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.
Fait Gallery MEM, Ve Vaňkovce 2, Brno
Curators: Marie Štindlová a Lenka Vítková
Opening: 23. 2. 2022, 7 pm
natural as the smoke from the smouldering end of a burning stick.
Inge Kosková's drawings are characterised by subtlety and sensitive precision. With extraordinary virtuosity, she touches on ephemeral subjects such as rhythm and breath, records landscapes and music, and writes letters in non-existent scripts. The Flow exhibition showcases a more vigorous form of her drawings which manifest that even subtlety can be firm and powerful.
Inge Kosková lives in Olomouc
her drawings have the most beautiful breaks
her drawings feature Czech forests and meadows, crushed grass by a pond
her drawings with mantras are happy wishes for the world
her drawings are her breath and perhaps also her spirit (of a kind jester)
Inge Kosková draws on her own, even though we can say that she belongs somewhere
Inge has been compared to Olga Karlíková who produced drawings as light as the feathers of birds whose sounds guided her hand
Inge has been compared to Václav Stratil, the old trickster
Inge has been compared to a few others (the circle of artists of the Olomouc drawing, as they are called)
Inge was often interpreted by Jiří Valoch when he used to stomp around at exhibition openings in pointy shoes
Inge's work is concentrated and balanced. She slowly cultivates what she has, and she has lots.
Inge sometimes draws as if she were writing letters
Inge sometimes draws
Inge Kosková is often associated with the circle of artists of the Olomouc drawing. However, her work has always been somewhat solitary. It was and is based on honest contemplation and the distillation of phenomena to the core. In the beginning, she created imaginative works referring to surrealism, gradually moving through figurative motifs with existential overtones to records of landscapes and a search for the order of nature in general. Over time, her drawing expression lost the narrative and verbal content in favour of various phenomena that are difficult to convey in words. Their common denominator is breath, rhythm, a break. The drawing expression is reduced to a simple black line and well-organised work with large white areas of paper. In her works inspired by nature, a similarity to script emerges, and this motif is developed in drawings inspired by the structure of letters and the laws of writing. This experience is further reflected in the works created to music. Another kind of record involves works recording bodily sensations and a series of drawings with mantras in which the artist covered the paper with concentrated drawings related to a circle while repeating a particular mantra. The selection of works for the MEM gallery is based on recent records of music, supplemented by several drawings with mantras and a large-scale drawing on the front wall.
When I look at Inge Kosková's delicate drawings, it is as if I was looking at materialized gestures, as if I was looking at a variant of a music score for the dance that Inge performed in her tree-shaded flat while listening to Janáček. Listening to music appears to be an excuse to allow her lifelong experience of music, rhythm, landscape, body and breath to be put on paper. The long drawing on the front wall originated in the gallery. We observed how ideas and movements were conserved in lines making up a stream that ran around the gallery whenever someone allowed it through their gaze.
Even small drawings after Janáček and Medek flow with the spontaneity and power of a river stream. It meanders and intensifies in robust drawings with mantras - concentrated records of meditation exercises produced in synchronicity with the artist's breath. A few precisely laid black lines on white sheets of paper in a white gallery.
Text: Marie Štindlová