Josef Mžyk


Works of Art:
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Josef Mzyk creates his work in cycles. His series of prints, drawings and pictures link up with each other in a loose but nevertheless meaningful way.
Of his older works, the collection of drawings and lithographs which he produced at the end of the 1960s is particularly interesting. In many of those expressive works there is a tangible effect to achieve a synthetic reflection of reality with a stress on spontaneity, a relaxed emotional sphere and transformed moral meanings. These subjectively exalted reflections of experience for the most part became looser following Mzyk's first contact with the South.
The discovery of colour was an impulse which changed Josef Mzyk's direction. At that time he was studying at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts. This impulse brought several new and important facts: first of all the suppression of spontaneity, and for a long time also the suppression of drawing, not only in the expressive, but also the linear sense of the word.. At that time there began Mzyk's long process, not dissimilar to seclusion, which has only relaxed in the past few years. Although it seems almost paradoxical, Mzyk devotes himself in an almost ascetic fashion to disciplined work with colour, composition and area. A clear role in this way played by the influences of Pop and Op Art which, however, only released some latent features of Mzyk's personality. On the one hand the almost demonstrative stressing of "distance" and "objectivity" expressed above all in a formal way, and on the other hand an ever more predominant choice of themes from the sphere oof intimacy. It was thus an attempt to fuse objectivity with contemplativeness an effort to join opposites, an attempt to achieve a synthesis of art that would reach philosophical planeš. Another important feature that was typical for Mzyk's discoveries was his stylisation of reality, put more precisely his stylisation of "randomly" chosen parts of reality or indeed anything combined with the attemmpt to make clear the harmony and order which connect everything, organic or anorganic, a bound by time or timeless. Only seemingly uncomplicated, geometrie, brightly coloured records stylised to the point of flatness shapness and fullness, can still refer beyond their own limits.
After Mzyk graduated, there oceurred another important shift in his work. The tendency towards objectivity was displaced by an effort, eventually an obsession to create a reality based on detailed research and expression. It was accompanied by an ever stronger tendency not to create a hierarchy, and therefore not to assess. Josef Mzyk concentrated on work with several relatively unchanging elements of nature supplemented with human figures. He was undoubtedly influenced by the pláce where he lived: the Vinohrady district of Prague with its unique atmosphere of late Art Nouveau architecture and nostalgie scenery of gardens and parks. Mzyk's development towards lyrical concentration intensified further, and was followed by an inereasingly intensive effort to apprehend a broadly valid order, specified for the most part on the basis of elements extracted from the simplest framework of nature. From his initial linear pencil drawings he progressed to colouring (not colour values), laying out thousands of pure colour areas. At the first sight, the viewer is mainly absorbed by the decorative component of Mzyk's works. They contain many other factors, however, for example attempts to conceive and embody rhythm, rhythmic repetition and multiplication, and on the other hand sender the "static statě" of the world not as something dead but as something full of internal energy.
Within the bounds of this development, in which Mzyk progressed from drawing to monumental painting, he came to express himself more in terms of defined, limited, and enclosed spaces turned in on themselves. On the other hand, his clear inclination towards intimacy - still in terms of his efforts to join together opposites -counterbalanced the objective and decorative forms. He was interested in views of gardens in latě summer and early autumn, bathed in the gentle light of an indirectly present sun, glimpses of scenes containing a woman or a child. It distantly echoed the atmosphere of Impressionism, Pointillism, Art Nouveau and Art Deco. Often it was glimpse through a greenhouse or conservatory. The greenhouse symbolized an artificial world, the concentrated idea of man about nature and at the samé time a garden of Eden.
Warmth colours intensified by the sun, contentment, peace, happiness, all connected with the infinite rhythm of nature evoke in some of Mzyk's works of this period the feeling of fulfilling some kind of Arcadian ideas. He is clearly one of the few contemporary Czech artists who transform the mythical Arcadian idea, one of the basic phenomena pervading visual art, bringing it into current reality and thus consciously updating its message.
From an artistic point of view, this period was a time of ever stronger disciplině in building up a picture characterised once again by apparent contrasts: grandness and humility. Despite being a skilled draughtsman, Josef Mzyk suppresses subjective expression in favour of paintstaking colouring. It is as if he wanted to express the fulfilling of order and prolong his participation in this process as much as possible.
Apart from elements of intimate, enclosed nature, Mzyk also discovers a free and boundless landscape, the country of the artist Josef Mánes near Košíř in Moravia. He focuses his study on the plain of the Haná region with its tall horizon and brand expanses of land.
Mzyk's stay in Paris meant not only training at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and intense perception of artistic life in the French capital, but it also led him South, to the Mediterranean Sea. This encounter was just as inspiring as those before it. He discovered for himself the mythical character of the South, its brightness and clarity of form clarifying the contents, purity and monumentality of even the most ordinary things, its articulation and the direct link between detail and the whole. At the samé time he was also impressed by the rich variations and imaginative power.
In Mzyk's more recent works, however the impact of his Parisian stays appears in a different dimension. In his latest works, he tends towards the permeation, then the domination of the expressive element of paintings, a sharp and striking quality, subjective fulfillment. The solidness of drawing mostly remains, but it is supplemented with a fresh effort to achieve a more painting approach partly realised on the basis of artistic deformation which enables this unrestrained kind of art. A deformation or an incompleteness is not ušed as an imperfection but as a deeper meaning of the subjective element. Swift energetic painting and drawing - and once again graphic art - are naturally reflected in the work's content, the broadening of its events and actions. In the first pictures of this new series there appears the mutual penetration of decorative
and expressive aspects; at another level sometimes even tne suppression of tne illusive quality of a picture (the picture within a picture).
These changes do not only appear in Mzyk's free art but also in his monumental realisations - one of the most characteristic inner dialectical opposites of his work. The effort not to concentrate merely on one component of reality or one means of expression, in other words the attempt to resist atomisation and achieve a new synthesis, is clearly the characteristic feature of Mzyk's work. This feature is also dosely connected with the attempt to conceive and shape the order of things and world itself. Above all, Mzyk tries in a meaningful and natural way to incorporate or (rather "reincorporate") man as a concrete being into this order; in the series inspired by the South, man is in this sense also the embodiment of the desire for harmony and balance. Viewed separately, Mzyk's works can attract us at one moment with their delicate drawings annd at another with their decoratively aggressive colourfulness. They require distance to be observed, not only in the physical but also in the metaphorical sense. They represent a statement about the better aspect of the world.

