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Jiří David


Tell me your name!

dvorak sec contemporary

If you have to choose between better, even though it brings you no profit or worse, which will benefit you, decide correctly. Arnošt Lustig

Texts: Martin Dostál and Jiří David Translation: Tera Semenov Editor: Olga dvorak Conception of catalogue: Martin Dostál Graphic Design: Karel Kerlický & Martin Dostál Photos: Dušan Šimánek Published by: KANT 2011 and dvorak sec contemporary ISBN: 978-80-7437-049-6

dvorak sec contemporary Dlouhá 5, Prague 1, 110 00, Czech Republic Tel. +420 604 204 653

© 2011 dvorak sec contemporary © 2011 kant publishers

Hardened crusts of colors, artificial sedimented rocks, sudden layers of chaos, ambiguous emergence of trying to force its way through fragments, but also clean, shining blocks from the hand of an axe. Tattooed skin, flea markets, burnt frames, glass beads, melancholy attempted by panic, anxiety, yet only the undying night waiting for the light and reasons. Demon of memories that I cannot express, as they persist the sight, before words, the language, before its own identity. Fear. Autonomy of industrial colours in cans, their chemical reactions, consistency, slow, its very slow calcification, that often forces me to its tearing. I admire their spatial compactness, exapansivity. Live... You are what you are... I manipulate by identifying objectivity, full of own obscurity, scorn and doubt, aware of the necessity of transcendence. Jiří David 2011

There is always something important worth painting. Martin Dostál In art, there is always something that outlives its time and its creators. A lot of it, however, falls into cracks of oblivion. Jiří David does

White series from the years of 1986 and 1987, with a stylistic born development and fragmented layered painting, of which he came of after

not create for the afterlife, but solely for the now. Presented here are his most recent works of his painted series, which he painted in the

his barbaric years. Of all the cycles of all of his work David bases his work so he is able to diverge to his up-to-date modern and original

last two years at his new studio in Zbraslav. For sometime now Jiri David has kept these works hidden from the inquisitive, so he could


show the work all at once, after its completion. The work consists of a series of paintings of medium and large formats, and with that also two works, that are something of a painting-relief-object, and yet still again I realize, how Jiri David is a contemporary artist, from which

For this series, David concentrates mainly on the formal aspects of the composition, without losing its essence and meaning of focus.

many aspects will live on to eternity.

Mostly abstract in nature, the paintings however reflect on Davids grounds, which is the shifting between the image of the norm, finding the beauty in the aestheticized grotesque and exploring the potential and power of the painted image. David experiments with different techniques, the types of colours, exploring neo-modernist informalities, jumping to minimalist extremes, with great gusto compositions,

Sometimes it seems that all of Jiří David‘s work in its own way is a memory and reflection of the future. With its volatile uncertainty, its con-

an element that runs through his work and many of his paintings from the late 80s. Assemblage is an essential feature and characteristic of

fusion, with overlapping themes and meanings, its calming chaos, its provocative aestheticism, its timelessness for me, makes it the quality

David’s work, they are polluted and aesthetically awe-inspiring, logically emerging from pseudo-informalities, its fragment materiliatiza-

of the work it is today. It is the feeling and look of the work in which future archaeologists of art will condemn or refine to be known of our

tion defines and creates the texture of the painting. These assemblages form into objects and installations, changing back again to the two

time. This is also why his newest works are convoluted in a Davidovsky timely and timeless manner. He is focused and distracted, intimate

dimensional form of image on canvas. The composition reveals itself out of its context, into a different or new form of contextualization.

and impersonal, fragmented and integrated, authentic and derived. It seems to me that David’s visual concepts are a continuous process of

At the same time, each of David’s paintings are a polemic of undertones of hidden ideas and meanings, a shift of aesthetics. This moment is

emergence and sometimes also dwindling, a single unique work that changes in the quiver of personal emotions and experience of revoke

a fundamental part of David’s mentality, the questioning of “desecration” on the canvas appears already in one David’s juvenile paintings,

and grief, social depression and compression. There are external reactions into ones human life, in which the actor has frequent attempts

‘Under the sun’, 1967

of loss of conjunctions of personal and artistic integrity in the seemingly pragmatic behavior of our Czech and world history. Enervating contrasts of the internal and the onlooker however, is the originating ground of David’s art that is of such tension to the breaking point of conflict of the lived and aesthetic, because in the end everything ultimately melds into one.

