Prague, June 20 – 30, 2019, https://www.avu.cz/
For the graduation show of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, artworks were installed in the cleaned up, spacious studio rooms. Generally speaking the installation quality was very good. It was hard to take in so much works in a short time. Overall, I felt like it was a very “smooth” show, without too many “edges” or dissonant moments. It all felt almost too comfortable, but feeling comfortable was of course a nice feeling too.
I photographed works that somehow spoke to me for one or another reason, a very subjective selection based on my momentary moods, in no particular order.
Filip Kurka: Journey from Ping Pong Training
I enjoyed the over-the-top provocative nature of this painting, one of the more edgy pieces, but still executed in a classic realistic style.
Iveta Schovancova: Knock Knock Talks
This work looked a bit cold and detached at first sight, but the installation was great, and it remained a bit mysterious throughout the visit, I could not decode it completely, which added to its charm. Something about cars, reading and counting.
Marketa Adamcova: We Can Just Hug
Enjoyable combination of abstractness and concreteness, with the viewer’s perception hovering between the different layers. The strong lines brought it close to graphic design for me, I imagine it could work well as a silkscreen print too.
Erika Velicka: 222.3
A complex installation with a complex background storyline combining the topics of space travel, feminism, sexual abuse and numerology. I could not decode all the layers but enjoyed the multitude of materials, styles and ideas that went into the work.
Dominika Hornerova: Archeology of Agresiveness
This work stood out as the most powerful spatial installation. The artist really took possesion of the space, and created a powerful work with simple means (rubber bands, nails, permanent marker). The work was interesting as a spatial/architectural structure by itself, and the injected meaning (abusive language that shapes a person during growing up, written on the rubber bands) was a perfect fit for the material and shape used.
Adela Chmelova: Hello Two Rolls Please
I enjoyed the freestyle spray paint and colors, the large size, the hovering between abstract and concrete (more abstract/unreadable in its content for me). I could feel the prior experience and expertise of the artist going into the work. It looked rough and fresh.
Katerina Ondruskova: Petra / Easter
This two large paintings reminded me a bit of Cy Twombly or Günter Förg, but they had its own style as a result of the technique used: Each line was given the freedom to unfold its full gestural qualities. A drawing-like approach to painting, showing no two lines are ever the same.
Katerina Hola: It’s the End of the World As We Know It and I Feel Fine
The interactive element of this work – environmental fortune telling – made me look and think twice about this work. But I was not so clear about the overall message sent out here. There were photo-collage prints addressing the culture/nature dilemma, the fortune telling in a colorful kids water pool was a fun activity, but how did it all fit together? Fortune telling is fun for someone and serious for someone else, climate change too?
Jozef Cizmar: Personal Battlefield
Here I was attracted by the combination of the minute pencil drawing – a reinterpretation of the Saint George theme – and the relaxed painterly style of the adjacent paintings. It was all very dark, a lot of black ink. The combination of free and precise made it special.
Tomas King: Dimension of Life
Very expressive, emotional. I found the combination of more free large brushstrokes and small, naive drawing-like details worth looking again, and again. Felt like swimming in color.
If I could go back again, I would also take a photo of Petra Skorepova’s work. It consisted of large round paper-maché sculptures resembling three-dimensional maps with valleys and waterways. And smaller sculptures made from glass sharing a similar surface structure. Some glass sculptures were scattered on the floor, with visitors occasionally stepping on them and breaking them. There was also a soundtrack combing what sounded like glass/ice breaking and water flowing. This work showed in a very sense-based way the artist’s environmental concern. It felt modest, honest and engaging. In the end, weirdly, it seems that painting in different forms was the strong “thing” in this show. Maybe it had to do with my momentary mood. Maybe it is a fact, showing a choice of the graduating students. Anyway, congratulations to all artists with a diploma, and looking forward to learning about the future paths they are going to take.