23.02.2022 - 14.05.2022
Fait Gallery, Ve Vaňkovce 2, Brno
Exhibition design, artistic collaboration: David Fesl
Graphic design of the book and pendants: Daniela & Linda Dostálková, Sonni Scheuringer
Text: Marek Pokorný
Opening: 23. 2. 2022, 7 pm
I’ll do something somehow
The most remarkable, for some perhaps somewhat old-fashioned but at the same time unusually topical aspect of Lenka Vítková's work is its emblematic nature. However, not in the art-history sense of the word when an image is directly linked with a text in a single sign unit which contains a gnomic title, allegorical representation and an epigram revealing the meaning of the enigmatic title and the even more enigmatic representation. In her case, the emblem is more appropriately understood as a metaphor for a variety of rather personal tactics and artistic strategies in uncovering meaning by obscuring it, and a multifaceted manifestation of the unity of poetry and image.
It is therefore not a literary extension of a work of art, or, conversely, of the imagery of texts but, first and foremost, a condensation of lived experience that allows the artist to perform meaning through a multi-directional exchange between the seen, the thought and the written, an exchange conducted through words, a spatial intervention, sound or moving image, a painterly gesture or the selection and processing of a specific material - in recent years, for example, plaster, which is not just the basis for painting etudes but also comes into play as a visually and haptically active thing-sign. The title of Lenka Vítková's current exhibition and the accompanying publication, First Book of Emblems, is therefore an explicit acknowledgement of the principle of her creative practice, as well as the artist’s suggestion of how the viewer (and the reader) could approach them.
Waving, circling, approaching and receding, leaning, walking, falling. Transformation. A meaning created by the movement of words and the action of the painted surface, by an image related to a sentence. A meaning emerging from the image following a sentence, from a sound or film sequence as a transposition of a word or image. Lenka Vítková's approach to her work is typified by a special kind of civility and ability to speak for herself in relation to the emerging whole of the world through subjects whose prospective banality is cancelled not only by the mentioned emblematic nature but in recent years predominantly by working on the painting, painting as a still-effective way of showing what I mean. Clues which are obviously distilled starting points include not only signs, abstract patterns and abstracted realities or objects and configurations of the seen - glimpsed, but also objects, body fragments and figures. Yet it is always about the whole. Indeed, the subtle objectivity of the subject with which Lenka Vítková is currently working is accompanied at every step by her ability to share much broader contexts, more like a condition than an explanation of the present ones, which make the choice even more significant. Or, last but not least, there is that unsentimental way in which the artist, through painterly means, lays out and activates the surface in order to keep in play the affective qualities of the creative process and their sources.
If Lenka Vítková's works and exhibitions sometimes make the sympathetic viewer feel slightly dizzy, it is due to the continuous stream of exchange between seeing and intellectual work. Her art (she is an exceptional colourist among painters of her generation and beyond) amplifies and intensifies the feeling of the viewer's physical presence in front of the painting or in its space, while at the same time giving meaning to the actual experience that the recipient is undergoing in a difficult-to-convey state of consciousness. One aspect of this type of artistic experience (emphasized by the tradition of modernism) is the result of long-standing exercises through which we still, albeit rarely, and then with a certain suspicion that we are definitely missing something, master the dialectical relationship in which the self and the universe, immediacy and mediation, subjectivity and impersonality, or tradition and its unique fulfilment, can be found. Although we can speculate about what the postmodern emancipation of the sign universe has made possible for the artist and which line of modernist subjective universalism she may be following, the artist herself has described her art practice most accurately: “I’m coming,/ don't know what I’m bringing./ I’ll start somewhere,/ I’ll do something somehow./ Some things the material will do on its own. The gestures I own.”
Text: Marek Pokorný
The project was financially supported by the City of Brno and Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic.
Božetěchova 1, Brno
22/3 – 16/5/2014
Opening: 20/3/2014 at 7pm
Curator: Denisa Kujelová
The Collector's cycle that Fait Gallery prepares in cooperation with other private collectors in the Czech Republic and abroad, offers the possibilityti the public for insight into the private collections that have never yet been made public. In comparison to classic single artisto r group exhibitions, there is of course, a change in the perspective for the viewer and the art works are also able to be perceived in the overal context of collection. For some very large collections there will be, depending in specific situations, selected key works of the collection or there will be selected examples to demonstrate the width of the collector's interest.
The name ONE MOMENT refers to the uniqueness of the moment and at the same time to the frailty of the relatively short period of time when the collections, mainly bought directly from artists' studios and are therefore (except for a very few exceptions) so far unpublished, become published and then again dissapear from the reach of a wider audience.
The story of the first collection belonging to a married couple in Brno and shows virtuous the classical model of collectong on personal level. For the two art loving partners it was crucial to meet a Brno collector who then became their artistic mentor. The profile of this extensive collection, growing for almost four decades is not determined by a period, groups, medium (although it should be appreciated that this is more of classic mediums) or other fixed criteria, although initially there might have been some logical intent.
It's first acquisitions are works of the original members of Group 42, especially Bohumír Matal, František Gross, Jiří Kolář amd Kamil Lhoták, from the seventies, when the collecion of a young couple started. Bohumír Matal, one of the closest family friends of the couple, is especially widely represented in the collection over two decades. Another possible fixed point in the collecton is the representation of numerous members of UB 12, mainly Adriena Šimotová, Alena Kučerová and especially the Janouškovi couple. The large representation of the couple's works of art shows the personal level of relationship they have with the authors and their partners with whom the couple kept and still maintain close frindships that are also incribed by dedications on the reverse of some art pieces.
The collection has been build based on contacts, referrals and visits to studios, especially in the context of Brno, byt visits to Prague studios were no exception as well as acquisitions from abroad. Clearly at it's core are pieces from the seventies and notably the collection continues to the present day, and, although the couple does not have much room, they still follow their passion for collecting and carry on buying art works for their extensive collection.
The selected pieces in this presentation of the couple's collection (anonymous as requested by the owners) were therefore chosen to represent the whole range from initial acquisition to current purchases and to demonstrate the extent of thr mediums ad particular painting, drawing and sculptural approaches collected thus far.