David, like a true artist, is also a master of color. He is able to find the perfect tone and intensity, understanding its possibility in meaning and connotation, he understands its limits, how to soften the color to black or white, diminish adverse shades, utilizing the “creaminess”of the surface and drip-run effect of the paint. He avoids over-use in color, but it is still one of the integrating elements and features of his

Currently Jiří David, who despite in all manner of conceptual divergence to objects, installations, texts and photography is after all, pri-

work and style. It’s of no surpise that one of his key works in his new series are two works of which the canvases are filled with little paper

marily a painter – as is his life choice since childhood, he created paintings, in which he tries to be fresh with attack but also immersed

boxes of hardened paint. This not only shows that David searches for new and different ways of working and painting, but also through

with wise experience. His own experiences, which he does not allow to be pushed aside, distinctly integrates into his canvases. It is as if

„dead“color systematically arranged in rows of boxes – caskets revealing his life-skepticism of the possibilites of art. David moves between

David wanted to create an excellent part of his endless series of art, where he consolidates older happenings, so that he can make them

the state of dreaming and awakening in his paintings. Processing personal experiences, memories, fragments of media and visual percep-

more inticing the next time. In his new collection of work in spite of his diversity there is a compact consisteny. In a way, it theoretically

tions in the overlapping sequence of chaotic continuous flow, which is exposed. These fragments organize the painting, as evident traces

and formally synthesizes and fragments his previous series of paintings, like those of Home, Brutal abstractions, paintings from the exhibi-

of these sensations, which perhaps adhere to the artists mind, but are still the basis of creation of the flesh of art. He organizes his motives

tion Laskavost in Gallery Špala from1995, or large-size format work presented at the Wannieck Gallery in 2007 and an associated two-part

in an obsessive desire to paint in all rage of ways, with the vibrant medium that allows but also forbids. For us and for himself, for now

publication entitled Do not go, leave and I will not remember, it is dangerous! But we should also take into consideration his Black and

and for eternity.

Pick me…I’m clean / Vyber si mě..Jsem čistý.., 200 x 200 cm, 2009-2011

Unsalable bitch / Neprodejnรก dฤ›vka, 180 x 200 cm, 2009-2011

Roll it over'n grease it down / Otoč se a namaž to, 185 x 185 cm, 2009-2011

A minute ago / Před minutou, 75 x 75 cm, 2009-2011

TV News / TV zprávy, 100 x 70 cm, 2009-2011 Cosmic Utensils / Kosmické náčiní, 240 x 220 cm, 2009-2011

Feral / Neochočený, 219 x 222 cm, 2009-2011

Under Pressure / Pod tlakem, 100 x 75 cm, 2009-2011 Mammography / Mamografie, 100 x 60 cm, 2009-2011

Gas absorption / Absorpce plynu, 60 x 90 cm 2009-2011 Separator / Oddělovač, 100 x 60 cm, 2009-2011

Close proximity / Nevýhodná blízkost, 195 x 180 cm, 2009-2011

Soap Titan / Mýdlo Titan, 90 x 70 cm, 2009-2011

Whopper / Nehorázná lež, 85 x 85 cm, 2009-2011

Double shrinkage / Dvojí smrštění, 100 x 100 cm, 2009-2011

Beauty is a French phony corruptio / Kráse je francouzská zkomolenína, 195 x 180 cm, 2009-2011

