Prior to the exhibition at DSC Gallery, Jakub Špaňhel tried to erase the 20th century
One of the leading representatives of contemporary painting, Jakub Špaňhel presents unusually colorful canvases, full of flowers, on his exhibition Pod Skalou (Under the Rock). The exhibition is held at DSC Gallery in Prague from 8.12.2017 to 19.1.2018.
"I had the desire to transform my studio like in the nineteenth century to completely erase experience of the twentieth-century. Birds were singing to me whilst I was painting, and I did not need to deal with anything else," explains Špaňhel of his improvised summer studio without heating and other equipment with only the light and flowers he gathered from surrounding meadows. It all came together with his move to the area of St. John Pod Skalou (Under the Rock), where he moved with his family to escape the exposure of city life.
While in the past he was saving a lot of color and his favorite combination was black or grey with gold, now it is different. "About three years ago I started working on a series of butterflies from our garden. I was painting white, yellow and orange butterflies. And from then color started to appear in my works, or I began to use colored pigment. A large part of the current exhibition consists of flowers in vases. It's an old-fashioned topic for me to come back to after ten or fifteen years. However this time, the flowers are much more colorful,” Špaňhel describes his main theme of his exhibition, which is wild flowers, which he himself hand-picked, put in various ceramic vases and mugs from his collection, which he then photographed and painted.
Jakub Špaňhel focuses on classical painting, but he passed through the studios and teaching of experimenters Jiří David and Milan Knížák. In order not to fall into the stereotype, he also had an intense collaboration with Jiří Georg Dokoupil, to whom he was an assistant. Although he returns to traditional themes and refers to traditional artists such as his favorite Henri Matisse, his canvases occupy a specific signature style. And that is also why he belongs to one of the best-selling Czech contemporary painters. “While many artists are searching for themselves in new media and techniques or returning to past forms and styles with poor approaches, the artist’s talent determines the concentration with which the artist studies visual possibilities and boundaries of representation including borders and edges of the paintings frame and what is visible in the work and behind the work,” the curator of the exhibition Jiří Přibáň, highlights Špaňhel’s talent.
"Galleries are said to be temples of freedom, and that without even exhibiting Bethlehem’s, as is currently in ours,” says DSC Gallery partner Petr Šec, pointing out the fact, that beside the mentioned floral motifs will also be a few works from the series of Bethlehem’s.
Jakub Špaňhel's flowers along with his views of interiors of churches and other current motifs will be on view at DSC Gallery until January 19, 2018.