The Unnameable Object
'You have shown an interest in moving increasingly towards abstract art. What is it that draws you there?'
'This seems to be the natural evolution of a painter. But I’m not sure that is what’s happening in my work. Or at least not yet …' Peter Doig interviewed by Huffpost
Curator: David Korecky
7.9. - 26.11.2017
Definitely make time to take a look at this if only for the sheer ballsiness of it. It is a big, entertaining, messy spectacle and will have you wanting to return to all the eye candy on offer in Kristof's sprawling, beguiling world of mad fun.
I wanted to touch everything and was titillated by the magnificent use of the gallery's space which is rendered almost unrecognisable. In a good way.
An interesting thing I noticed was that despite the discombobulating amount of scattered and randomly conjoined ephemera, Kristof does not leave much room for confusion amidst the chaos. His written comments, essays, paragraphs, singular words and even the titles of his pieces explain precisely what you are supposed to be looking at.
This may be deliberate. In an art world which many people find all too exclusive, perhaps this is Kristof's gift to the general public. "Here! this is mad, but here I am telling you it is mad so I can't be mad if I say I am which makes none of this too mad for consumption, right?"
His work in general reminds me a little of suitably comprehensive political cartoons or magazine illustrations which fit appropriately the written subject matter they accompany.
I don't like the literal. The literal is always too vague. However...
Kristof helped build Entropa; David Cerny's controversial sculpture which itself was one of the largest political cartoons ever made and very entertaining at that. But how long do these puns last in your gut?
Anyway, you fancy a laugh? - want an eye-full? - want interactive fun? (There's a jukebox!) Then roll up roll up to the wonderful weird world of Kristof Kintera. And it's free, freee, freeeeee I tell you!!
Josef Bolf, jiří černický, George David, Martin Gerboc, Margaret Jáchimová, Martin Krajc, Martin Mainer, Vladimir Skrepl, Jakub Špaňhel, karel generous, vladimír véla
Curator: Barbora Ropková
14. 9. - 9. 10. 2017
Balbínova 26, Prague 2
50kc! I have only been to vernisagges here and had forgotten they charge 50kc on regular days; on the days when the place is empty except for the nice lady asking you for 50kc. My fellow art-detective for the evening refused to fork out the dough and instead spent the money on a glass of white wine in the cafe across the street.
Anyway, I liked Josef Bolf's 3 (only) sketches and Martin Gerboc's photo-montages reminiscent of Winston Smith's Dead Kennedys' Album Cover work.
Josef and Martin share the top floor space.
Josef and Martin Gerboc tend towards the darker side of their/our mental states. 'Black', you could say, is the way they see things. What attracts me to both these artists is the details, the visual adventure, the fantasy they manifest. Their world of darkness is playful in a welcoming sort of way. Like stark, familiar, recurring nightmares which you dislike having but enjoy sharing with others.
The works downstairs are mainly abstracts. True appreciation of Pure Abstraction still eludes me. Which is peculiar since I recently concluded that one of the best ways to procure an emotion from a viewer is not to paint a figurative image representing that emotion but to tease it out with the enigma of abstraction, colours and shapes...the unnameable. Abstract expressionism floats my boat on all levels but the precise, calculated abstractions in the basement rooms here at Nova Galerie this month still leave me cold. I am waiting for my relative interest in Mondrian and Barnett Newman to sprout into a full-fledged acceptance of geometric enlightenment.
'Black Paintings' took me to the shore but didn't push me out to sea.
Cry for me.
Why can't paintings make you cry your eyes out?
For all the talk of the passion and blood and sweat and tears involved in creating a masterpiece why don't we see more grown men crying like babies in galleries?
What would it take to make this happen?
I have seen adults bawling in cinemas over next to nothing as a result of a little musical and visual manipulation. But a painting standing alone?
I have brought this up a few times recently and my friends tell me they have 'teared up' at the beauty of a piece of art or even its awesomeness, but never because it was a sad picture which made them sad to the point of tears.
A painting of a starving child cannot move you as much as a photograph or even a song on the same theme.
In the photograph there is less of the contrivance of a painted scene. Perhaps we see too much of the artist's ideas in a painting. If his own life is not as sad as the image why cry? And how best to show your own life, without giving away your intentions, than in heartfelt abstractions?
While the Prague galleries begin to look like an 80s text book of The History of Modern Art I am searching for something unnameable. Something which will make me cry. Something impossible.
Easier done than said. And I am putting my bets on abstraction and confusion, enigma and mystery, beauty and pain.
'They' are out there but fighting their battles alone; scattered about on the confusing Art-Map of a quarter-hearted Czech art scene - unseen and resting, silent, never rude, no more than cheeky, flat and waiting for something/someone to roll them out and pump them up.
"I gotta use words when I talk to you." Sweeney Agonistes - T.S. Eliot
Just to round up, I could not be more proud than to be collaborating with Chantelle Goldthwaite on her upcoming exhibition 'The Strangeness of Beauty'. Chantelle is a wonderful California-based artist for whom I have shared my 'poetic translations' of her incredible collages. More about this next Blog. I will conclude here with a teaser of what's to come...
I enjoy showing people the Prague art scene and what it represents and presents to us.
Simple stories. Short messages. Quick news. Small Aha! moments, guidance, encouragement and perhaps a little exhilaration.
So if you have a group of friends who have the same interests, let them know about this blog and follow me on Facebook.