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
7/5 – 20/6/2014
Opening: 6/5/2014 at 6pm
Guest: Martin Baar
Curator: Martin Mazanec
The shell of the machine controlled unfolding of the exhibition space with book with black pages. The exhibition The Source by Veronika Vlková and Jan Šrámek exists based on a series of cooperative exhibitions, which was an assembling of the painting, models and blending of their form and content. The cooperation, which brings gradual merging of individual styles is within individual exhibitions conditioned by the topic, that affects also the process and dynamics of the ativity.
The exhibitions It does not have to dawn on straight away (Školská Gallery, Prague 2012) and The Lost perspective (Chodovská fortress, Prague 2012) based the outer shell on the mythological story, which was part of the animated video and a particular publication. A couple of exhibitions The Magic of forgetfulness (Blansko Gallery, 2013) and You get what you can carry (Nau Gallery, Prague 2013) again based their skeleton on a mythical story of an air crash at the Crimea, where the main hero, hidden under his own story, was Joseph Beuys. While the first two exhibitions were based on a parable about a girl living in a post-apocalyptic landscape and a main format was animation and a book, the story that was loosely paraphrasing the confession an artist was a gallery illustration consisting of a mosaic of watercolors, computer illustrations, objects and animations covering a broad range of symbolic and cultural themes.
The recovery of the figures from watercolors and drawings, was in previous exhibitions done through their animation and editing, that was done in cooperation with Martin Búřil. The current exhibition on the other side is intended to work mostly with the reality of the time experienced whilst visiting the exhibition. The exhibition leads to thoughts about the momentum of pictures that are static, but also moving freely in the environment of their own previously undefined landscape.
Projections in the centre of the space is a constantly changing image that will never be the same. Therefore the gallery is metaphorically changed into a board game, which can be accessed from the pages of the black book, through the projection or the absurd motion of objects measuring the "gallery time." There is an inspiration to discover the experienced space, to it´s literal and even purely literary permeability based on the presence of the borders of the exhibition itself.
Words from a book, paintings on the wall and onomatopoeic robotics of mechanisms revive the contents of the exhibition, which is not defined in advance, but is "derived" through the archetypes of literary genres and symbols. The exhibition The Source with Martin Baar as a guest opens another topic for Veronika Vlková nd Jan Šrámek. For the first time this is not a joint exhibition in the meaning of combinations or sub-assembly of individual artistic works, but the process of joint exhibition articulation.