Prague Power Boost. Krištof Kintera/ Josef Achrer/ Marek Číhal

05.02.2017 until 19.03.2017

KRIŠTOF KINTERA, JOSEF ACHRER and MAREK ČÍHAL are considered to be among the most successful young artists of the Czech Republic. Do we know anything about it, the Czech art scene before the Iron Curtain was lifted, or how much of the post-1989 art is acknowledged? More than a whole generation is still hidden from the great world public. Only a few stand out from this canon: first of all Karel Malich, Milan Knížak, Jiří Kolář, Jaroslav Róna, Jiří Dokoupil and others. Prague’s art scene is astonishingly lively, because over and beyond the established artists, an active young scene is emerging, which for its part has already made contact with international trends. It includes three artists who could not be more different, but precisely for that reason seem to be particularly suited to characterizing the diversity of the art scene in the Czech Republic.

The long internationally acclaimed performance artist, painter and sculptor KRIŠTOF KINTERA (born 1973) shows an array of his recent works: seemingly surrealistic sculptures and installations, that combine unexceptional objects in exceptional ways, defamiliarise and ironise them. His sculptures, wildly thrown together from a huge variety of fabrics and materials, sometimes mobile and electrified, take us into mental games that reverse inward and outward relationships and thus question the familiar standards by which art is measured. JOSEF ACHRER (born 1982) concentrates on his new theory of ‘dataism’, which he builds in practice on the three-colour theory. Modern, digital media play a major role for him in the perception of our everyday world. He uses his new confrontation with paint, its application and use on canvas or other painting supports in order, ultimately, to expand from two to three-dimensionality. The subtle elegance of his large-scale works from steel, glass, canvas or plastic are highlighted by delicate light sources, which produce coloured reflections on the wall. The youngest among them, MAREK ČÍHAL (born 1986), fables in sceneries that still preserve the originality of childish phantasies, but at the same time question critically the contemporary events. His allegorical and abstract paintings, frescoes and drawings interact with the architecture of the spaces for which they have been created. On the occasion of the exhibition at the Ludwig Museum, Marek Číhal presents a portrait series of the art patron and museum founder Peter Ludwig.

Different as they may seem relating to their artistic work, they do resemble each other in many ways if you take a closer look. Born in communist times, as children and adolescents they experienced the repressive system and the boredom of the representative arts of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. Even if, since 1989, they have been in a position to enjoy their political and artistic freedom, the young generation was looking back on forty years of communist dictatorship in the shade of the Soviet Union and on dramatic conditions due to the German occupation during the Second World War. Currently, the amazing diversity of forms and ideas which is characteristic to the works of KINTERA, ACHRER and ČÍHAL seems to be a consequence of the political and artistic lack of prospects of those years, from which their preceding generation suffered the most. They show an open approach to role models with new thought patterns and exceptional concepts. A true Power Boost which is radiating internationally.

The exhibition at the Ludwig Museum is the first conjoint presentation of the three artists and is realized in collaboration with the Galerie Zdeněk Sklenář of Prague.