Aleš Novák at Studio PRÁM

Artist: Aleš Novák

Title: Rám naruby

Venue: Studio PRÁM, Prague

The landscape is a vigilant observer: the disintegration of a cloud, converging spots of light, the ebb of autumn rain.Aleš Novák’s landscapes are not only a perceptive witness of the visible and the tangible, but even more so of whatlies beyond one ́s line of vision; what can be seen only peripherally, perceived only as an echo. It is the shadow of ananimal waiting for dusk, a flash of bone at the edge of a forest, the harmony of a river and a predator flowingthrough the night: all this is and is not visible.

Novák’s exhibition depicts the landscape not as a rigid and preserved object intended for immediate consumption,but as a mysterious and reticent space that cannotbe seized. It speaks its own language, lives its secret life. It is notpossible to target it, devour it and capture it. It emerges, almost as of its own free will: it passes from shadow tolight, from brightness to fog, slowly materializing. The scene ofthe image therefore becomes unstable andchangeable.

This effect further enhances the involvement of objects in the overall composition of the exhibition. The paintertherefore achieves a new and fresh dynamic, in which the dialogue no longer takes placeonly in the ‘language’system of colour and canvas, but expands into space. One may ask what language it is? Is it the language of pointingto the landscape of the image? Is it an extended game of hide and seek to reveal its code? Or, is it rather ametalanguage of an image as a material artefact?

The installation includes short texts by Klára Krásenská, which offers another possible layer of perception. Theincorporation of the texts underlines and emphasizes the dialogic nature of the project and each ofits media

The power of Novák’s exhibition lies in the new the story with which the landscape motif is related. Many of hispaintings open vistas into spaces that evoke landscapes of biblical stories or ancient myths; however, even thisimpression does not exceed the given limit of conjecture, vision and illusion. There is not therefore any specificnarrative that the landscapes relate or convey. Novák’s landscapes are not a medium, rather viable and barelypredictable stories.

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