25 January – 8 March 2024

Erik Šille
Sad Generation with Beautiful Pictures

Curator: Alexandra Tamásová

Our new exhibition The Sad Generation with Beautiful Pictures, draws us into the world of Šille’s manifested visions. Coinciding, deliberately or otherwise, with the carnival season, Šille let his hair down – and the result is an installation that oscillates along the kitsch aesthetics in the spirit of the best pop art tradition. It captivates senses and, at the same time, numbs perception. In addition to his latest paintings, the exhibition presents Šille’s drawings and objects that engulf us in a plastic and grotesque ‘model of the world‘.

Characteristically for Šille, the bright colours, neat manuscript and adjusting contrast with the gloomy content of his works that twist reality, as if tilted from its axis. The characters find themselves in uncomfortable situations with no escape, crushed by the weight of the surrounding world and their incompetence. Šille comments on specifically Slovak, yet also more universal social realities – the status of women, the plundering of the planet or nationalism. He invites us to peek into the condensed visual account of a society that, while inundated with pretty pictures, is losing ground.

Erik Šille (b. 1978, Rožňava) is an acclaimed artist of the middle generation, a laureate of numerous awards. Based in Bratislava, he teaches at the Academy of Fine Arts there. His beginnings are connected with the 4th studio led by Ivan Csudai, where he studied between 2000–2006. The Csudai Group marked a distinctive revival of painting and a specific artistic language that brought aesthetics and new media to the traditional discipline. Already as a student, Šille captivated audience with a unique, even if somewhat controversial style. He combines themes from pop culture, bold colours and the pleasing surface of a painting with critical, almost existentially dark content. He exhibits continuously at home and abroad, his works feature in public and private collections.

Foto: isonative

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