Unframed (Milan Houser)

The development of Peter Dub’s attitude towards painting has, mainly within the period of the last three years, been marked by his interest in the phenomenon of a painting in both its phenomenal and material substance as well as in its social connotations the painting attempts to topically classify and explore. It must be mentioned that Dub undertook to explore the area of his choice in a very systematic and precise manner. The above mentioned qualities represent one of the extraordinary features of the author and they might in fact turn out to represent the main key element in topical classification of the given field of painting.This is the area where the issues of the very nature and substance of a painting, its material features, its object-like and illusory nature relate to physics and philosophy and move towards the elementary features of a painting in the sense of asking the fundamental question of what a painting can be defined by. Is it by a blind frame, by the wood, by the canvas, by the plank, by the image area, by the material on which further substance of the paint is placed?

Petr Dub has been continually focusing on the given topic while he has adopted two approaches. If we were to define those two approaches in an over simplistic manner, the first one would be perceived by an approach bordering with sarcasm and with the painting clad in a slightly washed out trousers of postmodernism or, secondly, wearing a well-fitting tailored suit. The outfit that seems to be the more becoming one is up to the taste of the viewer. Thus we get to the main issue of the relevant area of painting exploration when the demonstration of certain principles and effects does not seem to be able to do without qualities of the used material which are currently perceived as the aesthetic ones. With respect to the above I recall for instance the paintings of Angela de la Cruz, who demonstrates the object-like and material-like nature of the paintings possibly in a slightly more outspoken way and in comparison with whom I have found Peter Dub to appear more refined through the „craftiness“ of his objects. By the „craftiness“ I mean his inclination towards unexpected connections, transgressions and similar elements.

In spite of the fact that in the Czech environment there are several significant authors who operate within similar areas, let me mention Milan Salák, Evžen Šimera or Tomáš Vaněk, I do not seem to find in the works of the above the equivalent of combinations of the two outfits – the two approaches I described earlier.

In his thesis Petr Dub tightens a material – the canvas – by nails directly on the wall and adds another material to the canvas by brushes. He thus applies, or more precisely demonstrates, the conventional approach towards painting. However, the result does not appear to be a clumsy gathering of paint reminding the viewer of an object such as vehicle or an apple or introducing the viewer into a story of certain sort. Dub does not move away from the demonstration of the phenomenon of what the painting represents in its physical form. The circumstance that the works originate on the spot is bot relevant and problematic aspect of the series. They originate in the very concrete space of the studio where their association with the surrounding space is created.

Two fundamental types of an approach occur. In the first instance the author approaches the tightened canvas through a more or less monochromatic painting and marks the wall surrounding the canvas. Thus certain process – related aspects are demonstrated. In this case, however, the author does not restrict his work to the canvas, he works more with the complex space of both the walls and the interior and should be more aware of the entire composition, should work out its concept in advance rather than to leave the part of the process of origination of certain canvases entirely on the atmosphere of the studio.The second approach does not involve the walls and the material of the canvas is left tightened by nails on the wall. Naked bodies of the paintings are both created on the spot as well as created at a different location and transported to the spot.

I highly appreciate the geometrical visuality demonstrated through the materials, with the nails nailed directly into the body of the canvas – the tightened canvas, wrinkled around the nails, when one can feel the tension of the material makes an almost physical impression.Dub makes the painting undergo a torture process, he tightens it to the maximum, when it can be torn or rupture around the nail within the process of drying and tightening. This represents a demonstration of contemporary iconostas which can be considered also in connection with Peter’s older works.

I consider the thesis of Peter Dub to represent his best piece of performance in the course of his studies at FaVU. He demonstrated not only clear ideology but also ability to verbalise and express the area of his interest. I therefore award his thesis the grade of excellence, A.

Unframed – Assessment of the Chief Thesis Consultant (Milan Houser, 2009)