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 Street 1 (entrance from Metodějova Street), Brno
25/5 – 12/9/2013
Opening: 23/5/2013 at 7pm
Curators: Denisa Kujelová and Martin Nytra
The selection of works from the collection of Fait Gallery is this time focused on the artists of the middle generation. It is advisable to mention at the very beginning that the category of middle-aged artist is not perceived dogmatically based on age, but as a selection of established artists whose work is well known to the audience. Although some of them have not reached the canonical status of the most famous names yet, they all belong to well established artists at home and abroad, and often act as inspiration, the starting point and the object of definition for the youngest generation of artists whose work was introduced in the last selection.
It is possible to see the common features in their significant approach and the selection of topics that these eight authors continually work on. For all exhibited works there is typically a specific system of characters, may be even symbolism, which they gain in relation to the general concept and definition of art. This interpretation also contributes a narrative of used motifs and their constant presence throughout the discourse of art. This is generally related to problems of symbolism and meaning and the historical role of a painting and language as a space, where the unity of body and consciousness happens, and the identity of society is created.
This relationship is best expressed in the work of Eva Koťátková and Jan Šerých. Koťátková focuses primarily on the function of the tools in the organization of the individual in the structures of power relationships, while work of Šerých is characterized by hermetic closure of the language to the uninitiated audience. Marek Meduna´s paintings personify the ideal of a character due to the replacing of images and text and the creation of post-conceptual decor.
The works of Michal Pěchouček and Lenka Vítková use figurative painting and the role of draping and clothing as an external expressive character of the body, it´s physical absence they replace as the only actual remains of human existence. The question of personal integrity, interpersonal relationships, memory, responsibility towards others and towards oneself, and, therefore, the basic human values are dealt with by Milena Dopitová. Her Solarium is a kind of objective body shape, hygienically cleared of individual features, which (somewhere between the symbol of a bed and a coffin) establishes the contours and limits of our physical being.
In his exhibited paintings Petr Nikl explores the psychology of looking into the face and its symbolic function for displaying the subconscious connections. Subtleties of the perceived world are a kind of permanent record of an indefinable mystery that instinctively draws our attention. The phenomenon of human memory and perception in general, is explored by Pavla Sceránková. By the reflection of creating methods of visual experiences, she tries to reconstruct them subsequently and, therefore, she closes the range of topics, which has a core in continued validity and universal value in the introspective role of art.