The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery in Prague – Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art
Veletržní Palace, 5th floor, respirium premises
Dukelských hrdinů 47, 170 00 Prague 7
Curators: Lenka Pastýříková, Lucie Šiklová
The “respirium” premises of the Veletržní Palace are traditionally reserved for exhibitions presenting Czech contemporary artists. The exhibition of Tomáš Hlavina and Jan Stoss on the respirium’s fifth floor presents two rather different artists. It is misleading to look for any points of intersection in their work, whether in terms of formal aspects, content or expression. What they have in common is place and time – both were born in the 1960s, studied at Prague’s Academy of Fine Arts at the turn of the 1980s and 1990s and have met in the respirium of the Veletržní Palace for this year’s exhibition.
Jan Stoss (b. 1964) is a painter whose expression lay somewhere between the classic and the grotesque and whose themes correspond to this description. Almost without exception, he “borrows” his themes from patriotically-hued Czech and Czechoslovak history, employing them seriously or humorously, but always without ridicule. He presents a rather large collection of paintings focused particularly on recent figural work never before displayed.
J. Stoss - Antičechie
Tomáš Hlavina (b. 1966) creates precise, and at the same time playful, objects and installations, subtle in terms of their expression. He transforms real, visually interesting objects into conceptual ones. His artworks composed of several discovered components are different from “readymades”, having the character of models or vaguely resembling strange instruments. However, they refer to nothing specific and do not lend themselves to unambiguous interpretation; the artist leaves that to the viewer. His elaborate objects, which the artist sees as visual metaphors, are characterised by a minimal number of means of expression, ever-increasing simplicity and wit. Hlavina presents an impressive collection of his objects of the recent years.
T. Hlavina - Door