Magnus – Petr Dub (Tomáš Pospiszyl)

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 five 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.

Petr Dub – Profile (Tomáš Pospiszyl, Magnus No. 2, 2011)