(PhDr. Pavel Zatloukal - 1986)


Mzyk probably heard this voice subconsciously in 1987, when he realised that he could paint in different way. how his hand guided him, how he dipped a brush into thick polyurethane paint and how in a few moments he could create a painting whose subject emerged in the act of painting itself. Figurative meanings although incomprehensible since they are not searched for, which we try to find in pictures on paper and which are determined by figurative elements (such as the female nudě, a goose, antlers, a head, etc.) are analogous with those that we even find in older paintings which are stricter and more complex. The key element here is nothing more than the individual projection of Mzyk's own life, even if conjured quite subjectively into the story about Little Red Riding Hood recollections of events. It is a matter of vision, often with an intimate or family atmosphere, and personál stories. Each picture is a greater or smaller story, a recollection through which the painting itself was born; it is the sensuous touch of paint and white páper. In the act of painting, the time involved is as short as possible, as if the hand has tried to accelerate and condense everything in the moment of painting. From this arises the simplicity which, from the standpoint of composition-building, contrasts so much with the older, relatively complicated drawn compositions of Mzyk's pictures. Sometimes the result reaches the limit when we can something capable of conveying a message. That part of the mosaic becomes an empty interval.
This might be the reason why it makes sense in Josef Mzyk's case to look at his work as a complex whole, a purely artistic weighing up of trends towards an inner disciplině, but also towards loose spontaneity, colour speculation with the pictorial field, liberation from colour chlichés, the programming of the picture as something extremely artificial, but also towards subconscious creation through the physical act of painting.He also weighs up trends searching for the essence of art, not only in the above-mentioned contrasts but also in the seemingly banal values of private and everyday life. The things that remain are colours, páper, canvas and time for painting, in which the artistisťs life is presented in ways that are mediated, hidden, indirect and sometimes even banal.
The painting of Josef Mzyk attracts our attention to the trends of contemporary art which do not look for intellectual patronage of their works but search for their position purely by means of something so simple and complicated at the samé time as the act of painting itself.



