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
3/9 – 10/10/2014
Opening: 2/9/2014 at 6pm
Curator: Martin Nytra
The Dead Spots
The work of Kamila Zemková is based on significant interdependence of the personality of the author with her artistic expression, that is characterised by its tendency towards the formal stylization of diary entries. Her continuing interest in situations and tasks experienced in daily reality and inconspicious relationships of the close surroundings stands at the same time for searching of areas dominated by ambiguity and banality. These characteristics are no less charming because of their openness and closeness that enable the artist and her audiences a wide spectrum of approaches and understanding of the art work. The author thus creates conditions for work based on personal experience from close listening to the noteless impressions of the surrounding landscape and the acquisition of this experience through awareness of the subjective territory of her perception and her own imagination. Zemková avoids to name things and aims towards specific, easily understandable meanings. She puts greater emphasis on the imagination of the mind and the emotional level of the perception of the art work. Paradoxically, however, her latest work is relatively specific, conceptually coherent and its realistic design might enable the audience to read the shortcuts to the understanding. Neverthless in my oppinion it would be a mistake to see the peculiarity of the models as an indicator of their final status.
The important fact, that the whole set of pictures processes the views into the interior of the close environment where the author lives and works, is a significant truth, which in the showing of the art works in the space of the gallery creates another possible interpretation or consideration level about the nature of the art works as well as the exhibition as a whole. We usually accept the gallery space free from traces of previous exhibitions, which creates a framework for migrant artistic personalities, with no objections. The interior of the gallery, that is temporarily occupied by the artist is also a space that, for limited time, turns the artist into a showpiece revealed to the public eye. The interior is seen as a zone of intimacy and home as an environment of spiritual and emotional qualities. In the case of Kamila Zemková the questions pointing to the nature of the situation of the exhibition might be important. With regard to the conscious dialogue with worlds of internal and external nature and her unusually personal approach, the situation can be understood as a reflection about the relationship of intimacy, which includes the ability of personal experience and imagination to its high public profile and shared features because of which we keep exposing ourselves to this kind of situation.