18/3–15/6 2022
Wake up! Be a painter of nasty things

18/3–15/6 2022 Wake up! Be a painter of nasty things

Otakar Hudeček (1924–2007)
Adéla Janská (1981)
Jakub Čuška (1989)

Opening 18/3 2022 at 17.00 h, music: Ostrý zub Ltd.

Don’t say what you want to say, say what your speech wants to sayHuJaČu

A mixture of cruelty and ruthless beauty emanates from the juxtaposition of two young Olomouc figuralists with the work of Otakar Hudeček from a long time ago. This lone runner made an attempt at an intimate painterly counter-revolution in the late 1950s; when he turned into the “Frank Auerbach of the East” in the cloister of a small socialist town, in front of a mirror, on small pieces of cardboard and in thick pastes. Sixty years later, Janská and Čuška undergo an equally fierce struggle for the beauty of a classic (self)portrait: “the movement of colours on the canvas then becomes a real movement of the soul” and painting is “a deep meditation that brings the lifeless to life.” This was the discovery of Janská concerning Hudeček’s cardboard and afterall her own and Čuška’s work on canvas. Just as Hudeček once went “away from the path of figuration” beyond the barbed wire of the Iron Curtain together with the painters of the future London school, the work of Čuška and Janská will not become incongruous next to today’s schools from Leipzig and Kluže. Having been unnoticed, Olomouc found itself in the focus of contemporary figuration. Three conspirators in the painting took hold of the brush at the behest of Jan Zahradníček: “wake up! Be a painter of nasty things.”

Dangerous liaisons of Adéla Janská

It took time for Adéla Janská to stop covering the faces of her models. With what though? With branches of trees, shadows, paper masks, with a blindfold, the valleys of colours, the scratched pastes, the edge of the canvas… The speed of development of this young Olomouc painter takes ones breath away. Within a few weeks to months, she had displayed a sticky pain in the colours of sweets in large formats. Adéla Janská’s Brides are a revelation. They shine in the unearthly air, with porcelain-excited bodies, staring at the time when macho algorithms on networks juxtapose paedophilia with disco-perversion. Janská chooses a netflix-slow pace, whereby we encounter the long stares of engaged not-yet-women and former children. She places them in the silence of her studio, which is also a wardrobe, make-up salon and boudoir, in front of a large-format lavatory of painting canvas, painted up in a photographically cool manner. She then smears their make-up with cabaret scorn. She treats her Brides almost like a novelist treats the characters of her own novel. The makeup is cruel. Of course, it is not a question of why Janská, like the modern Marquis de Merteuille, thins the lipstick down on her cheeks before repeating the process on her Brides cheeks. It is a drama of beauty, innocence, youth – and their future demise. It is a classic theme from the history of painting that shines here: The three ages of woman. The New York curator Jeffrey Uslip talks about the audacity with which a painter on the verge of maturity dares to “paint as if she were twenty.” They are a gesture of the existence of painting (women) as such. Painting (feminity) speaks for itself. “Don’t say what you want to say, say what your speech wants to say.” (Kamil Bouška) — David Voda, May 2021

Pepsi, not blood

Up until not so long ago, Jakub Čuška’s paintings had a kind of thin skin. They were products of tenebrous retina. A masculine sense of darkness for which beauty only comes out through ugliness. Bakelites, browns, greens, bones of plastic, grey light. If men had a jewellery box, it would look like this inside. Yet Čuska’s men are in a tight situation: ironic gentlemen, uncouth bad boys, dandies in sneakers. Lately, for them, he’s made his chromatics crazy with magentas, turquoises, indigos, yellows. He’s dissolved the lines and vibrated them into Bad Painting. A Men understand flowers differently and the dandy of today drinks Pepsi. Not his own blood anymore.


Photogallery by Zdeněk Sodoma. The exhibition was seen by 202 visitors.