Markéta Stará

  • View of “Monika Zawadzki,” 2011. Foreground: Dan Perjovschi, Think at Have, 2011. Background: Monika Zawadzki, John & Paul & Ringo & George, 2011.

    Monika Zawadzki

    Monika Zawadzki’s fascination with the relationship between amorphous matter and the various forms it takes on was the point of departure for her exhibition “Blackbird.” The vastness and mutability of matter, its transformative potential, and its capacity for memory (new objects and shapes are not free of the traces of their predecessors) are key concerns for the Polish artist. They serve as the basis for her experimentation with hybridity: Only a hybrid visual language, she believes, has the power to mediate the natural hybridity of the world’s entities and creatures.

    The exhibition was dominated

  • View of “Jiří Thýn,” 2011. Foreground: Untitled, 2011. Background, from left: Space, Abstraction 2, 2011; Space, Abstraction 1, 2011.

    Jiří Thýn

    “Archetypes, Space and Abstraction” was the title and subject of the latest exhibition by Czech artist Jiří Thýn. Like a number of contemporary artists who in this time of crisis have chosen to mine the hopeful era of early modernism, Thýn conceives a dialogue with the twentieth-century avant-garde—in his case with artists such as the Czech Cubist sculptor Otto Gutfreund, whose works Thýn sets into motion through the medium of photography.

    It would be wrong to understand Thýn’s approach as a mere gesture of appropriation, which might come to mind when encountering his Untitled, 2011, a

  • View of “Josef Dabernig,” 2011.View of “Jiří Kovanda,” 2011. Top row, from left: Will the Birds and Other Common Species Die Off In Our Country?, 1999; Optimism, 1999; Independent Czechoslovakia, 1999. Bottom row: Pages from catalogue, 2010.

    Jiří Kovanda

    The work of Czech artist Jiří Kovanda involves a continuous struggle to overcome boundaries. This is apparent not only in his well-known performances of the 1970s, but also in his later paintings, assemblages, and installations from the mid-’80s to the present. Performances such as Attempted Acquaintance or Contact, both 1977, dramatize the artist’s very personal fear of embarrassment and apprehension in communicating with the outside world and can thus be understood as a form of personal therapy that aspires to break down borders between the self and the other.

    A similar strategy is also evident