Jan Merta


Radek Brousil & Peter Puklus


Markéta Othová


Valentýna Janů

Salty Mascara

Jan Merta / Return

21.02.2018 - 05.05.2018

Fait Gallery

Ve Vaňkovce 2, Brno
Vernissage: 21.2.2018 at 7 pm
Curators: Denisa Kujelová & Jiří Zahrádka

Return is the movement of the Tao, yielding

is the way of the Tao. Ten thousand things

in All Under Heaven are born of what there is.

What there is is born of what there isn’t.

In a distinctive visual style rooted in his personal memory, Jan Merta transforms real-world subjects into specific projections of his own experiences. This unusually sincere approach is in its intensity and truthfulness towards the viewer remarkably transferrable and communicative. In most cases, the artist chooses as the subject matter of his paintngs, drawings and objects things and situations on the edge of ordinary attention that, however, are personally highly important for him. By removing them from their original context and by their free processing he fills them with new contents. The pure essence of seemingly ordinary objects demonstrated on a monumental scale with the use of unconventional; spatial structures provides Merta’s paintings with a strange tension, which is in some works even intensified by the refined employment of light and the atypically approached relationship between object and area when an accentuated background creates an illusory perspective.

All of Jan Merta’s works have their own raison d’etre in particular stories, and his art is so closely linked with personal experiences that it could be understood as the artist’s diary records of events, experiences, memories and reminiscences of people, objects and places. Every new painting is for him a return in thoughts, and it is therefore hardly surprising that he has chosen this word for the exhibition title. However, it should be viewed at several levels of meaning: apart from the tite of a sculpture, the motif of return also refers to the show itself, organised in exhibition rooms to which Jan Merta returns with his new project after eight years. First and foremost, it refers to regular returns to the artist’s key theme circles, as well as to particular motifs which are, nonetheless, always approached in a different way.

Within the Return exhibition, sections such as Liberec are important; the artist returns in it to the places associated with his childhood and has worked on it, on and off, for several years, as is the subject of civilization threats and cultural codes as homage to Old Masters and specific works of art. One example is Goya’s painting Third of May 1808 (1814) from which Merta borrowed the motif of a lamp. The lamp as a source of light is a vital element of the picture, not only in its form but also in its content, and Merta has utilised it several times. Last but not least, the exhibition presents works referring to the artist’s penchant for Eastern philosophy. In 2010 and 2013 Jan Merta designed the book Laozi translated by Oldřich Král, and his close friendship with this extraordinary figure reinforced his interest in Chinese philosophy. In the Fait Gallery exhibition project this leading sinologist agreed to incorporate into the LAOZI installation his sound recording of the book accompanied by Merta;s paintings with fragments of cups and saucers. These symbolize clay vessels: according to the teaching of the Tao, the meaning and purpose of their internal parts only come from emptiness.

Svätopluk Mikyta / Ornamentiana


Fait Gallery MEM
Ve Vaňkovce 2, Brno
30. 11. 2016 - 17. 1. 2017
Vernissage: 30.11.2016 at 19:00
Curators:: Lucia Tkáčová & Anetta Mona Chisa

Svätopluk Mikyta experiments for a long time with materiality and visuality, and in his work playfully rearranges potential of the existing in the direction to the past and the future. His work is "hauntological" (Derrida), meaning that his themes and the creative process are marked by the „disjointed time". He does not address the time point of pure origin, always only the absent presence: big and small history, remixing of signs and symbols, designing new iconographies, samples of the new collective memories, alternatives of the reality tunnels, creating new beginnings and new ends, recycling of the old grammar, discarded books and dumped materials.

ORNAMENTIANA creates a fresh grid of correlations and searches for a new aesthetic. Remix of techniques and materials, collage-like installation approach, exploration of the very notion of „art” lead to a choreographed experience that includes the viewer into the overall assemblage.

ORNAMENTIANA changes the axes of our three-dimensional arena. It is based on Cartesian choreography of space, on regular but also moving grid of horizontals and verticals.

ORNAMENTIANA is a levitating surface full of relationships moving to the complexity of time and space, a visual manifest, detachment from the gravity of the committed towards the infinity, weightlessness, universality.

ORNAMENTIANA is a horizontal landscape, flat surface, horizontal sculpture, in which the unique vertical is made by the visitor of the exhibition, whose presence expands it by another coordinate.

ORNAMENTIANA reconstructs and translates ornaments, renders new visibility and allows the viewer to feel the archaeology of time. It is reoccurring use and subsequent stigmatization of folklore. Past future, future past.

ORNAMENTIANA is the acceleration of existing aesthetics. Exploring of the visual and material nature of perceiving of the world here and now. Anadigilogtal.

ORNAMENTIANA reviews the formal aspects of art on the border between high and low, the circumstances of their production in the context of never sleeping society.

ORNAMENTIANA is non-hierarchical, de-centralized, de-politicized. It denies the affirmative, fixed position, proclaiming, barricades and it contradicts our vision about our demonstrative political-activist gesture.

T: Lucia Tkáčová & Anetta Mona Chisa

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