroch at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava (AFAD), where he painted abstract pieces regardless of the dominance of Normalisation and the promoted Socialist Realism.


untitled (painting)


He started to experiment with various technological procedures for spraying and running colours and this became the substance of his paintings with a highlighted structure of colour. Combinations of spots and stains approximated him to the geometric foundation of a shape and the clear layout of its surface, in spite of the evident ambiguity and mysterious nature of the overlapping which was apparent, as well as hidden meanings. He married Dorota, who studied conservation three grades below him and they had two sons.
He taught drawing, figural studies and artistic aspects of window dressing and organization of exhibitions at the Secondary School of Applied Art in Bratislava.
He started to present his work at collective exhibitions organized by the Union of Czechoslovak Fine Artists, established in 1956 (Prague, Brno, Budapest, Krakow, Rome, Naples, Vienna, Graz, Sopoty, Poznan, Mexico, Lübeck, Brussels, Antverp, Namur, Frankfurt on Main, Warsaw, Copenhagen, Düsseldorf, Teheran, Cairo, Alexandria, Moscow, Pécs, Sofia, Helsingborg, Novi Sad, Zagreb, San Marino Biennial, Paris Youth Biennial, Brno Biennial, Bologna Illustration Biennial, Košice Biennial, BIB Bratislava, Žilina Drawing Biennial, European Biennial of Graphic Arts Baden-Baden).


He held exhibitions in the territory of the former Czechoslovakia (Bratislava, Brno, Prague, Komárno, Orlová, Trnava, Nové Zámky, Olomouc) and abroad (Paris, San Marino, Rome, Mexico City).
Morena (painting)

Rudolf Fila: Obrazy (solo exhibition, Brno)
IV. Biennale des Jeunes (group exhibition, Paris)


Nocturne (painting)

Konfrontace výtvarných skupin (group exhibition, Brno)
Confrontation of art groups (Brno, 1963) (group exhibition, Brno)
Contemporary Slovak Fine Art (group exhibition, Prague)
Creative Group Parabola (group exhibition, Olomouc)


A long-drawn linear gesture appeared in his structural pictures for the first time, later becoming a dominant feature.
Záčasie IV
Záčasie IV (painting)

Confrontation 5 (Bratislava, November 1964) (group exhibition, Bratislava)


He oscillated between Lyrical Abstraction and gestural painting. His expressive painting actions with a brush pursued a shift of meaning which strengthened his creative intervention in the original plan of the picture. At the same time he expressed a strong contrast of shapes and colours, through which he reconciled his own past, his environment and the traditions of world painting.
Bratislava (group exhibition, Prague)
5. Biennale Internazionale d'Arte Contemporanea della Repubblica di San Marino (group exhibition, )
Sei pittori slovacchi (group exhibition, Rome)
Confrontation 6 (Bratislava, 1965) (group exhibition, Prague)


Rudolf Fila (solo exhibition, Bratislava)
Current Art from Czechoslovak (group exhibition, Ciudad de México)
Exposition des jeunes / Exhibition of Young (group exhibition, Brno)


Rudolf Fila: Paintings (solo exhibition, Brno)
50 Years of Czechoslovak Painting 1918–1968 (group exhibition, Bratislava)


He started to create generally monochromatic pictures with just a few dominating parallel brush-strokes. By repaints and other interventions in his reproductions of famous pieces of world art, and also in old calendars, books and other models, he claimed his inclination to paraphrase, persiflage and comment
From behind
From behind (painting)

Skupina Q (group exhibition, Olomouc)


After an exhibition in Zurich did not materialize he became one of the representatives of non-conformist culture. He worked with found printed models and books which he transformed
Camouflage (painting)
Zadráhované (painting)


Rudolf Fila: Obrazy (solo exhibition, Nové Zámky)


He published a book Analýza výstavby výtvarného díla / Analysis of a Construction of a Work of Art and he participated in textbooks for art education.
České umění 1945 - 1975 (group exhibition, )


He intervened in lithographs from the 1950's by his artistic colleagues from the Brno School of Applied Art. He concentrated his attention on the cycle of "tělovky" / "body details", in which he further examined the structure of colour in extremely enlarged details. By updating the "flesh matter" he gave it a new look, where he did not depict the human body surface accurately, but rather paraphrased it by way of abstract painting which evoked a particular detail.
Rudolf Fila (solo exhibition, Orlová)


Munch´s smile
Munch´s smile (painting)


Archeologické pamiatky a súčasnosť (group exhibition, Bratislava)


He multiplied the energy of his interventions with an action colour gesture. Using fiercer brush strokes and pastose colour coating he emphasized painting as such and referred to his pictures from the 1960's.


