Ve Vaňkovce 2, Brno
8. 3. 2017 - 29. 7. 2017
Vernissage: 8. 3. 2017
Curator: Denisa Kujelová
“I am sure, that there are correlations in the world, the sound is connected to the visual and also the visual doesn’t exist without the acoustic.”
Milan Grygar has been exploring the specific concept of relations between visual and acoustic in very diverse and often contradictory parallels for more than five decades. The fact that in the context of the Czech art scene Grygar is absolutely remarkable, is influenced by his interest in experimental music and the follow up of the development of international inter media tendencies based in the contemporary avant-garde music (beside the system of free atonality of Arnold Schoenberg, we can mention the Notation of New Music by Erhard Karkoschka and the aleatoric concept of John Cage).
With regard to other artists experimenting with the new music and its alternative graphic notations, Grygar`s work was defined mainly by the possibility of correlations of acoustic and visual components which determine each other. In the case of Milan Grygar, sound is not tied to the artwork just by associations based on synesthesia (however it is possible to think about his work in this way, without any interpretative framework) and it is also not a completely autonomous element. It is a completely unique principle in art, when the acoustic perception gets a fuller emphasis when creating the artwork in such a sophisticated way that the picture becomes actually retrospectively an instruction, a transcription of how to read it once more, but on the acoustic level this time.
By trying to clarify the process itself and the direction of motion, he additionally discovered (with the help of tape and video recording) the hidden potential of this twofold connection. This dual dimensionality of visual and acoustic he later completed with the actual recording of the work process. He connected all three levels through mutual time unity and to a simple visual expressive power of the art piece. He, thanks to the sound, added the possibility to define the space and by adding the option to also record the process at the time.
The phenomenon of sound has permanently been present in Grygar’s art work since the mid-60s, when the artist, after focusing fully on the medium of drawing, systematically started to examine it and to record it. The sound, at the beginning defined by a series of individual strokes issued by specific instruments, became an unusual parabola to the visual rhythm. After a series of drawings and paintings with wooden sticks, and acoustic drawings, with the help of other typical tools, he developed polyphonic possibilities of drawing gestures, especially with the help of mechanical self-propelled machines. For those living drawings, as well as in other drawings with a performative character, especially tactile, there is a huge influence of the chance, which, while probably trying for the closest connection of visual and audio elements, he replaces his own will by more objective, not dependent factors. However, the element of presumptive chance is firmly controlled and determined by the artist himself.
In consequent repetition of drawn syntactic formula of the square grid in other types of drawings so called audiplastic and black and white and white and black canvases with linear grids, the sound is shown in different ways, that violate the monotony of structure either by a change of the rhythm, colour or by adding some other drawing element. The acoustic quality of Grygar‘s drawings within modern musical notation is more noticeable in his ranks of formulas and scores. These were, no doubt, created with the idea of a specific audio result. The possibility of interpretation is also open and the presence of the artist at the musical interpretations is absolutely vital.
After more than twenty years, the artist returned to painting a series of black paintings with colored linear elements based on the contrast of monochrome surfaces and sharp, complementarily coloured lines of fixed light.The very large and also very diverse series of Antiphons is created by minimalistic geometrical shapes and subtle lines, which are gradually accentuated with colour. However, the use of bold colours can be dated back to the 60s when the artist created the original models for Spatial scores that were produced in monumental scale almost half-century later. A radical shift occurs in the newest work, where Milan Grygar steps back from the variety of colour and returns to the using of a piece of wood to create a series of large scale drawings and paintings.
T: Denisa Kujelová