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Biography

roman_ondak_event_horizon_2016

roman ondak

1966, Slovakia

Roman Ondak plays with ideas of relocation, representation, and the duplication of experience, shifting and sharpening the viewer’s attention to everyday life. Growing up under the communist regime of former Czechoslovakia, the artist became attentive to systems of inclusion and exclusion that ordered this particular society. Questioning the failure of the communist structure in his work, Ondak explores the potential for different orders—new patterns of behavior, and ultimately, alternative social and political possibilities. His work is often quite subtle, infiltrating the spectator’s surroundings in imaginative and quiet ways, suggesting a renegotiation with reality. Adopting an almost anthropological approach, he recombines aspects of the quotidian with his incisive artistic wit, opening up space to challenge the rules of the everyday through his poetic alterations. Ondak’s work is not only curious about the rituals and assumptions that govern our lives; he is playfully interrogative of the art system as well as society at large, urging us to greater awareness.

Roman Ondak studied graphic design and painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava from 1988 to 1994. He also studied at Slippery Rock University, Pennsylvania (1993); Collegium Helveticum in Zurich (1999–2000); the CCA in Kitakyushu (2004); he has had grants from the DAAD in Berlin (2007/08) and the Villa Arson in Nice (2010).

Roman Ondak currently lives and works in Brat.

Selected Works

Selected Works Thumbnails

the hill seen from afar, 2011
bonsai tree, dried moss, various materials
variable dimensions
installation kunstsammlung nordrhein-westfalen (k21), düsseldorf, 2012

 

 

 

keyhole, 2012
installation
1.57 x 1.57 x .28 in
installation deutsche guggenheim, berlin

 

 

 

sharing the room, 1998
installation view hotel unterbergnerhof, austrian alps

 

 

capture, 1991
iron and copper wires, plywood
20.8 x 23.23 x 3.66 in

 

 

occupied balcony, 2002
color photograph mounted on dibond
16.14 x 23.23 in
installation at town hall, graz

 

 

 

lucky day, 2006
16 mm color film
4:00 min loop

 

 

catch, 2010
installation
dimensions variable

 

 

loop, 2009
color pencil, felt-tip pen and postcard on cut-out paper
8.15 x 8.27 in

 

 

escena, 2013
installation
palacio de cristal, madrid

 

 

escena, 2013
installation
palacio de cristal, madrid

 

 

glimpse, 2010
pencil on found prints, series of 12
variable dimensions

 

 

measuring the universe, 2007
documentation of performance

 

enter the orbit, 2011
96 miniature models of sputnik 1 made by the artist and his friends
detail of the installation

 

 

signature, 2014
set of 50 sculptures, mixed media
variable dimensions

 

 

spirit and opportunity, 2004
concrete, tennis court clay, lava stones
overall dimensions 19.69 x 393.7 x 1574.8 in

 

 

after return from orbit, 2011
installation
23.62 x 122.05 x 23.62 in

 

 

sk parking, 2001
black and white photograph mounted on dibond
33.46 x 28.19 in

 

 

zone, 2010
functional oversized cloakroom and two performers
installation and performance at 6th berlin biennale, berlin

 

 

sated table, 1997
silkscreen print on cardboard and paper, kitchen utensisl, kitchen table
39.37 x 36.22 x 23.23 in

 

 

good feelings in good times, 2003
documentation of performance
museo tamayo, mexico city; wiels, brussels; casino luxembourg, luxembourg; kölnischer kunstverein, cologne; tate collection, london

 

 

cubic floor, 1996
cut and reconfigured parquet flooring
19.69 x 19.69 x 19.69 in

 

 

ein museum, 2009
documentary photographs of intervention

 

ein museum, 2009
documentary photographs of intervention

 

somewhere else, 2002
series of 10 drawings made by the artist in collaboration with his parents
each between 7.87 x 11.41 and 16.53 x 21.06 in

 

 

passage, 2004
silver foil sculptures made from chocolate bar wrappers by 500 japanese steel workers, table
37.4 x 236.2 x 189 in

 

 

antinomads, 2000/2006
series of 12 postcards, 4.1 x 5.8 in each

 

antinomads, 2000/2006
100 postcards, album, table
variable dimensions

 

 

the stray man, 2006
documentation of action

 

the hill seen from afar, 2011
bonsai tree, dried moss, various materials
variable dimensions
installation kunstsammlung nordrhein-westfalen (k21), düsseldorf, 2012

 

 