The dramatic intensity of Josef Mzyk's emotionally accented compositions from the end of the 1960s, also reflected in a series of lithographs [Family (Rodina), Italian Square (Italské náměstí), Dogs (Psi)], soon gave way to clearly articulated works with rational understanding. Mzyk has always come across as a prodigious phenomenal draughtsman. In his drawings of the period that followed, classicism and Hellenic melancholy remainded hidden because even here a formal change occurred. The dynamism of relations which gushes through an arabesque of interwoven curved lineš found a new and disciplined expression in a consistently linear outline conception. Stressed aesthetics of precision and an organised realism were the path to the newly regulated authenticity of an intimately conceived series of events.
Mzyk's painting of the first half of the 1970s was pervaded by a new spirit of "immortalised" poetry brought by the wave of Pop Art. His expression purposefully changed and moved in a direction "from the inside to the surface". Form became more abstract, details were absorbed. His love of clear lineš and richly differentiated colour areas came to dominate completely. He produced paintings in serials depicting monumental objects. This period of Mzyk's work in certain respects connected with Pop Art, though at the samé time strangely echoed the pictures of his student years, when he specialised in monumental painting. Mzyk's experience from this training, furthered during his studies at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts, was beneficial to him in producing a series of large paintings for architecture. In these realisations was projected Mzyk's best known period of the 1980s, which featured motifs of gardens, for instance those surrounding his studio in the Vinohrady district of Prague. Many of his nature themes were also gathered from France, where he often returned and where he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts.
His large pictures of this period were governed by a "harmonious order", well organised compositions with clear articulation of areas and rhytmic detail. Striking, optimistic colourfulness became characteristic. Mzyk even ušed "blank" conceptual white area as well as occasional contour lineš, presented especially in figurative passages. This character of informal, albeit straightforwordly "legible" painting stressing natural phenomenon found its unusual application in the creation of paintings for architecture in enamel-like polyurethane paint, which Mzyk is the only artist to use in this way in our country. The technically difficult use of polyurethane paint, even on card, changed the character of Mzyk's work, which began to feature massive and extremely simplified forms treated with savage energy.
It is this polyurethane painting from the end of the '80s and beginning of the '90s which has influenced Mzyk's hallucinatory and colourful pictures of his most recent period. Even these are pervaded by unbridled wild poetry. Objects lose their concrete meaning and become bearers of mysterious symbolic meaning with frequent references to unearthly divine beings. Ritualist, polymorphic objects and anusual configurations became the expressive potential of Mzyk's work. In using expressive deformations of shapes, there emerge excited groups of human and animal figures. Shapes acquire a new romantic aspect: in their whole, they once again evoke human feelings of mutual participatíon. Works become the bearer of a humanism connected with an archaic era of humanity and a dream of solidarity.

