Jan Ambrůz, Pavel Mrkus, Jozef Mrva a Jan Poupě

Oct. 2th 2020 - Jan. 14th 2020

Curator: Jan Dotřel

Zero exhibition project aims to map artists for whom representations of the landscape count among their central means of expression. As this theme is broad, historically loaded, and has not been explored in a complex and academic manner in the Czech context, we at the Kvalitář gallery have decided to devote one exhibition block every year to this theme, exploring this focus continually and in greater depth. The first instalment of the series presents a quartet of artists, each of whom approaches the theme of landscape in an essentially different manner, but, seen through a lateral perspective, they often overlap, synthesise, and converge.

I think size is the most unused quotient in the sculptor’s repertoire because it requires lots of commitment and time. For me, it’s the best tool. With size, you get space and atmosphere: atmosphere becomes volume. You stand in the shape, in the zone. Michael Heizer

When one walks through a garden, place, or project by Jan Ambrůz, there is an inner feeling of synergy between the natural and geometrical forms of reality. Natural geometry is often clear, sometimes, it emerges from the micro-world, at other times, it remains hidden. Ambrůz is, most of all, an observer – his works manifest the concentration and time spent on every specific place. Forest / path / grove / river. Ambrůz’s work is rooted in minimalism, sculpture, and land art. Few Czech artists have such an extensive portfolio of outdoor outworks, with most of his realisations are located in the east of Moravia. The object under production in collaboration with Kvalitář is a free continuation of his site-specific work Poleh (2011), which is located directly in the landscape and directs the spectator’s attention in a particular direction.

Rightness of limitation is essential for growth of reality. Alfred North

Whitehead The landscape can be perceived through numeric representations. If we demarcate three coordinates, x, y, and z, what results is a Cartesian set within which we can contain three-dimensional space. Using measuring grids and spot heights, we can localise locations and distances. In a similar manner, we can decode the vibration of sounds and define every tone mathematically. In the work of Pavel Mrkus, visual and sonic layers overlap. Spirituality / cyberspace / transcendence / purity. Mrkus’ landscapes oscillate between their real and virtual variants. The artist’s exhibited works represent a process of transferring the sound of a nocturnal landscape into a drawing. A transformation of a dynamic sound wave into visual information, even though it is far removed from the classical perception of landscape substance.

I like natural disasters and I think that they may be the highest form of art possible to experience. Walter de Maria

The work of Jozef Mrva Jr. has long included representations of the landscape. Like everything else in his work, nature is subjected to a detailed, almost obsessive analysis. The artist uses the geosystem as a flexible principle where the laws of physics do not apply and environments can be construed imaginatively, cycled ad infinitum. Map / grid / atoll / trash. Jozev Mrva’s fundamental platform is the post-internet tangle of symbols, reflecting his authentic fascination with natural principles, as well as a no less authentic exasperation at humanity’s systematic mistreatment of nature.

For the sake of sanity, the brain and the eyes keep things simple. But take away the sense of sight and suddenly things are not so simple. Olafur Eliasson

De-construction / geo-metry / infra-structure / u-topos (non-place). Jan Poupě has established for himself a stable, unique position among Czech visual artists, and not only because of his masterful painting technique, but also thanks to his broadly-thinking imaginative mind. Standing in front of his works, we experience an intense feeling of satisfaction at the craft which the artwork displays, as well as a blissful immersion into the artist’s imagination. We witness an architecturally constructed landscape – distant and yet highly subjective – which counts on the physical perspective of the spectator.