prague

Antonin Střížek

U Recickych

A pair of shoes side by side on a white-and-blue tile floor, or a white kitchen chair standing in front of dreadful wallpaper are banal sites and thus highly forgettable. But Antonin Střížek’s clumsy, large-scale paintings of these same subjects are quite memorable. These common objects lodge in our minds; indeed, they drill their way into our memories, where they become a disquieting presence. Yet they indicate nothing but themselves and their own shabbiness, and that is precisely the point; it is this shabbiness, testifying to their poverty, bad taste, and indeed pitiable esthetic incapacity, that upsets the viewer. Still, these objects emanate a certain—albeit extremely naive—pride.

The objects in the paintings of this young Czech artist are hideous, philistine, wretched, guileless, and unimaginative. They are the products of an infinitely boring mediocrity that levels all distinctions—an

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