Katarína Janečková Walshe:
The Importance of Maintaining Flexibility

Curator: Juliana Mrvová

On Monday 7 June, White & Weiss Gallery will open an exhibition by the acclaimed artist Katarína Janečková Walshe, “The Importance of Maintaining Flexibility”. This painter has made her mark with unrestrained painting, thick with erotic references and droll depictions of male-female relationships. In the exhibited pictures she has rendered many semblances of the love and care that came into her life through her relationship, and the role of mother and artist, lover, and devoted wife, and simultaneously as a woman whose freedom is described not just by creative limitations but also by motherhood within typical American “small-town” life.

In her new exhibition, Katarína Janečková Walshe turns to the theme of two people’s relationship and partnership. Apart from caring for each other, a relationship involves a certain competitiveness, or battle between two principles, in this case personified by a nude beauty and a brawny bear. This broad-minded European painter of nude women comes together with a Texan bearlike cowboy, with all the stereotypes he got from both nature and nurture. This very theme of male-female relationship stereotypes is something Katarína has been addressing almost from the start of her career. Now she’s developing it in the characteristic setting of American “small-town” life, as Corpus Christi, where she paints, is a town large in area but with many attributes of provincial thinking, and this contradiction has gotten sharper in her newer pictures. She herself however calls this competition (between man and woman for control of the situation) an “affectionate battle”, the woman often winning with her wits, cleverness, tenderness, or feminine powers. For women can be very strong, even winning against men.

Katarína has characteristically called this exhibition The Importance of Maintaining Flexibility… The exhibition curator Juliana Mrvová says of Katarína’s work: “She ever more contemplates how we in relationships accommodate to another without losing ourselves, or losing our own strong positions. In her pictures this ‘nip and tuck’ game has a definite sexual undertone, not just in the obvious sense because of the nude figures, but also in the tension we perceive of domination and submission, or the other potential constellations in love, sex, and life.”

Katarína Janečková Walshe was born in Bratislava in 1988. From 2007 to 2013 she studied at Bratislava’s  Academy of Fine Arts and Design, receiving her master’s degree in painting in Ivan Csudai’s studio. She currently works in Corpus Christi, Texas and in New York. Her (unrestrained) painting work has from the first illustrated the male-female relationship, gender role stereotypes, and sexuality’s role in the contemporary world. The bear as symbol of male potency has become her artistic hallmark. Outside of Slovakia, she is represented by the galleries Dittrich & Schlechtriem in Berlin (DE), Alan Avery Art Company in Atlanta (USA), Galleria Richter Fine Art in Rome (IT), and Althuis Hofland Fine Arts in Amsterdam (NL). For 2021 she is preparing further exhibitions in Taipei, Atlanta, Shanghai, and Rome.