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House of Art
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Šerých, Jan / En

2013

acrylic on canvas; 50 × 70 cm

purchased 2018 with the support of the Czech Ministry of Culture

A pair of images which can function either separately, or as an integrated entity. When functioning together, they are naturally far more effective, as they exemplify the simple possibility of inverting the semiotic system of a common, frequently used word. While the word Czech “ne” (no) contains a certain semantic and emotive meaning, by inverting its individual letters it produces an incomprehensible, absurd and meaningless play on words, free of content. The banal anagram thus breaks down the absolute meaning of the word.

ŠERÝCH JAN

(1972, Prague) Conceptual multi-genre artist. From 1992 to 1999 he studied at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts. From 1996 to 2002 he was a member of the ‘Headless Rider’ (Bezhlavý jezdec) group, alongside Josef Bolf, Ján Mančuška and Tomáš Vaněk. In 2003 and 2005 he was shortlisted for the Jindřich Chalupecký Prize. In 2005 he received a scholarship to fund a stay at PROGR in Bern, followed in 2008 by a scholarship to the ISCP Program in New York. His work is displayed at several major Czech galleries, including the National Gallery in Prague, the Prague City Gallery and the Olomouc Museum of Art. He has exhibited individually since 1998 and participated in group exhibitions from 2000. Jan Šerých’s work is centred around signs and their meanings. He works with minimalist systems such as codes, letters (words), cryptograms and numbers, commenting on their limitations and the semiotic strategies through which they are used (and abused). At the heart of Šerých’s approach is the notion that all the individual components of contemporary culture are based on the same foundation, which is then developed in different ways (schematization). The signs in his work convey information, evoke emotions, or define our attitudes. The written word – which forms the communicative framework of modern civilization – is often criticized by Šerých for its incomprehensibility and its vulnerability to manipulation. The artist lays bare this vulnerability by deliberately manipulating words to create language puzzles, codes and anagrams, inversions and so on. His work is imbued with a dialogue between the autonomous work done by a person (artist) and the technical work done by media software, as he manually transfers computer-generated images to canvas. This dialogue can be viewed as a metaphor for one of the general characteristics of today’s world, in which humans are unavoidably confronted with artificial computer technologies.
acrylic on canvas; 120 × 120 cm; purchased 2018 with the support of the Czech Ministry of Culture
2013

Šerých, Jan / Mirror

acrylic on canvas; 120 × 120 cm; purchased 2018 with the support of the Czech Ministry of Culture
2013

Šerých, Jan / Mirror

acrylic on canvas; 50 × 70 cm; purchased 2018 with the support of the Czech Ministry of Culture
2013

Šerých, Jan / Ne

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