Michal Cernusak

Creating a picture of our world in all of its complexity can lead to precarious situations.


Michal Cernusak (1982) seems to be fully aware of that notion and copes well with it. He is one of the painters who swiftly entered the Slovak art scene in early 2000. It was already during his studies that he came up with his ongoing topic: civilizational emptiness in contrast to the urban density and grandiosity. This concept naturally influenced the basic traces of his visual language. He took after the great masters of baroque art and instead of his previous light, neon-enlightened, spray-like urban landscapes from the times of his studies, he started to create monumental paintings with dramatic plots and ecstatic, illusionary scenes.

We can question Cernusak’s views and opinions. But we cannot overlook them. So what is it that the painter sees and makes us see as well? It’s the decay of our civilisation, situations of unholiness and seizure of power over the freedom of an individual in an over-populated, over-guarded and over-governed world. His pictures, though original and inventive, look strangely familiar to us, and not only because of their affinity to historic and popular styles. He finds and uses fragments of our everyday reality – as seen on the digital media (internet), mass media (TV) and magazines. We recognize various sources of his visual inspiration. Cernusak uses them as particles of a big and bold narrative concept. Concerning his thematic ambit, he is a long-term runner. He looks into problems of globalization, media manipulation, and religious elation in an Orwellian poetic. His storytelling is packed with symbols, references and metaphors allowing multiple interpretation lines. What makes Cernusak’s pictures interesting to both international and an indigenous public is that he speaks about problems familiar to everyone living in any part of the world.

+ Show curriculum vitae – Hide curriculum vitae

Michal Cernusak belongs to a generation of painters who are the new face of contemporary Art in Slovakia. He studied in the famous Studio of renowned painters with Professor Ivan Csudai. His works are respected within the community of scholars, and attractive to collectors as well. They can be seen at various collective and solo exhibitions at renowned galleries and international shows (e.g. Documenta, Regensburg, Germany; La Biennale JCE de Montrouge, Fabrique, Paris, France; Slovak national gallery, Bratislava, Slovakia).

He received several prestigious prizes such as Special prize Essl Award, 2007 and Nomination for Essl Award Essl Award, 2005.

born 08. 06. 1982 in Zvolen, Slovakia. Lives and works in Bratislava.


2001 – 2007 Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, Department of Painting and Other Media, studio of Prof. I. Csudai

1998 – 2002 Secondary school of applied arts of Josef Vydra in Bratislava


2007 – Special prize, The Essl Award, Austria

2005 – Nomination, The Essl Award, Austria

2005 – ‘4. Studio’ Award, Bratislava, Slovakia

Selected solo exhibitions

2010 – Let your troubles out, Krokus Gallery, Bratislava, Slovakia

2010 – Monopolis, Sng a Galeria Ziva, Zvolen, Slovakia

2009 – Unnatural selection, Kroart gallery, Wien, Austria

2009 – Forme e volti delle citta, Instituto Slovacco, Roma, Italy

2008 – Playing with God, A.M.180, Prague, Czech Republic

2006 – Mesto X, GJK, Trnava, Slovakia

2006 – Michal Cernusak vs. Roman Bicek, SOGA, Bratislava, Slovakia

2005 – City Code – Gallery of the Young, Nitra, Slovakia

2005 – City Code – Bonjour, Bratislava, Slovakia

2002 – Gallery Archa, Trnava, Slovakia

2002 – Gallery of the Young, Nitra, Slovakia

2002 – Jazz art gallery, Piestany, Slovakia

2002 – Marco Mirelli, Bratislava, Slovakia

2002 – Maestro – Aupark, Bratislava, Slovakia
2010 – Mlada malba, GMB Palfyho palac, Bratislava, Slovakia

2010 – JCE contemporary art biennal, Galerie im Traklhaus, Salzburg, Austria

2010 – JCE contemporary art biennal, Klaipeda Exhibition Hall, Klaipeda, Lithuania

2010 – Art fair 21 Cologne, Cologne, Germany

2009 – 11+1, Dom umenia, Bratislava, Slovakia

2009 – Tranzit, Turcianska galeria, Martin, Slovakia

2009 – 11+1, Galerie V. Spaly, Prague, Czech Republic

2009 – Eastern promises, Galerie mladych, Brno, Czech Republic

2009 – Perfect Asymmetry II, Donumenta, Regensburg, Germany

2009 – New Entry, Kressling Gallery, Bratislava, Slovakia

2009 – La Biennale JCE, La Fabrique, Montrouge, France

2009 – Salon mladych, Zlin, Czech Republic

2009 – Painting 2009, Ministerstvo kultury, Bratislava, Slovakia

2008 – Pulse, NYC, USA

2008 – Viennafair, Vienna, Austria

2008 – Medzi mestom a prirodou, Kosice, Slovakia

2008 – Cz + Sk, Wannieck gallery, Brno, Czech Republic

2008 – Painting 2008, Bratislava, Slovakia

2007 – PitoreSKA, Wanieck Gallery, Brno, Czech Republic

2007 – Reminisencie, Appollo Business Center,Bratislava, Slovakia

2007 – Essl Award, Medium gallery, Bratislava, Slovakia

2007 – Viennafair, Vienna, Austria

2007 – Prague Biennale, Karlin, Prague, Czech Republic

2007 – Diplomovky 2007, Dom umenia, Bratislava, Slovakia

2007 – Painting 2007, Klarisky, Bratislava, Slovakia

2007 – Essl Award, Sammlung Essl, Wien-Klosteneuburg, Austria

2006 – Prievan, Galerie u zvonu, Praha, Czech Republic

2006 – Mlada malba, GJK, Trnava, Slovakia

2006 – Salon Mladych, Zlin, Czech Republic

2006 – Contemporary art of Slovakia at ECB, Frankfurt, Germany

2006 – Art Prague, Manes, Prague, Czech Republic

2006 – Michal Cernusak, SOGA, Bratislava, Slovakia

2006 – Malba 2006, Klarisky, Bratislava, Slovakia

2005 – Essl Award, Galeria Medium, Bratislava, Slovakia

2005 – Prievan, Zilina, Slovakia

2005 – City Code – Gallery of the Young, Nitra, Slovakia

2005 – Prievan, Banska Bystrica, Slovakia

2005 – Prievan, Liptovsky Mikulas, Slovakia

2005 – City Code – Bonjour, Bratislava, Slovakia

2004 – Bad Fischau-Brunn, Austria

2004 – Atelierhaus Semper Depot, Vienna, Austria

2004 – Gallery of the Academy, Budapest, Hungary

2004 – Gallery of the University, Sopron, Hungary

2003 – GUnaGU, Bratislava, Slovakia

2003 – Wasser-voda-viz, Austria

2003 – Galeria MEDIUM, Bratislava, Slovakia

Works in public collections

ESSL collection, Sammlung Essl, Wien-Klosteneuburg, Austria

ECB, Frankfurt, Germany

Marek Collection, Brno, Czech republic

Wannieck gallery, Brno, Czech republic

DvorakSec, Prague, Czech republic

GMB, Bratislava, Slovakia