Buchtelík, Václav / Smoke
oil, canvas, 240 × 190 cm
purchased in 2020 with the support of the Czech Ministry of Culture
This painting, which does not feature any figures, shows the façade of Ostrava’s House of Art. The painter has a close personal connection with this building, and he often uses it as a visual sign. A thick column of black smoke emanates from the gallery’s purist geometry. In Buchtelík’s imagination, this institution – which exists to present art to people, and is thus primarily a place for quiet contemplation – is transformed into a hostile, smoke-filled environment. The ominous red background makes the image even less harmonious. This is one of Buchtelík’s most accomplished works, accentuating the visual tension between two incompatible elements, which are combined to create a staged scene almost in a Baroque manner.