Rudolf Fila: Malba, Fero Tomík: Fotografie (group exhibition, Olomouc)
Rudolf Fila, Jozef Jankovič, Rudolf Sikora (group exhibition, Helsingborg)
A4 (group exhibition, )
Rudolf Fila, Daniel Fischer, Viktor Hulík, Jozef Jankovič, Juraj Meliš (group exhibition, Novi Sad)


Karel Hynek Mácha: May
Karel Hynek Mácha: May (artist's book)

Rudolf Fila: Agfachrome (solo exhibition, Bratislava)
Rudolf Fila: Dva cykly (solo exhibition, )
První jarní den (group exhibition, )
Pocta Warholovi (group exhibition, )
Pět let Galerie H (group exhibition, )
...Igorovi Kalnému (group exhibition, Bratislava)


Rudolf Fila (solo exhibition, Glasgow)
From the new profits of the National Gallery in Prague (1987-1988) (group exhibition, Prague)


He headed the painting class at the Bratislava Academy of Fine Arts and Design
He participated in the Deténte travelling exhibition (with Arnulf Rainer) in European countries.
He participated in a number of important exhibitions (Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts, 1992-94
Rudolf Fila (solo exhibition, Brno)
Rudolf Fila: Obrazy (solo exhibition, Prague)
Rudolf Fila (solo exhibition, Prague)
Juraj Meliš: Sculpture, Rudolf Fila: Paintings (group exhibition, )
Artists Tribute to Jiří Chalupecký (group exhibition, Prague)
Jozef Jankovič. Rudolf Fila (solo exhibition, Bratislava)
90 Authors in the Year 1990 (group exhibition, Prague)
Interpretácia (group exhibition, Bratislava)


He wrote a book titled Načo nám je umenie / What Good is Art for Us.
Beyond-painting (painting)


Rudolf Fila: Barokový cyklus (solo exhibition, Žilina)
Rudolf Fila (solo exhibition, )
Rudolf Fila (solo exhibition, Trnava)
(Rudolf Fila) (solo exhibition, Modra)
(Rudolf Fila) (solo exhibition, Brno)
Žena (group exhibition, Bratislava)
...a závěr (group exhibition, Prague)
Czech and Slovak Contemporary Art 1950 - 1992 (group exhibition, Novara)
Svetlo v tmách (group exhibition, Žilina)
Minisalon (group exhibition, Prague)
Grey Brick 35/1992 (group exhibition, )
Czech and Slovak Drawing 1989 - 1992 (group exhibition, Žilina)


Rudolf Fila: Übermalte Bilder und Bücher von 1960 bis 1992 (solo exhibition, Vienna)
Retrospektiva (solo exhibition, )
Rudolf Fila (solo exhibition, Bratislava)


(Rudolf Fila) (solo exhibition, Ulm)
Retrospektiva (solo exhibition, )
Paintings - Drawings - Booksworks (solo exhibition, London)
Zastavný čas II. Druhý dotek (group exhibition, )


The Art of Frotage (group exhibition, )
Opravdické obrazy. Sympozium v malbě plastelinou (group exhibition, Osová Bítýška)


Grimasa (painting)

(Rudolf Fila) (solo exhibition, Paris)
Obrazy a práce na papíře (solo exhibition, Brno)
(Rudolf Fila) (solo exhibition, Nové Zámky)
Přírůstky 1991 - 1995 (group exhibition, )
I. New Zlin Salon (group exhibition, Zlín)


Rudolf Fila (solo exhibition, )
Záznamy, dojmy, sny (group exhibition, Křížovice)
Ten times a woman (group exhibition, Brno)
Between Tradition and Experiment. Works on Paper and with Paper in Czech Art 1939-1989 (group exhibition, Olomouc)


Fila + Rainer: Pocta Messerschmidtovi (solo exhibition, Bratislava)
(Rudolf Fila) (solo exhibition, Banská Bystrica )
Znovu a jinak (group exhibition, Brno)
Následují zprávy ze sportu … (group exhibition, Olomouc)
"... What a Collection." Additions of the Olomouc Museum of Art for the years 1985–1998 (group exhibition, Olomouc)
Art of Accelerated Time. Czech Art Scene 1958-1968 (group exhibition, Prague)
Aspects / Positions. 50 Years of Art in Central Europe 1949-1999 (group exhibition, Vienna)


Najhlbšia je koža (solo exhibition, Žilina)
Tri vrstvy tvorby Rudolfa Fily (solo exhibition, Budapest)
Rudolf Fila: Kalendáre (solo exhibition, Bratislava)
Art in Central Europe 1949–1999 (group exhibition, Barcelona)
100th Exhibition of Caesar Gallery (group exhibition, Olomouc)
90 Years of the Brno House of Arts (group exhibition, Brno)


Šiesty zmysel (solo exhibition, Dolný Kubín)
Rudolf Fila: Obrazy (solo exhibition, Olomouc)
Jiří Kolář the Collector (group exhibition, Prague)
Object - Object: Metamorphoses in Time (group exhibition, Prague)


He was awarded Dominik Tatarka's prize for the book Cestou / On the Way.


Private View (Josef Chloupek Collection) (group exhibition, Brno)
The Second Touch (group exhibition, Brno)
Rudolf Fila – Dorota Filová: Premeny (group exhibition, Bratislava)


Rudolf Fila: Malba (solo exhibition, )
Hermovo ucho (group exhibition, Opava)
Kalendáře pro Jindru Štreita (group exhibition, )


Rudolf Fila + Viťo Fila = 1 dielo (group exhibition, Bratislava)
Fila (group exhibition, Bratislava)
From Tizian to Warhol / Olomouc Museum of Art 1951-2011 (group exhibition, Olomouc)


Rudolf Fila│Oslava maľby (solo exhibition, Bratislava)
Conjunction / Concurrence (group exhibition, Trnava)

Muzeum umění Olomouc 2011-2021