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House of Art
TUES–SUN 10:00–18:00

I Turn Towards the Corner Guided by the Walls


Laser-cut aluminium letters, steel cable, 185 × 500 × 300 cm

purchased 2018 with the support of the Czech Ministry of Culture

In the text installation I turn towards the corner guided by the walls, Mančuška explores variant narratives composed according to a pre-determined key, which gives rise to eight different possible readings of a text. Two suspended fields of text with mutually interconnected meanings are brought together. Using the key, reading from left to right, we reach the first column, which tells a story in the first person singular form. In the second column, this narrative is commented in the third person. Though these text fields represent inversions of each other’s content, they both describe one (absurd) situation in which a person is lost in a room and is then found lying on the floor. Within these eight different readings, textual compositions are blended together, generating specific semantic shifts.


(7. 4. 1972, Bratislava – 1. 7. 2011, Prague) Slovak-born Czech conceptual artist. From 1991 to 1998 he studied at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts in three studios – drawing (Jitka Svobodová), painting (Vladimír Skrepl) and graphic art (Vladimír Kokolia). He participated in group exhibitions while still a student, in the early 1990s, and in the first decade of the new millennium his work became known abroad. He was a member of the now-defunct ‘Headless Rider’ (Bezhlavý jezdec) group, along with Tomáš Vaněk, Josef Bolf and Jan Šerých. In 2004 he was awarded the Jindřich Chalupecký Prize, and in 2005 he participated in the exhibition dramaturgy for the Czech pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Ján Mančuška was undoubtedly one of the most important Czech visual artists of the period around the turn of the 21st century, and his influence can be seen in the work of numerous younger artists who are now well-established (Zbyněk Baladrán, Tomáš Svoboda, Eva Koťátková, Dominik Lang). His work consciously draws on the conceptual art of the 1960s, taking particular inspiration from Joseph Kosuth, Joseph Beuys and Jiří Kovanda. Although he can be characterized as an intermedia artist, several different phases in his career can be distinguished. Initially his art explored the everyday world, transposed into everyday materiality by using threads, soap, wood and other materials. He then began working with texts and text installations, and in the final phase of his career (cut short by his early death) he focused on the media of film and theatre. His strategic methods comment on or completely break down established psychological patterns, opening up new, pluralistic approaches to “reading reality”.Mančuška’s work is represented in both private and institutional collections – including the Prague City Gallery, the Moravian Gallery in Brno, and now also the Gallery of Fine Arts in Ostrava. He also features in the collections of institutions based in France (the George Pompidou Centre), Germany (the Meyer Riegger Gallery), and the USA (the Andrew Kreps Gallery).
video installaton, 11:27 min.; purchased 2018 with the support of the Czech Ministry of Culture

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Wallachian Madonna

Wallachian Madonna

© 2017 Galerie výtvarného umění v Ostravě
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