Rudolf Sikora

Rudolf Sikora

Born April 17 1946, Žilina
Lived in Bratislava

He is a key figure in Slovak conceptual art. He deals with the most fundamental issues regarding the existence of man and the world in the context of post-modern thinking. In contrast to foreign representatives of artistic trends, who took part in important exhibitions on the international scene before 1968, he developed his work within the second wave of Slovak conceptualism in forced isolation from the surrounding world.

action art, conceptual art, graphics, drawing, painting, object, installation, photography, show in map


After finishing his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design (VŠVU) in Bratislava, under the leadership of professors Dezider Milly and Peter Matejka, he started to capture symbolic landscapes, which he complemented with curves and arrows in the form of relief maps of abstract forms (Graphs of Good and Evil, 1969). During a temporary scholarship at the Akademie der Bildende Künste in Vienna he created a series of temperas and the gouache Recollection of the Alps. In the same year, he married Eugenia Šipošová, an art historian specializing in applied art (she became a teacher at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design (VŠMU) in Bratislava in 1973). They have two sons: Martin (1968) and Michal (1978).


During his travels through European countries he created a series of works Recollection of Côte d´Azur, Monaco, Marseille, Toulon and others, as part of his final examination at the VŠVU.


He worked on the extensive cycle Topography which is, contrary to his previous poetic maps, a specific capture of the surface of the world and its impaired environmental balance.


His first solo exhibition was in the Gallery of the Young in Bratislava (curator I. Gazdík). On the 19th of November, he held the first public meeting of the young generation of upcoming artists called "The 1st Open Studio" in his house in Tehelná Street 32 in Bratislava. In the courtyard of his house he presented his topographic pool Recollection of Dalmatia, complemented with plans and documentation. At the end of the year, he performed Out from the City I, II, III, through which he addressed the existing pollution in cities. He used an arrow for the first time (a sign that he later used frequently) to draw attention to the natural aspect of being. (He "drew" large arrows into snow using black ink and marked his route through the city and snow-covered fields at the edge of the woods). In two further performances he replaced the arrows with a mysterious letter abbreviation.
Rudolf Sikora: Topographies (solo exhibition, Bratislava)
The 1st Open Studio (group exhibition, Bratislava)


Regular Tuesday meetings at Sikora's gave rise to several projects (J. Koller, S. Filko, R. Sikora, I. Gazdík – each with their own sign), which continued in the following years (Time I – Time IV with various artists). He touched on the issues of the substance of life, the situation of humanity on and away from the Earth (Honour to the intersection of the meridian of longitude λ=-19°12' 27,3'' and the parallel of latitude φ=49°19' 14,4'').
Contemporary Slovak Graphics I (group exhibition, Banská Bystrica )


He was concerned with the state of the mankind and the environmental imbalance, which he presented in the cycle Cross-Sections of Civilization (four vertically-oriented formats of landscapes showing the development of housing


He started to cooperate with Budapest artists (László Beke, Dóra Mauer, Imre Bak, György Galántai, Miklós Erdély, György Jovánovics, Sándor Pinczehely, András Bán etc.), with the Foto-Medium-Art gallery, Wroclaw – Jerzy Olke, galerií Remont – Henryk Galewski, and with the Dziekanka gallery in Warsaw. He has kept in touch with Jürgen Weichardt (Oldenburg) and remains in close contact with artists of all generations of the Czech unofficial scene.


He created the Time – Space series which raised three questions: the coming, the situation, and the direction of man. The Exclamation Mark cycle as a memento of our civilization. Habitat I, II, III series was to be exhibited at the biennale in Warsaw. Even though he was supposed to win the first prize, the work was removed after a protest by the Czechoslovak cultural attaché and the prize was not awarded.


