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House of Art
TUE–SUN / 10:00–18:00

Mikuláš Medek / Seven Thorns in a Lip

1964

Seven Thorns in a Lip was painted in 1964, the year that the collective Exhibition D opened, which made fully public the anxiety-filled intense mental experience of the aesthetics of destruction. The dying world is symbolised by a waste tip, while the yearning for its reconstruction is expressed by the very technological process that submits the material to brutal treatment, painfully cleaning and then immediately mercifully bandaging the open wounds. In the 1960s the pure essence of painting structure was achieved in Medek’s oeuvre and it allowed the darkness and emptiness of those wounds to be sensed beneath the many layers.


MEDEK MIKULÁŠ

Medek attended the State Graphics School in Prague (1942−1944). He then studied at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts in the studios of Karel Minář and Vlastimil Rada (1945−1946) and at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design (1946−1949), where his teachers were František Muzika and František Tichý. In 1949 he was expelled from the academy for political reasons. His oeuvre underwent several phases of development. During the first phase from 1944 from 1952, he painted phantasmagorical visions with vegetable and biological elements. He created series of collages and drawing and his works were strongly influenced by Surrealism. After 1952 there was an existential element to his works and towards the end of the 1950s he began to engage in abstract painting. Structural abstraction was a major phenomenon on the Czech art scene in the 1960s and was regarded as its characteristic feature. Ideas of art informel were introduced to the Czech art world by Vladimír Boudník, Jan Koblasa, Aleš Veselý, Antonín Tomalík and Zbyšek Sion among others. Their works were a parallel to European structural expressions.
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