8 - 24 May, 2024

Aliza Orlan, Dorota Sadovská

Every end is the beginning of something new and the sprouting usually takes place in the dark. The exhibition of two very different artists is based on this critical point, where the greatest darkness and the seed of light and hope meet.

Dorota Sadovská will present (among other things) a new large-scale painting with the motif of Pieta. The red colour of the caput mortum on the background, which evokes dried blood, contrasts with the blue figure of the Virgin Mary and the greenish body of Christ. The greenish-brown tones can signify decay, but also the colour of vegetation. Christ’s body is the body of a tree, which can also be interpreted as an iconographic type of the Tree of Life. The unusual dramatic perspective is typical of the artist. Sadovská is known for her reinterpretations of Christian themes, which she shifts into a contemporary, more universal visual language.

Aliza Orlan is a younger-generation artist who comes from a foundation of graphic design training, but is predominantly involved in drawing and creating delicate objects from a variety of materials. Her work deals with trans identity, for which she looks for symbols in the plant or insect kingdom, but also in mythology and fairy tales. She compares her own corporeality to the fluid morphology of underwater animals, mermaids and sprouting seeds. In the current exhibition, she will present a selection of more recent work, including a painting inspired by the biblical story of Jacob’s ladder, which is in a sense a variant of commemorative symbolism. Like the Virgin Mary, Jacob finds himself at an imaginary bottom, at the very interface of death and new life.

Despite the different starting points of the two artists, the exhibition offers a space for dialogue and shows that as human beings we are united by universal experiences – a common core that we can always let sprout  into a new story.

Dorota Sadovská (1973) is one of the most important personalities of contemporary Slovak painting and also works with objects, videos, installations and performances. Already during her studies at the Academy of Fine Arts, she attracted attention with a programme that went against the trends of the time. She worked with realistically conceived figure, non-local colour and surprising perspective. She is known for her paintings with Christian themes (saints, holy women, Christ…), which she liberates from the established depiction and shifts them to new positions. Another major theme of the artist is the (own) body, with which she works in the intent of body art and media such as photography, performance, or photoperformance.

Aliza Orlan (1990) is mainly engaged in drawing and creating objects out of various materials with organic morphology. She has a long-standing interest in trans identity. Her works are inhabited by creatures that resemble fairies or mermaids, as well as flowers, sea anemones, mushrooms, and roots. She also works with ceramics and textiles. She admits to being inspired by female artists such as Eva Hesse, Ana Mendieta and Maria Bartusz. In her work, she seeks new ways to express an identity that defies cis-hetero norms.

Curator: Alexandra Tamásová

White & Weiss Gallery programme in 2024 was supported from the public funds by the Slovak Art Council.