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 Street 1 (entrance from Metodějova Strret), Brno
21/9 – 1/12/2012
Opening: 20/9/2012 at 7 pm
Curator: Petr Vaňous
Lubomír Typlt proves that an image is a synthetic medium that can hardly ever by completely used up. Functional principle of a continuous renewal of this means of expression is put into communicating vessels of authorship and an era. An era requires images and evaluates them in terms of chronology. Authorship frees the works of art of a time line and breaks the space-time in a completely different way which can be described as cyclical or ritual. Therefore Lubomír Typlt can return back to figurative painting and recycle seemingly used up figuration without repeating himself in his paintings. He updates the figure but his act makes present, in a certain generalization, current feeling.
In the set of figurative paintings, Typlt works with an extreme dynamic nature of means of expression. Expressive abbreviation is gradated by diffusive emotional colorfulness. The author thematizes, it seems, primarily the laws of painting as such. Because what else is painting than an expressive grouping of colors. In exhibited works there are adolescent characters everywhere but they are mainly carriers of colorful spots rather than thematic references. The color models, gives the characters life, makes them visible. The color tells stories. It itself is a narrative medium which becomes independent and frees the figure of its role of literary server. Painting is an energy metaphorically translated into color sharpness and vibrancy of young bodies. Groups of people running against the horizon still acquire critical drive in the paintings. Waste of energies. Effort to stay in the running group. Absurd and meaningless changes of direction. Constant monitoring of terrain. Repetitive motion without beginning and without end. Running without rest. Also the age of figures conveys experience with socialization, integration into society. It is here where the first collectives full of cruelty and injustice arise. It is here where the characters are sown and modeled. In a game that is no longer childish, but not yet associated with full responsibility. Typlt generalizes the dividing-line between curiosity, uncouscious and awakening which can even have destructive character
The name of the exhibition, Dalekou neutečou / They won’t escape far mocks the simple defensive reaction of a child, who, by measuring the distance, measures the quality of security. We won’t be able to escape the image and painting, if they rise from their present. The sight of them is only for the strong ones. To stare into the face of futility is the first and necessary step to understanding our own inevitable mortality. There’s no other way.