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House of Art
TUES–SUN 10.00–18.00

Surůvka, Jiří / Czech village

1996

wood, metal, plastic, height 35 cm

purchased 2020 with the support of the Czech Ministry of Culture

In this small sculptural composition, Surůvka wittily and with extreme economy of expression offers a precise characterization of the ethos of the countryside: a church, a pig, and some chicken-wire, flanked by pine-cones. This concentrated expression of village life may make us smile, but it may also inspire admiration at the artist’s cogent and minimalist composition. Although Surůvka has no formal artistic training and enjoys working in new media, his oeuvre often displays a high level of manual skill and craft, as can be seen in the carved figure of the pig here.

SURŮVKA JIŘÍ

(1961, Ostrava) One of the most important figures in post-1989 Czech art and a driving force on Ostrava’s art scene. Surůvka’s work does not take a stable and consistent approach to media; this is partly due to the fact that he never underwent formal art training, instead graduating in Czech language and literature from the University of Ostrava’s Faculty of Arts (where he studied from 1984 to 1992). The dominant forms in his oeuvre include performance, body art and action art, but also painting, objects, photography or digital images. Jiří Surůvka is an openly political (or in more general terms, socially engaged) artist. Since the 1980s he has appeared in his alter egos of Batman and a police officer to present performances that critically disrupt the schematic and defective aspects of contemporary society. Surůvka’s work constantly incorporates residual elements connected with war – either explicitly (in the figure of Adolf Hitler) or in more general terms (flying bombs, military aircraft, or the starving victims of concentration camps). His work combines social engagement with a strong sense of irony. His artistic performances usually incorporate a certain element of humour, though behind this there is a seriousness of intent; he is often associated with the neo-dada movement. His fondness for live artistic interventions has been reflected in his membership of a band, František Lozinsky (together with Petr Lysáček and František Kowolowski), as well as his role as a founder of the Malamut performance festival in Ostrava. Surůvka was also the founder of the independent Jáma gallery in Ostrava, and for many years he has taught at the new media studio of the University of Ostrava’s Faculty of Fine Arts and Music. In 2001 (alongside Ilona Neméth) he was selected to present his work at the Venice Biennale.
digital print, synthetic canvas, 150 × 150 cm, purchased in 2020 with the support of the Czech Ministry of Culture
1997

Surůvka, Jiří / Twins

acrylic, canvas, perforated in the mouths of the figures, 80 × 100 cm, purchased in 2021 with funding from the Czech Ministry of Culture
1995

Surůvka, Jiří / Pater noster

acrylic, canvas, 69 × 49 cm, purchased in 2021 with funding from the Czech Ministry of Culture
2002

Surůvka, Jiří / Absinth Drinker

Axentowicz, Theodor / Girl in a fur

Axentowicz, Theodor / Girl in a fur

undated
Balabán, Daniel / Concrete (Below a Slag-Heap)

Balabán, Daniel / Concrete (Below a Slag-Heap)

1983
Balabán, Daniel / Old Eroticism

Balabán, Daniel / Old Eroticism

1996
Bartoš, Břetislav / Wallachian Madonna

Bartoš, Břetislav / Wallachian Madonna

1921
© 2017 Galerie výtvarného umění v Ostravě
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