Sofie Švejdová


Oct 1, 2021 — Nov 21, 2021
Opening Friday 1. October 2021 18:00

Alexandra Karpuchina

  • The energetic footprint of the gestic work of Sofie Švejdová (*1990) is recognized not only by the Czech but also by the international audience. When she was 15 years old, she moved to Prague from Karlovy Vary, and she conquered the art world under a pen name inspired by the story of Sophie’s Choice. She has been successful. In March 2018, her paintings sparked interest at the prestigious Volta expo in New York, and they were shown together with such names as Andreas Schmitten. Following a short break, she will introduce her work in its full force at the Karpuchina Gallery in Prague.

  • She has named her exhibition the Greenhouse. Her new large-format, organic oil paintings made with active paints applied by fingers present certain exuberance, diversity, and complexity, and we can indeed compare them to the natural phenomenon of vegetation growth in a space outlined by the construction of the canvas. That applies to the technical side of things. Through the emotional lens, it seems we should compare her work to solar energy, which allows growth, and it suggests the term ‘Sofie’s (Greenhouse) Effect,’ which natural occurrence directly influences life preservation.

  • The term ‘Sofie’s Effect’ emerges from a faulty analogy with sunlight’s effect, reflecting from a surface and creating an image as a medium. For Sofie, a picture is only a building-delimitation that cultivates a painting that requires a specific emotional condition. The painting is then, in the case of her latest works, emerging literally under her hands.

  • Looking from a distance, the paintings allow us to observe an optical illusion of a mirage in which extensive homogeneous planes spread out. The mirroring objective forms appear to be unreal; they are floating freely in the air in the shape of ships of mythical creatures. That phenomenon can be seen in the works of abstract impressionists from the beginning of the 60s.

  • The viability of her new approach is confirmed by the amount of matter as if it was defying Earthly gravity. Even though it could be generally said that Sofie’s work is based on natural stimuli, in this case mainly of plant origin, she increasingly finds inspiration in the matter of colors itself.

Being a graduate from the Painting Studio of Stanislav Diviš and Jiří Černický at the University of Art and Industrial Design, Sofie Švejdová (*1990) is a person who by her direct and lively painting style deconstructs clichés about female painting. She leans towards an abstract expression, and her broadly expressive hand sometimes contains a considerable dose of an ironic distance and admittingly deep inner ardor at other times. For Sofie, motives, identified by the reality, present a pretext for a duel with a colorful matter and the sound of triumphant chords in a dynamic composition. Although her focus is mainly on large-scale paintings, a haptic impression from the thickly layered paints and sometimes deliberate crimping of canvases shifts the perception of her works almost to a spatial object.