geukens & de vil contemporary art gallery antwerp knokke special events: UN-SCR-1325 power of drawing artists of the gallery:sophie kuijken ruben bellinkx bert de beul peter de meyer masashi echigo sofie van der linden herbert hamak gideon kiefer peter lindbergh sofie muller jaromir novotny daniel pitin
Statement: "Light Black", Knokke, August 2011
A painting knows what it wants to be.
Visible Paintings A painting is something artificial, yet even so it is naturally self-evident to the highest possible degree. As if it originated by itself, without any effort on my part. This peculiar detachment provokes my curiosity and engagement. Even given the enticing notion that “aural depictions of the past often consist of objects produced in such a way that they are not in fact ‘the work of human hands’” , I maintain an awareness of the painting as a thing, an object that is “manufactured”. Working within certain rigidly defined guidelines and the consideration and acceptance of random processes together form a single whole. At the same time I consider verticality (of format, composition) and a scale of 1:1 (human figure: painting) to be constant parameters of a certain “basic (default) setting” with respect to the perceiving viewer. On this background, the paintings “reveal” their essential properties, whose values reach slightly above zero, i.e. cross over the boundary of visibility. These include a limited range of colours which seem to arise from white only, as well as the depiction of the surface of the painting, which appears to be only just detaching itself from the surface of the canvas, as if it were some kind of initial “motif” of painting itself, appearing almost to blend both with the surface and the format of the painting-object. The process outlined is not necessarily unidirectional – it may concern extinction as well as creation. Withdrawal / advancement. In any case, however, at stake is movement within a narrowly delimited “phase” of minimal visible transformations (of colour scheme, composition) which also give rise to an important “functional” aspect of these paintings consisting of making the medium of painting visible. A minimal mutual differentiation seems to be a general and basic process here, on the backdrop of which it is possible to materialise - or at the very least point to - certain variables of time and space and in particular their resultant phenomenon - a place. Standing in front of a painting, I sense the existence of here and now with the awareness, however, that “Now is the inner image of the Past.”
Black In the "Black" cycle of smaller paintings, a certain release of rectangular shapes takes place, shapes liberating from the format and offsetting a movement within the format's canvas. A black rectangle overlays a transparent shape on the base. I query how paint becomes active and physically present, at which point it turns into a geometrical composition with predictable, given meanings. Even after Malevich, a black rectangle is not 'verboten'. The attraction of black, being not only simply opposite of white. White, as washed-out black; black as a trace left of light.
Jaromir NovotnyStatement for the exhibition „Light Black“ at Geukens & De Vil, Knokke, 6.8. – 4.9.2011
First part of the text is a statement for the exhibition „Visible Paintings“ at Jiri Svestka Gallery, Berlin, 30.10.2010 – 8.1.2011
Georges Didi-Huberman, Devant le Temps / Before Time
„das Jetzt das Innerste Bild des Gewesenen“, Walter Benjamin, Das Passagen-Werk / Arcades Project
"Abstract art is an excuse for making art non-offensive." Georges Braque 1 A provocative thought - I don't know how I should define abstraction so that I could concede that the author is right. But when I recently came across it, I realised the boundaries of abstraction, and that if I do not wish for my paintings to cross those boundaries, then there are questions that I must ask more frequently during my work. No matter how today this interface is blurred and the attempt at a definition is unsubstantiated, these questions are asked both from within and without: from my position as an artist and a viewer. Provided I know myself even a little, I can perhaps say that my primary intuitive effort is to maintain a relationship to reality in the form of traces of representation. This bond to reality assumes an intensity of the images' impact and is also for me perhaps a guarantee of a sort of certainness, a tie to already-existing meanings. Perhaps the future will show to what extent this certainty is or is not illusory. If, in some paintings, the subject itself already escapes this link to reality, still some of the representation's original features, mainly spatiality, remain. For me illusive space works as evidence of non-abstraction - as confirmation of the connection between the image and the (portrayed) reality. No matter how very important the physical impact of the painting (colours, surfaces) is for me, it never leads to a fusion of representation and the image's surface itself. It only concerns a very close approximation. Therefore a minimalist black surface can still be perhaps a window or a display window. It's about maintaining existence on both sides: "there" and here. It is in this moment that I do not consider my paintings to be abstract. During this reflection on the movement along boundaries, I came up with the title of the exhibit, Finisterrae. The end of solid ground under our feet, borderline colour, crumbling structures, isolated torsos. The title captures both processes in painting itself as well as the basic emotional content of the subject. Both tend to be interconnected - if the house falls apart, then so does the painting. Cape Finisterre was certainly at one time named in accordance with the then impression that it was the end of the world (earth) and the beginning of something unknown. But I believe that this impression was not accepted withoutexception. We could never be sure that there was not something farther out there.
