top of page

Statement and CV

Lena Zak, born in 1994, is a mixed-media artist primarily working in painting, who also explores installation art. Growing up in a traditional, Catholic society shaped by post-Soviet influences in Slovakia, she became deeply interested in women's empowerment. As part of the first generation born into democracy after the fall of communism, Zak witnessed the clash between traditional and modern views on women. This inspired her to explore these themes later on through her artwork. Zak uses her art both as a space of self-discovery and as an outlet to express ideas about strength and personal liberation. Drawing inspiration from the elemental forces of nature, her art channels these primal powers such as fire, as a metaphor for the resilience that lies at the core of existence. Exploring abstraction with a minimalist sensibility, the artist uses basic colours, or “non-colours”, as a means to explore the principles of duality that transmute not only in her palette choices but also within her compositions.

 

While her work often appears minimalistic, it carries rich symbolism. From circular shapes symbolising the cyclical and dual nature of life with eternal beginnings and endings, through the use of black as the strongest of colours, to deliberate burning of wooden stretcher bars which can be seen both as an act of rebellion and as a means of purification and starting anew. Lights tubes against dark backdrops or chains are also commonly found in Zak’s installations, speaking about finding a way and setting oneself free.

Zak's artwork has been exhibited in solo shows in Berlin, Germany, and Bratislava, Slovakia, and group shows in European capitals, including London, Berlin, Lisbon, and Athens, as well as in New York, United States. Her paintings are part of private collections mainly in Prague, Bratislava, the United States, and Paris. She has completed an art residency program in Lisbon, Portugal, and a long-term art residency in Berlin, Germany. Lena Zak currently lives and works between Prague and Berlin.

“Through a fusion of unconscious instinct and intuitive creativity, Lena Zak paints her own experience as a woman, and how to reclaim and control her inner power and strength. The act of painting itself then becomes a third space, where the artist can perform and flow freely, from her inner depths to outer manifestations. Creating a captivating dialogue between form and formlessness, presence and absence, the artist’s process is ultimately about setting the soul free. In this fictional space where darkness gives way to light, and where strength is found in vulnerability, the artist can express herself without boundaries, leading her to surpass her shadow self.”

Louise des Places, curator

 

“Whispers of Mary Weatherford's spirit echo in Lena's recent works, as she pares abstraction down to its purest essence. But unlike traditional minimalism's starkness, hers embraces a different philosophy. Here, each reduction amplifies her intent, and every subtraction strategically unveils hidden depths.”

 

Anthony Mills, gallerist

Selected exhibitions & showcases

Residencies

 

bottom of page