Vain attempt / Marný pokus, 90 x 90 cm, 2009-2011

I am Your psychiatrist / Jsem váš psychiatr, 222 x 221 cm, 2009-2011

Don‘t jizz on the sofa / NehoÄ? semeno na pohovku, 220 x 246 cm, 2009-2011

Let it squirt II / Ať to stříká II, průměr 220 cm, 2009-2011 Let it squirt I / Ať to stříká I, průměr 205 cm, 2009-2011

Writhe / SvĂ­jet se, 200 x 180 cm, 2009-2011

Space Oddity / Prostor podivnosti, 70 x 70 cm, 2009-2011

Fame / Slรกva, 60,5 x 65 cm, 2009-2011

The Man Who Sold The World / Muž který prodal svět, 85 x 100 cm, 2009-2011 Where the remaining people ar / Tam kde jsou zbývající lidé, 219 x 222 cm, 2009-2011

Facing the sea / Obrácený k moři, 219 x 251 cm, 2009-2011

You are what you are / Jsi to co jsi, 60 x 100 cm, 2009-2011 Completely empty / Úplně prázdný, 239 x 222 cm, 2009-2011

What remains / Co zbývá, 195 x 180 cm, 2009-2011

Before Glamour / Před půvabem, 210 x 281 cm, 2009-2011

Solo exhibition – selected 2011

E: Řekni mi své jméno ( E: Tell Me Your Name ), dvorak sec contemporary, Prague, Czech republic 2010 Maadha Kai?, Madadayo! Galerie Paté patro, Praha , Czech republic 2010 Revoluce, objekt ve veřejném prostoru Prahy, (Revolution, object in public space Prague) 2010 Exhibition is(no)t.. Salon Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (with Jiří Kovanda)Poland 2010 Kohinoor – 15 min. movie, Cinema Mat, Praha, Czech republic 2009 Předběžná retrospektiva, (Preliminary Retrospective), Galerie hlavního města Prahy Předběžná retrospektiva, (Preliminary Retrospective), Moravská galerie v Brně 2009 Dotkni se mé hlavy (Touch my Head), Wyspianski 2000 pavilion Cracow, Poland 2008 Až peklo přemrzne (When Hell Freezes Over), Dominik Art Projects, Krakow, Polsko 2007-8 I do not remember, it is dangerous, Wannieck allery Brno, Czech Republic 2007 object in public space Hůl pro nevidomé, Cane for Blind, Václavské nám., Wenceslas Square, Prague, Czech republic 2006 Fifth Seal – Sacharov centrum, Moscow, Russia 2003 Gallery FUTURA (with Annika Larsson) – Sober Minded, Prague, Czech Republic 2002 Gallery V. Špály, No Compassion, Prague, Czech Republic Heart on the Castle, public neon instalation, Prague, Czech Republic 2001 The Glow, neon instalation in public space on the roof galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech Republic 1997 Gallery Anita Neugebauer, „Meine Geissein“, Basel, Switzerland 1996 „Hidden Image“, Zamek Ujazdowski, Warsaw, Poland 1995 Gallery Rudolfinum, „Hidden Image“, Prague, Czech Republic Jack, Tilton Gallery „Hidden Image“, New York, USA 1993 Gallery MXM, „One day exhibition“, Prague, Czech Republic 1991 Forum Stadtpark Graz, Austria 1990 Edition Arlelier, Graz, Austria 1989 Riverside Studio London, United Kingdom

Group exhibitions – selected 2011 2010 2009 2009 2008 2007-8 2007 2006-7 2006 2005 2004

