25.10.2023 - 13.01.2024
Fait Gallery, Ve Vaňkovce 2, Brno
Curator: Denisa Kujelová
Opening: 25th October, 7 pm
The early work of Jiří Hilmar (*1937) was marked by the art trends of the time, especially the principles of Concretism (whose club he co-founded in Czechoslovakia in 1967), as well as by the activation of the viewer, the processuality of perception and the thematization of movement. Kinetic objects in the form of mechanical machines and objects working with light sources and shadow effects were followed by several years of the artist's thorough investigation of the phenomenon of mobile procedural perception in paper reliefs folded into optical structures. These mostly square formats of various sizes produced an optical illusion through the movement of the observer and the change of his or her position in relation to the work, thus transforming the visual qualities of the surface.
In the square, whose shape the artist saw as an ideal anonymous form referring to the ideas of Piet Mondrian, Kazimir Malevich or Victor Vasarely, he created structures in various systems according to mathematical principles and seriality from horizontally, vertically and diagonally arranged monochrome or multicolour strips of folded and, in many cases, also incised paper. The opto-kinetic principle was achieved by varying the height of the strips, their shape, the method and degree of their bending, the method of perforation, and also the shape and colour of the tempera used for individual fragments (most often circles and their sections). The variation of contrasts and intersections continued after his emigration to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1969, where he settled for more than 40 years.
The active involvement of the viewer was also part of the next cycle of works which were defined by a system of overlapping vertical strips or strings. In this new structural plan, in which one of the elements was always firmly attached to the base and the other hung freely above it, the works could again be set in motion, now literally, by the participation of the observer. Parallel to this, in the 1970s the artist created monochromes from layered tracing paper, fixed to canvas or wooden boards, most often also in square formats. The individual layers of transparent paper were only recognizable by their deliberate distortion with various types of creasing, perforation, rippling and gradations or variations of the repetitive regular patterns of the collaged fragments.
After moving to the Halfmannshof art colony in Gelsenkirchen in 1974, located in the heavily devastated landscape of the Ruhr area, Hilmar naturally moved towards environmental issues. In addition to paper, he began to incorporate into his reliefs natural materials such as jute, wax, kaolin and also wood, in the form of sticks and matchsticks. In the 1980s, when nature became an equal co-agent in his work, and creative intervention in natural processes started to prevail in his work, he turned permanently to a single material - wood. He partially dismantled the original autonomous shapes of branches and trunks and then reconstructed them by rejoining, tying or crossing them into new units of wooden objects and installations. He deliberately interfered in the originally round found fragments of trees in an invasive and openly completely contradictory square manner followed by a final gesture of re-rounding, in order to manifest the oneness of man and nature, which he sought in his work and life.
HILMAR, Jiří, VÍCHOVÁ, Ilona, HIEKISCH-PICARD, Sepp. Jiří Hilmar/ Adagio. Praha, Museum Kampa – Nadace Jana a Medy Mládkových, 2015.
POHRIBNÝ, Arsen. Klub konkrétistů po dvaceti letech. In: Revue K, 1988–89, nos. 32–33.
“Optické reliéfy“ Jiřího Hilmara, Rozhlas, ČRo 3 – Vltava, Mozaika, 24 February 2011.
 The principles of Concretism were defined in interwar art by Theo van Doesburg, who first used and coined the term in 1930, and later in the 1930s by Max Bill, the main promoter of this art movement. De Stijl, the Bauhaus, and also the Russian avant-garde were followed in the 1950s by the activities of the Swiss neo-concretists led by Richard Paul Lohse, and partly by kinetic art in the Düsseldorf Zero movement, the GRAV group in Paris, the Gruppo N in Padua and the Gruppo T in Milan.
 Together with Tomáš Rajlich, Radoslav Kratina, Miroslav Vystrčil and the art theorist Arsén Pohribný he co-founded the KK/CC - The Concretists’ Club (9 May 1967 - ca. 1972), whose activities were followed by the new KK2 in 1997 and KK3 in 2007.
 In this context it is also worth mentioning hydro-kinetic objects from 1974.
 “Optické reliéfy“ Jiřího Hilmara, Rozhlas, ČRo 3 – Vltava, Mozaika, 24 February 2011.
Božetěchova Street 1 (entrance from Metodějova Street), Brno
23/11 – 13/3/2014
Opening: 21/11/2013 at 7pm
Curators: Denisa Kujelová
This time the selection from the collection is not defined by generations, but by thematic linking of selected works across the generational range of artists represented in the collection, in order to find characteristic features of their work and put it in the context of the development of modern art and it‘s resonances in the present. The central themes are tone and line, icon and character, mutual correlations and contrasts between the different art works, both paradigmatic and syntagmatic. The title of the exhibition "For many different ears" in accordance with the parallel of the position of contemporary art, directly refers to the eponymous essay from a set of theoretical writings Modern Artistic Expression, in which Josef Čapek defends the character of modern art in the contemporary context by an appeal to the viewer's open-mindedness and with his ability of sharp and synthetical perception.
The confrontation of authors from several generations allows for the possibility to revise the established categories and terminology of historically proven practise. The attitudes of the individual authors disagree on many levels, but they are connected by the line of abstraction, conceptual refining of the art work idea and thoughtout use of expressive means. The mind precisely formulating the idea of the art work and a control of all aspects of the artistic production. Although the present art pieces declare their rationality by their intellectual overlap, we can say that all these works are characterized by a high degree of sensitivity. Despite all the noise, it is possible to discover that silence is an important theme of the exhibition. Silence as an aim or origin, or as the beginning of the end. Therefore it is better to speak about the intellect that has the ability to perceive the areas of knowledge, which are on the other hand hardly translated into a structured and semantically unambiguous message by speech. Relationships among the artworks are anticipated with respect to the relative boundaries of defining concepts, the entities of the art pieces themselves and the audience. The present art pieces also consciously work with time, which in this case falls apart and becomes a general and abstract concept, or they assure us about it’s presence and flow by cooperation between visual and audio features. The enthusiasm of forms projecting a vision of the future blends with the retrospection in a melancholic mood.
The title of the exhibition is therefore offered as a kind of metaphor for perception of the art pieces, inseparatebly linked to the context and the viewer's own experience as a multi-layered process, during which the meaning of modern art is created.