Veronika Holcová had created her paintings of wild Canadian nature before she moved to Canada. The exhibition presents not only the comparison of her “pre-Canadian” and Canadian creative periods but also new large-format drawings and figural motifs. The Canadian environment has influenced the painter’s work with its infinite space, brightly clean light and sharp colours, and she finds her inspiration in the souls of the Inuits.
Curator: Petr Vaňous
Gudied tour with the artist: 2/9 from 6 p.m.
Guided with the curator: 14/9 from 6 p.m.
The painting and drawing works of Veronika Holcová incorporate landscape, objects and figures in a special blend. This amalgam of genres is distinctive of the artist and it has its justification. What is it that connects and unites all the pictures? It is the sense of metamorphosis morphology which takes place in time, yet it is felt physically and reflected mentally. The morphology used by the author doesn’t result from specific situations; it is discovered and revealed gradually, throughout the creative process, while integrating chance and automatic methods (blots, brush imprint, structure, texture) with rational and spontaneous correction. In other words, a specific situation associated with a traditional genre does not precede the form here (such as in a storyline or a libretto), but it is steadied and made present by the actual form. It therefore becomes the process which is halted in its course and left at a stage which anticipates both its own completion and its own dismantlement or destruction. Thus, the artist manages to record general crucial moments of change which feature prominent time and space connotations without working with a specific space and time in their “facts” and “attributes” (which are translated into a symbolic level). What matters are the metaphorical titles of the works which underline the poetic dimension of the transformations (such as Landscape with a Soul, Last Snow, Running through a Forest). And when we say “poetic”, we mean the “language of the painting” which does not communicate the situations, but evokes them and makes them present. It is not a language of a description, but an expression of a free imagination the horizons of which are as open as the viewer allows them to through his/her empathy.
Whilst the landscapes usually maintain their horizon (composition) as a space for the general orientation of the story (Margaritifera, Celebration, Dream about a Tiger), the figures, especially in smaller drawings, are assembled and disassembled into movement stages of flowing associations (Pussycat). On paper, they literally crystallize into a motivity of forms; this – by happening in a never completed continuity – opens the space to free imagination, releases the perception of the parallel universes, sense for the situations of rapture and exaltation, for the physically felt states of weight, pain, anxiety, suffering, as well as vitality, exuberance and boisterousness. Some figures are sharply edged, aggressively shaped, others slowly melt or blend into libidinous shapes under the influence of erotic stimulation or excitement. These are drawings-stories told in a single moment. Within them, you can search, wander, get lost and find your direction again. Some drawings are calmer and meditative; some are, conversely, more emotionally escalated. They transcend, just like associations, the borders of expressive rules of abstraction and figuration. An erotic detail next to a mystical resurrection. Radical contrasts, controversial vicinities, tension in the unity of contradictions, dialectics of inconsistency which turns the narration into an adventurous myth which is very volatile in its topographical rooting in a fairy-tale manner, whilst individual episodes sublime into concrete feelings, desires and emotions. The Canadian landscape appears as its own archetype. It is co-created by imagination and, consecutively, rectified by reality, only to seed in further the necessary transformation. The artist herself points out the stage of creative motion by a series of painting dealing with the end (End) as a transformative state. On one hand, it is a cinematic ending, on the other hand, it is its Gogol-esque portrait. An ending with anthropological features. An end with eyes which observe us mocklingly, which even dare blinking at us (!). It thus adds the ever-present motives of vortex and whirlwind, a hybrid symmetry which is born from the corrosion of straightened axes and genetic symmetries contaminated by the flow of life saps and time. Under the surface of landscapes and in the bodies of the figures, the life drive is ticking along with the instinct of self-preservation. The creation violently transforms every ongoing moment. It distills the substantial elements from time and space, extracts it from the destructive ephemerality and captures it, stops it and shows it (drawing, painting, object). It is the wilderness we live in every day. The view behind the conventional look of things. The borders of this “wilderness” stretch from the daily banalities to the various metaphorical narrations to the lands of irritated imaginations bordering on delirium and insanity. To realize one’s own controversial situation amidst the nature, between birth and death, means accepting things the way they are really happening. The secret of time gives out its secrets. Every time, we see something else, differently. The constellation of our cognition changes. Every day, we live yet another great “wild” metamorphosis in all of its tiny, minuscule reflections. You, who notice, keep staying brave.
Petr Vaňous, Praha, June 2017
More information about Veronika.
For more information about the exhibition, here we are!