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.
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.