 

keyhole, 2012
installation
1.57 x 1.57 x .28 in
installation deutsche guggenheim, berlin

 

 

 

sharing the room, 1998
installation view hotel unterbergnerhof, austrian alps

 

 

capture, 1991
iron and copper wires, plywood
20.8 x 23.23 x 3.66 in

 

 

occupied balcony, 2002
color photograph mounted on dibond
16.14 x 23.23 in
installation at town hall, graz

 

 

 

lucky day, 2006
16 mm color film
4:00 min loop

 

 

catch, 2010
installation
dimensions variable

 

 

loop, 2009
color pencil, felt-tip pen and postcard on cut-out paper
8.15 x 8.27 in

 

 

escena, 2013
installation
palacio de cristal, madrid

 

 

escena, 2013
installation
palacio de cristal, madrid

 

 

glimpse, 2010
pencil on found prints, series of 12
variable dimensions

 

 

measuring the universe, 2007
documentation of performance

 

enter the orbit, 2011
96 miniature models of sputnik 1 made by the artist and his friends
detail of the installation

 

 

signature, 2014
set of 50 sculptures, mixed media
variable dimensions

 

 

spirit and opportunity, 2004
concrete, tennis court clay, lava stones
overall dimensions 19.69 x 393.7 x 1574.8 in

 

 

after return from orbit, 2011
installation
23.62 x 122.05 x 23.62 in

 

 

sk parking, 2001
black and white photograph mounted on dibond
33.46 x 28.19 in

 

 

zone, 2010
functional oversized cloakroom and two performers
installation and performance at 6th berlin biennale, berlin

 

 

sated table, 1997
silkscreen print on cardboard and paper, kitchen utensisl, kitchen table
39.37 x 36.22 x 23.23 in

 

 

good feelings in good times, 2003
documentation of performance
museo tamayo, mexico city; wiels, brussels; casino luxembourg, luxembourg; kölnischer kunstverein, cologne; tate collection, london

 

 

cubic floor, 1996
cut and reconfigured parquet flooring
19.69 x 19.69 x 19.69 in

 

 

ein museum, 2009
documentary photographs of intervention

 

ein museum, 2009
documentary photographs of intervention

 

somewhere else, 2002
series of 10 drawings made by the artist in collaboration with his parents
each between 7.87 x 11.41 and 16.53 x 21.06 in

 

 

passage, 2004
silver foil sculptures made from chocolate bar wrappers by 500 japanese steel workers, table
37.4 x 236.2 x 189 in

 

 

antinomads, 2000/2006
series of 12 postcards, 4.1 x 5.8 in each

 

antinomads, 2000/2006
100 postcards, album, table
variable dimensions

 

 

the stray man, 2006
documentation of action

 

notable solo exhibitions

notable solo exhibitions

His most important exhibitions include:Based on True Events, Kunstforum Osdeutsche Galerie Regensburg, Germany (2018);  Roman Ondak. History Repeats Itself, Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg, Denmark (2017); Roman Ondak: The Source of Art is in the Life of a People, South London Gallery, London (2016); Roman Ondak: Storyboard, Guangdong Times Museum, Guangzhou, China (2015); Roman Ondak, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Palacio de Cristal, Madrid, Spain (2013); Roman Ondak: Some Thing, The Common Guild, Glasglow, United Kingdom (2013); do not walk outside this area, Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, Germany (2012); Roman Ondak, Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris France (2012); Enter the Orbit, Kunsthaus Zürich, Zürich Switzerland (2011); Time Capsule, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom (2011); Before Waiting Becomes Part of Your Life, Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, Germany (2011); Loop, Czech and Slovak Pavilion of the 53rd Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy (2009); Measuring the Universe, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, United States (2009); Path, CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco, United States (2008).

selected group exhibitions and biennials

Moreover, his work has been included in group exhibitions at institutions such as the Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom (2016 and 2006); MALBA Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (2015); Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Detroit, United States (2013); Kunsthalle Nürnberg, Germany (2012); MoMA PS1, New York United States (2011); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Neatherlands (2010 and 2005); ICA, Boston United States (2008); Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt Germany (2005), among others.

He has participated in the following biennials: Kathmandu Triennale 2017, Nepal; the 54 th and 50 th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2011 & 2003); the 5th Moscow Biennial, Moscow, Russia (2013); the 5th Liverpool Biennial. Liverpool, United Kingdom (2008); the 8th Panama Art Biennial. Panama City, Panama (2008); the 27th Bienal São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil (2006) and the Prague Biennial, Prague Chec Republic (2003).

Video