prague

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

Jiří Thýn

City Gallery Prague

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

“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 modified version of Katarzyna Kobro’s 1928 Constructivist sculpture Spatial Composition (2). Thýn’s strategy, rather, results in a multilayered comprehensive meaning; he examines the diffusion of time and space, the development of artistic strategies through time and their relevance in the

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