Jaromír Novotný 1 Cahiers d´Art, 1935, vol.10, p.24
Jaromír Novotný born : 1974, Ceský Brod Studies : 1993 – 1999 – Academy of Fine Arts, Prague (School of Drawing – Jitka Svobodová, School of Conceptual Tendencies – Miloš Šejn) 1996 – UCLM, Facultad de Bellas Artes, Cuenca, Spain
Solo Exhibitions: 2012 2011Black, SPZ Gallery, PragueLight Black, Geukens & De Vil, Knokke2010-11 Visible Paintings, Jiri Svestka Berlin 2010 Three paintings, Barka-Fokus, Ústí nad Labem 2009 Transition Point, Jiri Svestka Gallery, Prague Finisterrae, Geukens & De Vil, Antwerp 2008 Observation Point, Jiří Jílek Gallery, Šumperk Restricted area, Via Art Gallery, Prague Emergency Exit, Geukens & De Vil, Knokke Emergency Exit, Dole Gallery, Ostrava 2007 Welcome!, Felix Jenewein Municipal Gallery, Kutná Hora 2004 The Place Of A House, Via Art Gallery, Prague 2003 Lonely Prototypes, Galerie Caesar, Olomouc /with Jitka Havlíčková/
Selected Group Exhibitions: 2011 Turned Down, Wannieck Gallery, Brno Plane, Depth, Space, Moravian Gallery in Brno 2010 Fundaments & Sediments, City Gallery Prague Open Space, Art Cologne 2009 Prague Biennale 4 (Expanded Painting 3) 2008-09 INtroCITY, Topičův salon, Prague Illusion of space, Nitra Gallery, Nitra 2008 Lettrismus, Gallery of Modern Art, Roudnice n.L. 2007-08 Resetting – Alternative ways to objectivity, City Gallery Prague 2006 Next Station Arcadia, Gallery of Modern Art, Roudnice n.L./Castle of Pirna-Zuschendorf 2003 Konfrontace, Svárov 1996 Biennale of Young Artists Zvon´96, City Gallery Prague
Selected bibliography: Jaromír Novotný, /artist´s book/, Kolumba, Köln, 2012 – Ondrej Váša, "Svet za otocenými zády", Kulturní magazín Uni No.1/2009 – Miroslav Koval, "Cestou od malby domu k domu v malbe", katalog výstavy Pozorovatelna, Galerie Jirího Jílka, 2008 – Barbora Geržová, Illusion of Space, exhibition catalogue, Nitra Gallery 2008 – Petr Vanous, "Uzavrená oblast", Ateliér No.22/2008 – Cestmír Lang, Architektura a fragment, A2, No.43/2008 – Martin Mikolášek, Nouzový východ, Ateliér No.18/2008 – Miroslava Hlavácková, Lettrismus – predchudci a následovníci, Gallery of Modern Art, Roudnice nad Labem, 2008 – Martin Mikolášek, Nouzový východ, exhibition leaflet, Galerie Dole, Ostrava, 2008 – Petr Vanous, "Resetting: disembodiment and factualisation", www.geukensdevil.com, 2008 – Petr Vanous, Resetting – Alternative ways to objectivity, exhibition catalogue, City Gallery Prague, 2008 – Petr Vanous, "Resetting. Odhmotnování a zvecnování", Revue Art 2/2007, p.42-45 – Aleš Rezler, Vítejte!, exhibition catalogue , Felix Jenewein Municipal Gallery, Kutná Hora, 2007 – Petr Vanous, "Pokoje", A2, No.42/2006 – Miroslava Hlavácková, Príští stanice Arkádia, exhibition catalogue, Gallery of Modern Art, Roudnice nad Labem, 2006 – Petr Vanous, "Z odstupu a z výšky", Ateliér No.24/2004 – Jan Kríž, "Osamelé prototypy", Ateliér No.24/2003 – Jan Kríž, "Osamelé prototypy", 2003, exhibition leaflet – Jan Kríž, "Domácí motivy", Ateliér No.10/2001– Bienalle of Young Artists Zvon´96, exhibition catalogue, City Gallery Prague, 1996, text by: Miroslav Petrícek