21.02.2018 - 05.05.2018
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.
Fait Gallery PREVIEW
Dominican Square 10, Brno
3/4 - 25/5/2013
Opening: 2/4/2013 at 6pm
Curator: Martin Nytra
The installation by Ondřej Homola builds on illusory banality and dry humor based on semiotic play with the meanings of similar-sounding words „the arrangement“ and „orange“, creating a prima facie absurd and senseless situation. This relationship results from the emotions and associations that both expressions evoke. The feeling of absurdity is amplified at the idea of neatly composed pyramids of oranges in the greengrocers department, that is actually - in our cultural environment - better known from the movies and shopping during the holidays by the sea, makes this picture as a demonstration of superfluity almost ideal. At the same time it points to the interchangeability of subject and object of an art piece. The exhibition title The Arrangement also relates to this and it deliberately works with the phenomenon of the ideal of beauty by the way of depicting the appropriate ways of adjustment, presentation and construction or deconstruction of concepts. In our case, it refers in particular to modernity and a substantive man's relationship to the object, which attributes the high aesthetic quality, which consequently generates and multiplies by the characteristic way of life of the consumer society, and which thus acquires an existential nature. The individual exhibited artworks interpret the aesthetics and the art language of modernism in relation to the objectives and resources within the context of applied art and promotional art and thus refer generally to the avant-garde role in the transformation of societal values and perception of reality. In the process of deconstruction and construction therefore the means becomes the target. The physical figure breaks down into a 3D and mechanical model that supports the mold, devoid of its the symbolic function, but liberated and imbued with the spirit of the new beauty.