Habitat I
Habitat I (photography)
Habitat II
Habitat II (photography)
Habitat III
Habitat III (photography)


He started to use the symbols of stars (a symbol for birth) and crosses (a symbol for death) in between which there was an arrow (symbolizing movement, energy, and also a short duration or transfer of energy), which he dealt with in his later cycles. In the work Concentration and Decay of Energies from the years 1976-79, a motif of the black hole appeared in the set of of life and death signs which proved the seriousness of the situation (Concentrations of Energies - Black Holes, 1976-1980). In addition to using graphic marks as building elements, he started to use real ashlars, stones, bricks to build pyramids and cairns (symbolizing a model of the development of human civilization). The Pyramids cycle continued with the cycle of Pyramid... Civilization... Diagrams (New Beautiful World) and culminated with a number of large pyramids in which he used the positive-negative principle (My Universe?, Positive? Negative?). The Origin, End cycle captured his own action portrait – NO! NO! YES!
Década de 70/ The Seventies (group exhibition, São Paulo)


As a result of his participation in the samizdat Album 76, which was made by Ivo Janoušek in cooperation with 69 Czechoslovak artists for the Venice dissident biennial, and in other activities, Sikora was investigated by the State Police


The Touches cycle represents a record of the process of life until the moment of its completion (Touching the Grave) in which he used palms marked by signs covering the sign of the tragic cross.
Rudolf Sikora: Graphics (solo exhibition, Brno)


(Rudolf Sikora) (solo exhibition, Rtyně v Podkrkonoší)


The Noosphere, Constellations cycles in which the circulation of universal energies was confronted with the energy of human thinking resulted in the Anthropic Principle, in which he turned his attention from the Universe to man and his neglected part (an x-ray picture of his own hand and head in the form of skeleton, which we usually do not see during our lives). Disintegration (of the artist and the Universe) is demonstrated by dissimilar signs, such as the remnants of dying systems and in the form of symbolic burial grounds.
Fotografie. Michal Kern, Rudolf Sikora. (solo exhibition, Bratislava)


Second Portfolio (group exhibition, Budapest)
Rudolf Sikora: Time ... Space, The Anthropic Principle (solo exhibition, Rimavská Sobota)
Rudolf Fila, Jozef Jankovič, Rudolf Sikora (group exhibition, Helsingborg)
Rudolf Sikora: Self-Portraits (from the Anthropic Principle) (solo exhibition, Brno)


The Broken Cross triptych started a new phase of his work which was influenced by his search for new relationships and reconstructions. He changed his value system based on the scepticism of his knowledge. A meteorite as an agglomerate of matter and an element of disintegration became the base of the cairns through which he honoured the human being: Trimmed Cairn, Crucified Cairn (in memoriam of František Šmejkal), Fallen Cairn.
Rudolf Sikora: Drawings - Prints (solo exhibition, Bratislava)
Guests of the Gallery H (group exhibition, )
Rudolf Sikora: Drawings, Prints, Photographs, (solo exhibition, Sovinec)


18th January – establishment of the Syzýgia group (Gabriel Hošovský, Martin Knut, Miloš Novák, Rudolf Sikora, Jiří David, Stanislav Diviš, Tomáš Císařovský).
Rudolf Sikora: Photographs (solo exhibition, Litvínov)
New Slovak Painting (group exhibition, Bratislava)
Prešparty '88. Meeting of Czechoslovak Artists (group exhibition, Prešov)
...Igorovi Kalnému (group exhibition, Bratislava)


He joined the Gerulata Group (ended in 1999). Following the November events, in which he participated, he created memorials to the past Torsoes of a Cairn (1990), Cairns – Graves (1991), Grave of Suprematists (1991) in which a black cross emerges from a white area suppressed by red and blue signs. In the Coat of Arms (White, Black, Gold..., 1991) cycle he dealt with the disintegration of existing countries and units and, at the same time, recalled the look of a warrior's shield. He returned to the postmodern spirit of recycling in Touching of Grave (1981–1990), which he complemented with his palm prints and the sign of cross. It resulted in a painting of human activity (settled energy) which does not reach beyond the boundaries of the grave (cairn) and remains incarcerated within it forever. He also used the principle in his later cairn self-portraits (An observer and an Earthling (On a Pavement), 1996–1999) and in the paintings of conflict zones in East Europe, where the sensitive boundaries were highlighted by militant signs (L’ Arc de Triomphe (Bosnia, Bosnia!, 1993). Even his most recent malevichien variations (Malevich's Grave, later Grave for Malevich, 1991–1996, 1997–2005) proved that he continued to deal with the graveyard of avant-garde, but he never reconciled with the end of the history of art. He has demonstrated that the story can continue even after its end and he has continued to depict scenes of the afterlife of modernism. By moving from the elementary to the global, he expresses a strong commitment to the current state of humanity within spatial and temporal coordinates.
Contemporary Slovak Graphics X (group exhibition, Banská Bystrica )
Michal Kern, Rudolf Sikora. Fotofest. 1. medzinárodný festival fotografie k 150 rokom vynálezu fotografie (solo exhibition, Žďár nad Sázavou)
Rudolf Sikora (solo exhibition, Prague)
Rudolf Sikora (solo exhibition, Bratislava)


