Petr Dub (*1976) graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Brno in 2012 with a PhD publication called Selected Postconceptual Attitudes in the Contemporary Czech Painting. In his work he focuses mainly on exploration of the capacity of contemporary painting, object, installation, architecture, public space and their mutual overlaps. The author’s final thesis called UNFRAMED was chosen for the European exhibition Start Point and the cycle TRANSFORMERS ranked among the works of the finalists of the international prize – The Sovereign European Art Prize organized by a Royal Foundation in London under the patronage of the auction hall Christie’s. Petr Dub was nominated for the Essl Art Award Cee and was selected for Start Up organized by the City Gallery Prague. He is a co-founder of the photo platform Studio Flusser and in 2018 he and Marek Meduna became the new governance of the painting studio IV at the Academy of Fine Arts Prague.
In the context of Czech art, Petr Dub comes out as an extraordinarily cosmopolitan personality. It seems as if what he has been dealing with in the last years did not react to the claustrophobic happening on the domestic scene, but rather followed the traditions and tendencies in artistic metropolises, such as London or New York. In principle, it can be said that Petr Dub is a painter. Nevertheless, he significantly goes beyond and tests the borders of this discipline, only to return to painting again.
Through his works, Petr Dub does not explore the world around, but using the external reality, he examines art itself. What does it mean in practice? This can be perfectly demonstrated on the artist’s older Transformers series. The canvas is stretched onto an asymmetrical frame, with various objects under the canvas: the painting becomes a kind of relief. Petr Dub thus shows the supporting apparatus of painting, while covering it at the same time.
In the Unframed cycle and the works following it, he did completely without the straining frame. He stretches the colour canvases directly onto the wall. Even though at the background of this activity, there is again the reflection on the essence of painting, the result captivates by its beauty at the same time. On the background of a white wall, the irregularly waved canvases hover once like dematerialised colour stains, or like their folds at another time, and merging in the space evokes the details of Middle-Age polychrome sculptures.
Similar approaches are only a step from painting installations, in which Petr Dub works with the whole gallery space. He developed a special technique through which he presses out hyperrealistic scenes from various colour canvases (for example, Michelangelo’s Adam or portraits of philosophers Marx and Baudrillard), fixing them with nails and then combining them with other spatial elements. From the art criticism, he easily arrives at the criticism of art institutions. It is owing to the thoughtfulness and visual attractiveness of his works that he belongs to the biggest talents of the Czech art of the last few years. (Tomáš Pospiszyl)
2018 CAMP: Art in public space discussion
2017 UMA: Audioguide from Gallery Jelení
2016 ČT ART: One percent for art in Czech Republic
2015 ARTYČOK.TV: Profile with Václav Hájek
2014 GAVU: Another Way How Not To Create Paintings
2013 ARTMIX: Profile
2012 ČT: Interview for Czech National Television
2011 RADIO WAVE: Start Up Interview