JOSEF MZYK - CYCLES
Josef Mzyk creates his work in cycles. His series of prints, drawings
and pictures link up with each other in a loose but nevertheless
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.
(PhDr. VOJTĚCH LAHODA - 1992)
JOSEF MŽYK - DRAWINGS
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
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
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
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
(PhDr. Josef Holeček - 1994)
JOSEF MŽYK - PAINTINGS
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
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
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.
(PhDr. PAVEL ZADRAŽIL)
VERNON FINE ART INTERNATIONAL
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.