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 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.