(PhDr. Marianna Kunertová - 1992)


A painter who reminds us of the divine harmony of Giorgione and the Arcadian brightness of Poussin, who believes that the pure colour of Matisse, the feeling of unity and joie de vivre are not things of the past, and who likes American Pop artists because of their direct and factual approach, has defined his own space.
He has set himself apart from his contemporaries and is aware of that fact. To be different is a risk. He rejects drabness, longing for the sweetness of paradise. We should not be surprised that in this longing there is a will, and with such a will the intellect gains ground. Although the basis of his pictures is rational, he chooses personál themes,creating a "cool style" intimacy. In the lithographs and serigraphs of the 1970s, shapes were projected on large areas of bright colour kept in outlines and only sometimes indicated by a fine contour. The Armchairs (Křesla) paintings, in objectivity, seem cold, however they contain the intimacy of personál experiencies; the strewn items of clothing imply that in these paintings the female nudě is a hidden motif. Then he found a theme he could call his own: gardens, a motif with a broad semantic spán ranging from the universally objective to the most subjective.
It is unity in variety, a whole composed of many elements, unlimited variability. It is an inexhaustible topič for the artist. In Gardens he developed a linear drawing based on the restless weight of thin lineš, interwoven and layered with precisely indicated detail.
Mzyk's previously connected colour areas splintered in a kind of cloisonne-work, and pure toneš were spread out in small areas broken up by the rhythm of the underdrawing. Colour is both the light glinting through the vegetation and the shadows that are cast.
This painting based on construction retained its lively quality and, with its strong decorative character, a sensuous desire. In these works, Mzyk confirmed his relationship towards French painting, its traditions and the clear air of the French South. He retained this clear optical impression in his pictures of setting whose attributes are explicitly Czech.
The theme of Gardens with its evocation of a fresh and festive atmosphere and strikingly harmonised colourfulness was then transferred to a larger scale in his monumental paintings for architecture. Since 1981 he has been working with polyurethane paint, a technique which after the addition of stiffener requires swift application. It can be said that Mzyk's way of working was influenced as a result; for him it represented change "through liberation"... It provides free passage for lively expression with strong exaggeration. Instead of detail he is interested by indication, and he articulates the concreteness of elements into rhythmic colour structures. Apart from monumental work painted on aluminium sheets he has also been making a series of "polyurethanes" on card.
AIthough the enamel surface of like this paint gives these works the appearance of drawing, we can also consider them drawings. Precise drawing has been replaced by expressiveness. The theme arises from the colour, which is sometimes enough in itself. More often, however the act of painting renders the psychological statě of the moment, vents inner pressure, and releases a stream of ideas that remind us of personál experiences and old stories, classical or biblical. The series of polyurethanes unfolds without any prior intention and seems not to háve any forseeable conclusion. In these pictures, Mzyk continues his search for an ideál statě projected into the landscape. With its pleasing character, this landscape overcomes drabness and the anxiety of existence as "a hedonist dream about the relationship of a man, nature and the world".

(PhDr. Eva Petrová - 1994)


