Juraj Čarný: Stano Masár, 2014

 Stano Masár is a playful, post-conceptual artist who cultivates strategies of manipulation, transformation, interpretation, context-sensitive and site-specific installation, and institutional critique. He consciously associates himself with the heritage of Dada, Neodada, Fluxus, Minimalism, and Conceptual Art; he develops the legacies of Kazimir Malevich, Yves Klein, and especially Marcel Duchamp. From among the Slovak artists, Ľubomír Ďurček and Július Koller have had the greatest influence on him. His “entry into art history” was marked by the interpretation of historical and contemporary artworks of both global and Slovak provenance, which he analytically transformed into the language of pictograms. He deliberately crossed the line between art and design by applying pictograms to various objects of daily use, such as a pavement, a puzzle, a table, and so on. In the series Just, he erased important parts from famous artworks; for example, in Leonardo’s Last Supper, Jesus stays seated behind the table alone (Just Jesus). Cattelan’s John Paul II disappears from the red carpet with a meteorite (Just Background), in Manet’s Breakfast on the Grass, only women appear in the park (Just Women), while in Mona Lisa’s L.H.O.O.Q., he erases the moustache Duchamp had previously added. The main principle rests in disrupting the fragile formal essence of things from everyday reality, thereby allowing them to escape the ordinariness of their being: a melting radiator, a sunk water pipe, paint flowing under the ceiling, a clock with its numbers and hands fallen off. He manipulates doors, chairs, radiators, electric devices, street lights, and stuffed animals. A synagogue receives doors from a Hungarian Ikarus bus. He designs doors for fictitious Collections of Conceptual and Post-conceptual Art, New Media and Interactive Art, or Collections of Future Artistic Projects. He creates a gallery of influential people from the art world, inspired by Barbie dolls (Kontová, Politi, Kusá, Hrabušický). After the critical analysis of art history, and the destruction and transformation of objects, he turns his criticism towards institutions themselves (“institutional critique”) and the world of art. He exhibits an empty TATE corner, a MoMA wall, but also a waiting room for artistic ideas. He lets an unpainted painting and wrapped artifacts float around the gallery, spontaneously and without reason. He empties gallery spaces, wraps up artworks, builds an empty gallery within a gallery, gives notice about the end of the actual exhibition, and encourages the visitor to escape the gallery, systematically preparing ground for the oncoming end of art. The contribution of Stano Masár to the field of graphic design is also significant. He is the creator of several design manuals for Bratislava galleries, the XLVI AICA International Congress Slovakia in 2013, catalogues of solo and group exhibitions, the art magazine Jazdec, and the web pages www.aica.sk, www.artdispecing.sk, amongst others.