Štefan Mlich – “70”

Štefan Mlich – “70”

Monika Škvarnová

The exhibition named Štefan Mlich – “70”, open through June to August 2006 in Žilina was devoted to the life and artistic jubilee of this native Žilina artist. It brought a demonstration of his rich, expressive tinker creations. The author united the tinker tradition with his own personal sense for perceiving plane, shape and space. His artistic demonstration is based on a simplifying stylization of the human body and natural motifs that recognize wire as a line that can be shaped.

Štefan Mlich obtained his artistic education privately. Since 1966 he has presented his creations at individual as well as collective exhibitions at both home and abroad. His works are included in the collections of several museums in Slovakia and in private collections at home and abroad.

The tinker traditions of the artist’s birthplace in the Kysuce area and his technical education focused on metal work opened up his destiny to work with wire. Along with pictures, sculptures and jewels, he also used it to shape utilitarian and decorative objects such as shelves, trays and candle holders especially during the first decades of his work. At the end of 1970s he slowly transferred his work with wire from two into three dimensional. His works that include stone and wire made into a net still resemble paintings; however, his skeleton works use the strength and transparency of wire as their main characteristics. Starting in the mid 1980s, he slowly refrained from using decorative ornamental elements and the principles of symmetry, which led to simplifying shapes and making the composition more dynamic. This shift in artistic expression as well as new topics and themes created a greater opportunity for expressing his thoughts. His started to look for the truth about humans and the cycle of life. This topic was developed in a rich collection of human heads that he started creating in the mid 1980s, and he has used this motif up to now. In recent years Štefan Mlich even went into a geometric abbreviation. The shape purity and simplicity of sculptures resemble the principles of neo-constructivist creation. The pure expression of his works is multiplied by a new material – industrial wire net.