Resonance Field (BOŠTÍK – DUB – ŠKODA)

Each year the gallery holds an exhibition giving visitors an insight into its collections. In recent years these exhibitions have presented a number of sets of individual artists’ works on paper, as well as series of works that comprise the essence of the gallery’s collections. Last year the exhibition A Casket for the Soul showed some remarkable art from the 1960s, recalling the time when the Gallery began operating as a professional institution in its newly reconstructed home. This overview was accompanied by works from notable young artists whose art draws on processes and principles from the 1960s, showing how certain ideas and approaches have remained viable in art over the last half century. In this way an exhibition of the highly diverse art of one generation became a lively dialogue between two generations.

Resonance Field takes a similar approach. From the Gallery’s collections I chose Václav Boštík’s painting Curved Space, created in 1970 at the International Painting Symposium Roudnice ’70, which is one of his finest works and one of the Gallery’s most precious acquisitions. I then invited the visual artist Petr Dub (*1976) and Vladimír Škoda (*1942), a Czech-born sculptor who lives in France, to take part in the exhibition. Petr Dub presents here Cheyenne Silver (2013), a work oscillating on the boundary between painting and object, in which like Boštík, but in an entirely original way, he addresses the picture plane and the directions the traditional painting can take. I had encountered Petr Dub’s paintings from the Porn Star Selection series at his Another Way of Not Painting Paintings exhibition in Cheb in the autumn of 2015, and that started me thinking about an exhibition that would be a dialogue between these two painters’ art. When I saw Cheyenne Silver I felt as if Boštík’s Curved Space had come to life, as if the pulsing points of colour from the canvas were trying to break out of their given order and reach into the third dimension. I was very struck by the way that both artists had ended up with similar visual forms, although their art was based on quite different ideas. And not long afterwards there was another unexpected encounter, this time in Ostrava, when I first had an opportunity to see Vladimír Škoda’s work. His objects impressed me with their monumentality and their austere, minimalist forms, and also with the ideas behind them, which in many respects resonated with the themes that Václav Boštík explored. I was most taken with Škoda’s vibrating mirror made of polished stainless steel, which from a certain perspective can be understood as capturing the concept of an energy field in space and matter, like Boštík’s painting. I decided the exhibition should be not just a dialogue but an encounter between three works by three artists from different generations, a resonance field of different approaches and ideas that nevertheless have certain aspects in common… (Nina Michlovská)