Mzyk's work lacks the "aesthetics of opposition and revolt" as well as the naivě enthusiasm of an intellect which barely entered the subconscious and now frightens and bothers us with the visions he met there. Mzyk has nevěr nevěr been attracted by minimal expression, nor has he ever felt the need to manifest different positions of intellectual detachment from the delight he feels when he is painting a picture. Mzyk's large, complex compositions with alluded memories and a strange, peculiar, intimate personál iconography are so strongly characterised by harmony, brightness and beauty (at first glance and their ultimate meaning), that these old categories of spirituál aesthetics háve nevěr been omitted by any interpreter of his work. The works of Josef Mzyk do not, therefore, fit in with what were well until recently favourite definitions of the "weighty" and reflective Central European character and ironic-grotesque style of Czech art. These definitions sought to reveal an adequate position of contemporary art but were more than a mere apology for provincial ideals.
All the more important, therefore, is Mzyk's position in the speciál but generally overlooked line of Czech art which works with the effects of contrasting areas of colour within a figurative scheme and which is (out of hábit) usually termed decorative.
The meaning and possibillities of this position were in Mzyk's čase confirmed by architecture. His nine very large works (polyurethane paintings on aluminium sheets) in the interiors and on the facades of buildings represent an important chapter of the Czech post-war "history" of art in architecture. It should be mentioned that Mzyk for the most part created works for expressive buildings and worked with many eminent architects including Milunič, Línek and Pleskot. The lasting interest of architects in Mzyk's work proves the reál need for harmonious and positive artistic work in living space and represents qualified approval of this synthetic approach to painting.
He often works using a model - a delicate, careful drawing absorbed by localised colour tone which defines, a combination of perspectives and bright monochrome areas which created speciál visual effects on the boundary of illusionism and decorativism. This was far removed from the raw, expressive and strangely dirty painting of the 1970s and '80s.
Mzyk's most originál and characteristic phase was preceded at the beginning of the '70s by a period of loose, expressive and dramatic lithographs and a series of striking compositions based on fiat areas. Since the '80s Mzyk's style has loosened completely; the drawn framework has disappeared, and Mzyk has painted a large series of symbolic and sometimes even monumental stories and visions using flowing strokes of a broad brush combined with poured paint. His last works [see the picture Czech Pond (Český rybník)] show a return to the period of bright decorative gardens.
It seems to me that in each period of his work Mzyk returns to one of the basic objectives of modem art - to create a "reál" world in unprecedented sharpness and brightness using extréme combinations of drawing and painting, as well as an unusual composition of the pictorial area. Strong faith in the medium of the picture and the harmonious message that should be conveyed by each fine work, was directed in Mzyk's.
best paintings at an unexpected classical enclosedness, especially in his sceneries of gardens with lush vegetation. Here, Josef Mzyk ušed morphology and methods of classical modem art (Matisse) and "latě modern" art (tne frequently recalled connection with Pop Art) which ne fused with the traditional construction of an ideál story set into a picture conceived as a view into a possible world. Those making interpretations who talked about Giorgione and Poussin or about an Arcadian idea and the idea of a lost paradise were not far from the truth. Lost paradise and the distance of Mzyk' s finest works from existential anxiety and the occasionally (in reality) disfunctional postmodern lightness are more a problém of the world than that of the artist who does not want to work with it. Against the background of the creative aspects of his work - decorativism, illusionism, the full use of modern art morphology and "cool style" in details and the traditional framework of a symbolic and intimate story, Josef Mzyk represents a surprisingly originál synthetist.

(PhDr. Josef Holeček - 1994)


In the mid-1970s Czech art was influenced by a new generation of artists, the majority whomhad just graduated from the Prague Academy of Fine Arts. The core of this generation emerged in a series of individual exhibitions; the presented works were of such convincing quality that they soon commanded the attention of independent critics and the broader cultural public.
As is sometimes the čase, this generation had its own unique pole, a lone artist who wanted to express his inner world and achieve inner freedom. He isolated himself from the feelings of his contemporaries in an almost systematic way, ultimately creating his own style complementary but separate to theirs.
In this way there emerged the personality and work of Josef Mzyk. He is an artist who, in contrast to the subdued (almost monochrome) colours of his colleagues' existential pictures, presents a reflection of the brighter side of life. It ís a life which is closest to his own and is most natural: his life and that of his family. His expression involves rich and pure colours. Unusual for its time, this palette was not simply a livened up range of expressions but also evidence of the emergence of a true artist and creator.
For Mzyk, the picture was an expression of the will to search for harmony and a way of setting the spirit free. His painting therefore unfolds on the basis of simplification and the composition of large areas, through the method of applying of contrasting, intense and pure colours to construct the picture. It is marked by a respect for the rules of rhythm, tranquillity and harmony, it gives play to the feeling in the cognition of a universal order.
These works are not an expression of disquiet; they offer restfulness and bring peace of mínd. Taken as a whole, they háve a closer affinity to French painting than to the traditions of Central Europe.
Nowadays, Josef Mzyk is rightly acknowledged as one of the most originál artists of his generation. His artistic activity is understood not only as a reflective record but also as an expression of the most inward feeling bonding a disciplině of will with contemplation. In the current age of dynamic, almost chaotic changes which create the disturbing feeling of a loss of certainty and security, Mzyk's pictures can also bring us necessary mental equilibrium with their orientation towards harmony, the fullness of order and a greater spirituality of life.

