Casual / Formal / Playful - Vaněk / Šerých / Koťátková
date of exhibition: 2011/03/03 - 2011/04/14
institution: Czech Centre New York (České centrum New York)
type of exhibition: kolektivní
Exhibition - Tomáš Vaněk, Jan Šerých, Eva Koťátková Opening: Thursday, March 3, 6:30pm-8:30pm, Czech Center New York
Prague and its art scene is the right size to generate a community spirit on one hand, and large enough to allow a rather large-scale diversity on the other hand. hunt kastner artworks as been honored to prove this in Czech Center in NYC. Three outstanding personalities will provide the NY public with fresh insight into Prague´s atmosphere of plurality. Tomáš Vaněk b. 1966) and Jan Šerých (b. 1972) stand for casual and formal principles respectively. Both will create their works in situ. Eva Koťátková (b. 1982), who represents a playful element, will be presented by one of her recent works. The participating artists each represent three very different approaches and attitudes towards art, yet in the same way explore the age old question of what art is and should be about.
Tomáš Vaněk was born in 1966 in Počátky in the Czech Republic. He moved to Prague in in 1990 to study painting at the Academy of Fine Arts, where he graduated in 1997. At the Academy he became friends with his fellow-students Josef Bolf, Ján Mančuška and Jan Šerých and they started the artist group BJ (Bezhlavý jezdec/Headless Horseman). In 2001, Tomáš received the prestigious Jindřich Chalupecký prize awarded annually to the most promising young artist under the age of 35 in the Czech Republic. He has participated in several residency programs abroad, including the Muzeumsquartier in Vienna (2003), Delfina Studios at the Camden Arts Center (2004) and the International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York (2006). He is also a member of the initiative PAS – Production of Contemporary Art Activities, together with the artist Jiří Skála and curator, Vít Havranek, and is on the board of TranzitDisplay in the Czech Republic. In 2010 he was appointed as a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, where he is setting up the studio of conceptual research together with Jiří Skála.
Tomáš Vaněk is one of the key figures of the second wave of post-conceptual art in Central Europe. He observes how small, non-pretentious, repeating interventions, or well-known situations highlighted from an unexpected angle can change perception. He uses spray-painted stencils on walls, and most recently sound recordings, created for specific situations and places. He calls these performative interventions connected to a certain place or situation ‘Particips’. His Particips can be described as principals of active participation, having disparate forms that range from subtle interventions all the way up to large scale projects.
Most recently Tomáš Vaněk exhibited at the European Biennale for Contemporary Art Manifesta 8 in the region of Murcia in Spain, where he presented an edition of his Particip "think round act square". For the exhibition in the Czech Center Tomáš Vaněk will present a new edition of this performative work, where giant balloons serve as starting points for new objects/paintings, stapled to the wall.
Jan Šerých was born in 1972 in Prague. He studied at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts from 1992 – 1998 in the studios of printmaking , new media, and painting. He was a member of the artist group BJ (Bezhlavý jezdec/Headless Horseman), established in 1996 together with fellow Academy students Josef Bolf, Ján Mančuška and Tomáš Vaněk and was twice short-listed as a finalist for the Jindřich Chalupecký Award in 2003 and 2005.
In his work, Jan Šerých combines two seemingly opposite tendencies: the rational that manifests itself in the use of formal means of geometric abstraction and the emotional that represents the true content of his works. This opposition is furthermore asymmetrical, since in the case of abstraction, form completely dominates content at first glance. Already in the artist’s early set of felt tip drawings that were created by mechanical crosshatching, it is possible in spite of their seeming formalism, to find an exact target of meaning. The compulsively repeated accumulation of horizontally running lines of a single color serves more the personal need to fill an emptiness than as an objective examination of the formal properties of the means of expression being used - rationality, geometrical tendencies, concept, recycled, ready-made, typography, scheme, codes, riddles, boredom, repetitiveness, emptiness, variability, lost communication, stereotyped approaches, confusing results, politics of the inhumane, biology of otherness…
His most recent exhibitions include ‘Ears Like Loops’, curated by Edita Jeřabková ast the zona sztuki aktualnej in Lodz, Poland, ‘On Altruism’ curated by Vít Havranek at the Bonner Kunstverein in Germany,and his solo exhibition ‘Making the Best of a Bad Situtation’ at the Blansko City Gallery in the Czech Republic.
Eva Koťátková (born 1982 in Prague) studied at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts, Prague Academy of Applied Arts, San Francisco Art Institute and Akademie Bildende Kunst Wien from 2002-2007. In 2007 - at the age of 25 - she became the youngest artist ever to be awarded the Jindřich Chalupecký Award for young artists in the Czech Republic.
Eva Koťátková’s work is an exploration of the individual and defined social structures, stereotypes. Her working tools include drawings, objects, photography and video, which she combines into intricate, playful, larger mixed media installations. The drawings often serve as blueprints for enacted physical experiments, which are then recorded in photographs or video. Objects made of wood, welded-iron, and personal effects, act as props to further elaborate the motifs. The artist draws on her own experiences and boundless imagination to recreate situations that probe and re-contextualize our perceptions of who we are and how we can belong in a complicated world of collectively defined social rules and norms.
Most recently, Eva Kotátková’s work has been shown at the Tate Modern in Liverpool at the Liverpool Biennale in 2101, with her installation work ‘Stories from the Livingroom’, and at her new solo exhibition ‘Parallel Biographies’ in České Budjěovice, which opened this February. She is also currently working on a new project that will be featured at the 11th Biennale de Lyon that will open in September of this year.