Accompanying exhibition Galerie Mánes, 15.–29. 6. 2018
The exhibition Interior Sculptures
Jan Dostál, Jakub Flejšar, Viktor Frešo, Michal Gabriel, Richard Kočí, Jaroslav Koléšek, Jan Kovářík, Tomáš Medek, Stefan Milkov and Lukáš Rais
Since the beginning of their history, i.e. since ancient Egypt or perhaps since prehistoric times, sculptures have been placed in both the exterior and interior. Their function in the human society has varied over the time naturally or sometimes even radically. Nevertheless, fascination with the spatial shape created by human hand has always remained. We cannot imagine cities with their squares, bridges, parks and corners being bare of sculptures, but even in the open countryside the sculptures create important landmarks which sometimes help us get oriented. The existence of human cultural history without sculptures is not possible; the statues are part of our identity.
At its start, the Sculpture Line project, whose fourth year will be held this summer in Prague as well as in many other Czech and Moravian towns, but not only there, will also be given a gallery look created by specific selection of artworks by a number of authors who are represented in this year's open air exhibition. Major sculptures are introduced in the Mánes Gallery in Prague, and thus a visitor can make an image of what the purpose of this generous sculpture exhibition is thanks to such concentrated presentation.
Authors of different generations, from middle-aged matadors to fresh sculptors, are presented there. However, the emphasis is placed on each artist’s authentic sculpture language of no matter whether it is an abstract or realistic way of depicting.
Visitors can be surprised by range and quality of sculptural presence in the Czech Republic when we realize how demanding it is to create a sculpture in terms of time, space, invention and finance. Nevertheless, sculptors are a distinctive artistic caste whose common features can be summarized by the terms like persistence, obsession, precision or stubbornness. Without these features, no sculptures can be created.
An equally important factor of the exhibition is to highlight the features of traditional sculptural approach nowadays when authors’ individual strategies are so diverse. This is a clearly defined shape, precise relief design and there is more to it than just a skilful craftsmanship. It seems that there is no need to emphasize these facts, but it does not hurt to remember these old truths when the disciplines of contemporary art are somehow blurred. It is the emphasis on sculptural quality what the exterior as well as interior Sculpture Line wants to highlight above all.
The sculptors, who had been addressed directly or who had applied through open call, have passed through curatorial selection carried out by artistic council under the baton of Michal Gabriel, the sculptor from the Tvrdohlaví group and the head of one of the sculptural studios at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Brno University of Technology, with the participation of the curator Martin Dostál and, of course, the festival executive team led by the director Ondřej Škarka. Therefore, in the Mánes Gallery, the audience can meet a wide range of artists whose art language is a diversely structured sculptural abstraction, as well as those who modify traditional figurative bases.
The first ones are Lukáš Rais, Tomáš Medek, Richard Kočí and Jan Kovařík, the latter are Jakub Flejšar, Viktor Frešo, Michal Gabriel, Jaroslav Koléšek or Jan Dostál who oscillates between both positions; for the Mánes Gallery, however, he has prepared the figural one, in the form of Shark highlighted by neon lights. Faithful to his postmodern origins, Stefan Milkov, who often works with signs or symbols involved in the structure of his artwork, has his own distinctive position.
The sculptures by Michal Gabriel or Tomáš Medek as well as many other authors have become part of Nord Art, the traditional and extensive art show. It takes place in an industrial environment in northwest Germany and this year the Czech Republic has a sovereign position there. Sculpture Line ensures curatorial, organizational and installation activities for the Czech participation in NordArdt and, within the Mánes Exhibition, it also gives insight into its foreign projects.
Martin Dostál, curator
Location: Galerie Mánes, Masarykovo nábřeží 250/1, 110 00 Prague
Exhibition Dates: 15.–29. 6. 2018
Admission: Basic 90 Kč, Family 150 Kč, Reduced 60 Kč (Children and youth to the age of 26, Accompanying pedagogues and guides of groups, Seniors over 65 years of age, Holders of the ZTP and ZTP/P cards and their escort)