(Ing. Ivo Janoušek - 1991)

Mžyk's interíors are oriented from pop art-style "visions" of armchairs with "accumulated layers" of the cast-off items of human intimacy to the clear spirituality of simple scenes. The decoratively varied and lush, radiant forms create the impression of sun-drenched comers; in this conception the world represents the essence of the poetry of life's routine moments.
Brown Armchair is carefully ordered, presenting a series of infinitely open things. The radiant simplicity of the colour signs created from the remodelled forms of reál shapes of cast-off clothes lie "majestically" in the "lap" of the chair.
By contrast, in Red Armchair this open completeness is made rhythmic by tension between the individual signs of the brightly coloured clothing. An emotional tension emerges, and the fiat black items of reality imbue the radiant brightness with a notě of sadness. In another Red Armchair - seen in profile - the dialogue between the essence-basis-chair and the strewn materiál of the clothing creates the tension of a vital relationship and concentrated objectivity. Even the object forms of the clothing evoke the idea of transfiguration and transmutation of lyrical materiality.
The banal concreteness of everyday reality which Mžyk sees in the alternating relations of psychological states, emotional moods and intimate obsession, supported however by rational thinking, constructíon, thus transform into the abstract order of a new sign systém.
In the painting Artichokes, Mžyk achieves a concentrated meaning of simple things and the metaphysical crystallization of natural reality.
The first impression, the intimate world of fantasy and the atmosphere play a defining role in the colour serigraph Yellow Bathing Costume. This work shows the depiction of a transient mood and also a gratifying and joyful sensuousness.
The Man Ray-like poetry of beautiful figures and rhythmic metaphoric materiality is also characteristic of another of Mžyk's works, entitled Wardrobe. The transparent purety of the subtle colour harmonies and the delicate intimacy the cast-off items of clothing feature strongly in his Blue Dressing Gown.

The collection of Mžyk's individual paintings entitled Gardens includes mutually linked works as Pink Garden, Lilas Bench, Blue Bench, Garden with Marie and Nice. Above all, it features clear and pure contacts, reflections and variations of coloured light in the ideál sceneries of garden settings, in the nooks and corners of lush painted forms and brightly coloured bucoiic glory.
The creation of harmonie wholes and decorative variety of colour areas and colour splashes refers in Pink Garden, for example, to recollections of the harmonious order of the originál paradise.
Lilac Bench, dominated by yellow and red, is pervaded by the heat of a summer's day. Blue Bench presents an azure jewel bathed in green light which sparkles with hints of white - this white colour breathes a spirituality into the subtle and delicate construction of an open pergola.
Garden with Marie is a poetical expression of the fleeting moment of an unrepeatable situation, a particular mood or feeling of enchantment. It is possibly also the expression of Mžyk's idea of morning and awakening. The painting Nice depicts the reál "vision" of woman with a contemplative and distant look in her face sitting in a French garden, and represents a return to the Renaissance model of the body's beauty.
Czech Pond is a celebration of pláce and a metaphor of tranquillity. At the samé time, however, the predominantly grand "orchestration" of related colour signs and areas gives way to a nervous arabesque and the expressive energy of zigzagging water. The picture is also made sharper and more dynamic by the vivid colour scheme of the trees growth. Behind the feeling of natural sensation is the artisťs inner idea about opening up a new concept of landscape painting.

