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
Božetěchova Street 1 (entrance from Metodějova Street), Brno
1/6 – 7/9/2012
Opening: 31/ 05/ 2012 at 7 pm
Curator: Didier Montagné
What can be expected from a confrontation with a new work of an artist who fell silent for such a long time? Is it her intention to strip us naked using her effortless uniqueness bordering on oddity? Perhaps she aspires to show what have changed during the entire time and what is constant, despite everything, that is the personal property of the author herself, her ethics influenced by the philosopher Pierre Audi and his way of “understanding life”?
Be it as it may, in the face of the new work by Kateřina Vincourová we can clearly observe an obvious shift from the subject of internal tension and chaotic strain showing the unpredictability of human physicality and sense of an elusive physical desire, which also characterizes her earlier work, to the pure unfolding into space reduced into composition of lines which also kind of fade out in it and at the same time, they determine it. In other words, while the earlier work of this author dealt with what is trapped somewhere inside of us and longs to come to light, now the work describes, in kind of elegant and fragile way, what has come out slowly and freely to the surface. Kateřina Vincourová gave shape to transience which is characteristic for every material thing, for life of every existence.
New works of the author, moreover, show her unique expression, her style and apparent knowledge of the material used (different types of fabric, notions, lingerie, threads, etc.).At the first glance, it’s impossible to overlook the feminine element in her work. The author gives new meaning to the material, function and value by showing different ways to use it. She degrades its usual utility value and in a very poetic way she accents its inner physical characteristics (expansivity of silk fabric, strange color of nude human body, the power of a coat hanger which connects the low with the high, the vertical with the horizontal, etc.). Her choice in combination with brand new and original materials which are integrated effortlessly into her concepts without showing all the possibilities of their further use, is precisely what gives the work of Kateřina Vincourová the unique purity and poetics. Between what has changed and what remains, this new bitter study of space in contrast to metaphorical cheerfulness of materials used there can be recognized discreet but insistent link which unites her work – presence as a trill.