Things Behind the Sun

  • 14/11 – 22/12/2018
  • Galerie Petr Novotný
  • Praha CZ
At its last exhibition of the year, the Petr Novotný Gallery presents the latest work of painters Josef Bolf and Jakub Hošek. Although both artists previously held solo exhibitions at the gallery’s predecessor, Galerie ad astra, this is the first time they are exhibiting together.

Bolf was born in 1971 in Prague and from 1990 to 1998 studied under Jiří Načeradský, Vladimír Kokolia, and Vladimír Skrepl at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. He lives and works in Prague.

Hošek was born in 1979 in Prague and from 1998 to 2004 studied painting under Vladimír Skrepl at the Academy of Fine Arts. He currently lives and works in Prague.
Compared to his previous series of expressive painterly works exhibited at the Václav Špála Gallery, Bolf returns to the sketched foundation of the image, with a focus on graphic precision and refinement. The canvases are built with an emphasis on structure, from the layered gesso to the scraped lines and wax finish. They are characterized by a distinctive reduction in color that, though distinctive, is often nearly monochromatic. In terms of content, Bolf returns to urban sceneries with expressive figures and strange geometric space-time shapes. Bolf himself says of his work: “With these paintings, I have returned to scraping – a technique that I thought I had left behind long ago or that I could no longer use indirectly, in a simplified manner, for instance on painted areas. The heads are distorted into masks, rain falls onto housing blocks from great black clouds, there are animals, knitted vests, shadows that come alive, doppelgangers (reflections) that are perhaps more important than their originals. I am in some way present in those paintings, which are created with an awareness that itself is a part of them. It is a little like standing between two mirrors, behind the sun, in a place that cannot in any way be grasped.”
For his part, Hošek continues with his “carved” paintings – distinctly graphic works that, in terms of size, are essentially objects. In fact, the paintings’ graphic nature and emphasis on the drawn line is what brings the work of these two artists together.

As of this year, both artists also jointly head the painting department at Prague’s Academy of Fine Arts. They are established figures on the Czech art scene and frequently exhibit abroad as well. Their excellence and renown is further exemplified by the fact that both were finalists for the Jindřich Chalupecký Award.