Jan Kovářík


Dec 1, 2023 — Jan 19, 2024
Opening Thursday 30. November 2023 18:00

Petr Vaňous

  • The exhibition featuring Jan Kovářík, a leading sculptor of the younger generation, born in 1980 and widely recognized for his monument to Maria Theresa in Prague (2020), offers valuable insights into various aspects of sculptural work that the artist has long explored. Kovářík's work delves into the processes involved in manipulating sculptural materials, including those newly introduced into the realm of sculpture. The experimental nature of his work manifests in "new creations" that exhibit traces of their own material-shaping processes, highlighting aspects such as diversity, variety, existential plurality, heterogeneity, genericity, and self-similarity. Simultaneously, there are instances of deliberate mimicry that conceals these traces, involving solutions for surfaces, color infusion, and the incorporation of structures and textures into the work. These principles, analogous to natural processes within a laboratory approach, intentionally challenge sculptural assumptions and shape hypotheses.

  • The exhibition includes works from the Deforma project, which explores new masses with free forms and meanings, often vividly polychromed. Deforma stands out for its use of recycled waste materials, resulting in entirely novel shapes with surprising internal constructions. The installation is complemented by spatial objects from the OF project (open opulent forms), described by the artist as "free-growing looming masses with the strict, classical structure of a sculpture inside," confidently interacting with their surrounding space. Additionally, the exhibition features objects from the M project, such as clouds and mattresses, following a hanging object— a painting. The showcase illustrates the possibilities of sculptural and non-sculptural material processes (including recycling), enabling the human creator to explore extended formats of sculpture.

  • The exhibition's title, "REORGANISMS," aptly captures the expressive interspace filled by Jan Kovářík's sculptural works. These objects and sculptures possess organic qualities, displaying playful and unsettling inner movements that simulate transformative moments of growth, exuberance, swelling, and progressive expansion into space. They convey self-conscious enlargement and prolific existence, captivating the human gaze while cautiously revealing surfaces adorned with distinctive colors and structural mimicry. The sculptures, in turn, mystify human sensory perception, evoking gustatory, visual, olfactory, or even erotic associations. They reorganize human attention, as if the matter comes alive, claiming its "living space" or escaping before our eyes. The sculptures resemble magnified laboratory preparations, alluding to the structure of microorganisms and inducing anxiety about the unfamiliar. However, they also represent beautiful novelties, disconnected from our existing experiences, suggesting unknown or hidden life forms that arouse curiosity and may open new horizons of knowledge. Notably, some of Kovářík's sculptures playfully engage with transformation processes, revealing a parodic connection between matter and sculpture. They defy convention, juxtaposing and crossing the incompatible, injecting humor into the serious. A delightful shape, a humorous protrusion, or an alluring idol can, therefore, be a masked intruder. It is advisable to remain alert to the nuances of REORGANISMS and their intricate mimicry.