A conversation between painting and sculpture
In the installation Liquidity by Jakub Tomáš we are privy to a fantastical conversation between painting and sculpture in which one form flows into the other. Tomáš creates an imaginative terrain for narration and each viewer thus becomes the interpreter of the visual metaphors. The paintings are like windows onto imaginary worlds in which multi-layered meanings of visual language open up. The resulting images are preceded by sculptural work in space, where every part of the central motif of the future painting has its own paper prototype. The sculpture is thus present through the painting. Cut out people in cut out buildings and landscapes. Models of us and our fantasies, as if we were in a dream in which our body were made of cardboard, transcends its biological essence, and becomes an instrument of ideas. The illusory space treated with an emphasis on linear perspective paradoxically complements the flattened bodies of the representatives of humankind. The image also includes the immediate naivety of visual abbreviation and a strict adherence to the depth of space revealing years of study.
The collective unconscious encoded in each of us is reflected from the individualized figures. This is not the emotion of individual figures with whose pain or pleasure we may identify, but the emotion that evokes entire scenes attacking our unconscious. We are trapped in the coils of the dreamy unreality of Freudian fears. We wander through unidentifiable metaphysical environments of indefinite time places and meanings. Fragments of buildings, masks and figures are only staffage of the image that the artist calls figural still lifes.
The faces of the cardboard people creates a constant impression of a mask, evoking in the viewer a kind of ominous dramatic sensation. We ourselves cannot look into the face of the real person, while they observe us through narrowed apertures. The identity of the wearer is concealed by the mask that at the same time accords him a different, newly constructed identity. In terms of intensity the static scenes are enhanced in a colour scheme featuring sharp tones of red, blue and yellow, and melancholy and expressiveness collide and clash.
We see water levels and aquatic scenes of diverse characters. The peeing man connecting humankind with the earth by means of an exchange of substances, Swimming as a symbol of the physical as well as the transcendental purification of humankind by immersion under water, or the head of a young man reflected in the surface of a lake. Observing this analogy of Narcissus in the form of bust dropped from a pedestal with a blank look, we can hear the circulation of water systematically circulating in the objects present. It is as though the artist has drawn on a well known principle but inverted it. While the images arise with the aid of spatial models, we recognise the subject matter of the paintings in linear wire constructions. These are coloured lines drawn into the space. At the same time the sculptures are a metaphor of circulation in which existence is maintained by means of a continuous cycle. They have their own blood circulation that grants them life. Creation, transformation and dissolution as a universal law of being. The laboratory background of the construction allows us to understand the entire process of transformation. The spatial painting is material in order to abandon its materiality and reacquire it in an eternal return, in a space where painting flows into sculpture and sculpture into painting.
Text: Klára Burianová
|Place / venue
|Nevan Contempo, Prague
|March 17 - April 20, 2018
|Jakub Tomáš Klára Burianová Nevan Contempo