Under a starry sky is an oasis of happiness and joy: behind a wall, in tne lush vegetation of a garden, a friendship is forged between a person and an animal: in the painting Friends, tne meeting of two worlds is only "thought" and "felt" to its fullest extent by the artist himself.
The picture White Goose is also pervaded by vivid colour and rhythm of the whole and detail alike. It is made up of three planeš: behind the white symbol of the bird in the foreground there is the illusion of an already prepared panoramic picture which relates in a clear and ordered way with the overall space of the garden.
The theme of myths and legends, renewed and cleansed of the accumulated layers of fatal mysteries, is most tangible in two of Josef Mžyk's key pictures: Enchanted Forest and Fairy-Tale Forest. In the first of them, the enigmatic and dream-like atmosphere of the forest provides a backdrop to the artisťs "projection" of his idea of the girl, who also comes across as an idol of her time, the end of the 20th century. The blue stag in the foreground is another "projection" of Mžyk's instinctive feeling, in which the clearness and straightforwardness of the animal meet with erotic sensualism and intimate emotion. In Fairy-Tale Forest, Josef Mžyk reached even further in the expressing of a story: the forest is now a single stage for natural vegetation and animal corporeality: everything that grows and lives is seemingly pervaded by a single fabric, energy, force and substance... In this postmodern fairy-tale of mythical timelessness, the figuře of the girl in the foreground is a disturbing element.
Girl and Stag is a story in a romantic spirit. The nostalgie stag has crossed the black-and-white river of forgetting to the charming girl who could well háve stepped out of the pages of some contemporary fashion magazíne. The girl remains in the desirous expectation of something that is yet to come...
The figurative exaggeration, symbolism of colours and fabulation of events is most determining in the picture Stag and Girls, where the coloured light achieves magical proportions.

The looseness, dynamism, vitality and liveliness that emerge from the powerful expressiveness of Josef Mžyk's polyurethane paintings create the magie of the moment. The unrestrained freedom of expression is also however linked with the challenge to worldliness.
The quick-drying paint enables spontaneity and leads to the added dimension of a play with the variations of belle matrere.
The layered structure, richness and dense consistency contrasts with the enamel gloss of the surface.

These are landscapes of the soul, landscapes of the body in which there emerges a mutual relations between spirituality and corporeality, miraculous narrative qualities and mysteriousness.
An undefinable vision gazing upwards in its finál majesty is portrayed in the painting Travelling Star, which comes across as a precursor of the future travels of man: in the quest for our dream we often look back in order to ask ourselves questions about the finite nature of human being and the fate of the whole world.
With its disturbing invented forms, The Soul of the Forest presents sad and dream-like blues which provide the setting for meetings, desirous dialogues and unexpected confrontations. A similar mood pervades the painting Travelling Woman, in which there evolve primal signs, symbols of love such as the heart, which with its fiery red appearance warns against its age-old weakness and strength. At the samé time, the face of Pilgrim is more a posthumous appearance and a lifeless mask than a rhythm of the heart, a breathing incarnate of the soul and strength.
The joyful melodiousness and pleasing beauty we discover in Girl and Cherubim are juxtaposed with the true face of the earth: everything living would seemingly háve to vanish into the dark cave of the eartrťs core...
Tale about Silence is an echo of ancient stories and obsessive ideas about in the parabola of the ages. In this painting one senses the traces of old cultures together with an inconceivable sadness of the return to nothingness.



The Czech artist Josef Mžyk's exhibition, which focuses on his painting work from the seventies, presents a monothematic collection of pictures with the artist's chair as their subject. The chair is painted in contrasting colours and has various items of cast-off clothing strewn over it. Today, Josef Mžyk is now a very popular Czech painter who made a name for himself with his pictures on the theme of gardens (e.g. The Rose Garden), surrounding places such as his summer house in Haná or his former studio in Vinohrady where, among other things, he held exhibitions of dissident artists during the old regime as well as presenting work from the young artists of those times (e.g. A. Šimotová, S. Kolíbal, J. John, S. Zippe). He has also made visual works for expressive architectures. For some of these works he has collaborated with architects such as Milunie, Línek, and Pleskot.
The official opening was organised in conjunction with the Archa Chantal Foundation, and Chantal Poullain - Polívková attended in person. Part of the proceeds from sales went to projects organised by the foundation.


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