Art on Lake, Budapest, Hungary Já, bezesporu (Undeniably me), Galerie Rudolfinum, Praha, Czech Republic Kašpar noci,(Caspar of the Night) galerie Futura, Praha, Czech Republic Prague biennale 4, Praha, Czech republic Czech Photography of the 20th century, Kunsthalle Bonn , Germany No Places, No Frontiers, Dominik Art project, Krakow, Poland Form follows…Risk, Futura / Karlín Studios, Praha, Czech Republic Prague Biennale, Praha, Czech republic Galerie Futura- Chaplin Resident Fighter, Prague Czech republic National Centre for Contemporary Arts, In time between Moscow,Russia Prague Biennale 2, Prague, Czech Republic Berlin Photography Festival 2005 in Martin Groupius Bau (September till November), Berlin, Germany Je t’envisage, Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland PHOTOESPAÑA2004 Madrid, España „The 10 Commandments“, The Hygiene Museum Dresden, Germany „About Face“, Hayward Gallery London, United Kingdom


Aeroplastics Gallery, Pulse of America, Brussels, Belgium PPULSE, BND studio, Milano, Italy Neue Galery, exhibition Mars, Graz, Austria Gallery Künstler, München, Germany Exhibition „REAL by REEL“, Galerie Wouter van Leeuwen, Hazenstraat 27, 1016 SM Amsterdam, Holland Mois de la Photo à Montréal-Maintenant, Montreal, Canada Face, photo exhibition (project from The Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland 2002 Aeroplastics Gallery, Wonderland, Brussels, Belgium 2000 Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, „The Century of the Body: Photoworks, Switzerland 1999 Kunsthaus Muerz, „Anagrammatical Body“, Murzzuschlag, Austria 1995 „On beauty“, gallery Regina, Moscow, Russia 1993 Ludwig Forum, „Second Exit“, Aachen, Germany, „Coexistence of Art“, Biennale Venezia, Italy „Unfair“, Artelier Graz, Frankfurt, Köln, Germany 1992 The Art Institute of Chicago, „Contemporary Photography from Czechoslovakia“ 1991 Aperto Venice Biennale, Italy 1990 Museum of 20th Century, „Zeichen im Fluss“, Vienna, Prague, Pecs, Zagreb Walker Hill Art Centre, „Contemporary Czech Painting , Austria 1989 Gallery Artists Space, „Metaphysical Vision Middle Europe“, New York, USA Kunstverein, Köln, Germany 1987 Group „The Obstinates“ (first exhibrtion), Lidový dům, Prague, Czechoslovakia 1984–1989 (more non official exhibitions in Czechoslovakia, title – Confrontation)

Bibliography Articles – selected

Jiří David, Frieze, text by Petr Fischer, November–December 2009 A krtek’s notes from Prague Pt. 1, Frieze blog, text by Jörg Heiser Jiři David Rust (Paintings 2006) AP Pleskot Gallery, Prague, 2006, Flash Art 08, March–April, 2007, text V. Čech The Portrait Now, National Portrait Gallery, London 2006 Making Faces: The New Photographic Portrait, Thames & Hudson, London. 2006 Art in America, issue September 2005, Richard Vine, Doismilecinco ecinco (Brazil) 2005 Spike art Magazine (Austria), Noemi Smolik, 2005


Hidden Image, texts by Václav Bělohradský, Jacques Derrida, Martin Dostál, Helena Kontová, Jana Ševčíková and Jiří Ševčík, KANT 1995 Jiří David, texts by Jana Ševčíková, Jiří Ševčík and Jiří David, KANT 2001 DAVID DAVID, texts by Martin Dostál and Jiří David, KANT 2002 Inside Out, texts by Martin Dostál and Jiří David, KANT 2006 Don‘t Leave, Go Away, texts by Martin Dostál, Jiří David and Noemi Smolik, KANT 2007 I don‘t remember, it is dangerous!, text by Martin Dostál, KANT 2007 Jiří David – Nikdo jiný, zatím nic, Tranzit, 2008 Preliminary Retrospective, texts by Martin Dostál, Noemi Smolik, Edith Jeřábková, Jiří Přibáň and Marek Pokorný, Moravian Gallery in Brno, 2009

Tell Me Your Name!  

Jiří David Catalogue 2011

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