He started to work at the Bratislava Academy of Fine Arts and Design. Since 2004 he headed the Open Studio there and he qualified as a senior lecturer.
Artists Tribute to Jiří Chalupecký (group exhibition, Prague)
Hulík, Jankovič, Kern, Meliš, Sikora, Tóth (group exhibition, Liptovský Mikuláš)
Hulík, Jankovič, Kern, Meliš, Sikora, Tóth (group exhibition, Liptovský Mikuláš)
New Leaves of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (group exhibition, Dresden)
90 Authors in the Year 1990 (group exhibition, Prague)


Golden blazon V
Golden blazon V (painting)

Art of Action (group exhibition, Prague)
Rudolf Sikora (solo exhibition, Cologne)
Rudolf Sikora (solo exhibition, Prague)
Art, Europe, Czechoslovakia (group exhibition, Lingen (Ems))
Dal grottesco al magico/ From the Grotesque to the Magical (group exhibition, Rome)


He actively participated in media and meetings against the division of Czechoslovakia. He built his new studio in Marianka near Bratislava. He was appointed professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague.
Black blazon II
Black blazon II (painting)

Rudolf Sikora (solo exhibition, Bratislava)
Rudolf Sikora: Between Heaven and Earth (solo exhibition, Pezinok)
Czech and Slovak Contemporary Art 1950 - 1992 (group exhibition, Novara)
Minisalon (group exhibition, Prague)
Insights - Czech and Slovak Contemporary Art (group exhibition, Cologne)
Grey Brick 35/1992 (group exhibition, )
Twenty Czechoslovak Graphic (group exhibition, Ostrava)
Czech and Slovak Drawing 1989 - 1992 (group exhibition, Žilina)


Rudolf Sikora: Disintegration of the Symbols (solo exhibition, Berlin)
Power Station T (group exhibition, Poprad)


He was a co-founder of the "Save the Culture" forum. He expressed his disagreement with the Ministry of Culture’s cultural policy and participated in protests (10 March 1997 - protest participants - artists - spent a night occupying the Ministry building).


Rudolf Sikora: Of Creation (solo exhibition, Frýdek-Místek)


Rudolf Sikora: Through the Medium of Photography (solo exhibition, Trnava)
Donations (group exhibition, Bochum)
Light of Birth (group exhibition, Benešov u Prahy)


From Collection 1st Slovak Investment Group (group exhibition, Bratislava)
Rudolf Sikora: Malevich's Grave (solo exhibition, Ostrava)
Jiří Kolář the Collector (group exhibition, Prague)


He worked at the Faculty of Arts of the Technical University of Košice as a guarantor of fine arts.
Reality Check (group exhibition, Prague)


Look Light (group exhibition, Prague)
Behind the Glass. From the Collection of Jaroslav Krbůšek (group exhibition, )


Out of the City. Land Art (group exhibition, Košice)
Inconspicuous Medium (Form of Contemporary Drawing) (group exhibition, Žilina)


Syzýgia: The Last Show? (group exhibition, Bratislava)
Rudolf Sikora: One More (solo exhibition, Bratislava)


Rudolf Sikora: About World (1973/1979) (solo exhibition, Prague)



Visual Poetry - 50 Years of Relationship of Fine Arts and Poetry in Slovakia (group exhibition, Banská Bystrica )
Kozmikomiks (group exhibition, Bratislava)

Muzeum umění Olomouc 2011-2022