Dílna Mikulov - Art symposium
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Workshop 2001 – How Tomáš believed in Sun

Sunny southern areas were always favourable to the artists. However, the Mikulov Art Symposium "the Workshop" was originally attended by the sculptors, in particular. They worked in the open air and have gradually filled the area around the Chateau since 1994, when the first annual event took place.
In 2000, the artists prevailed for the first time and in 2001, the Workshop 2001 became a meeting of the artists only on the basis of the initiative of the curator Tomáš Císařovský. The curator himself, still filled with the hot sunshine from a recent visit at Otto Placht in Latin America, came to Mikulov with the conviction that the "Chateau ateliers" – areas for individual authors in the Mikulov Chateau – are designed for light, colours and artists. Classic theorists would hardly find such natural solution when searching for a set of artists with a unified focus as Tomáš managed to find. It is obvious that he invited the authors, whose production individually reflected figural paintings and reached advanced shapes. It is also evident he looked for true or genuine artists for whom painting brush, canvas, colours and light represented vital living needs. Probably thanks to their "dependence on colour", the selected authors can be hardly classified in a wider stream. The selection criteria, however, surely included also personal attitudes and "human colours". It might have been physical and psychical stress from the extreme situations in the stifling tropic sultry heat, extremely heavy rain or destroying summer sunshine of the above mentioned stay in Peru, which caused that Tomáš Císařovský was not led with cool reasoning and due principles of the art history but rather with a beam of sunshine. When we walk though the exhibition area or compare the reproductions in the catalogue after several weeks of work, it is clear that despote strong and unique focus of each author, their pieces balance each other. It might be caused by the bright Pálava sunshine, kind and open attitudes or charming flavour of wine cellars, but it is sure that strong artist performances maintain their individuality under any circumstances and their uniqueness is strengthened by partnership with other advanced messages.
Otto Placht brought southern heat and nearly animal energy to southern Moravia. The exotic of layered directed and co-ordinated ornamental shapes includes a dynamic passion and implied figures are mixed with fragments of plant details. Even the most ranking flooded forest represents a calm, meditative forest depth if compared with Placht´s paintings. Even the hottest Pálava afternoon represents a moderate and kind moment and the strongest rain above the river of Dyje could be a refreshing shower if compared with the extremes of the virgin forest in Latin America, where the author has lived for the last couple of years. His Violet landscapes or cycle Heaven, hell, paradoxe show a rich mixture of details and whole units, azure and pasty coatings, upset gestures and stylized figures as the author imminently resigned and reflected his experience and considerations in his work with brush and colours.
Tomáš Císařovský will probably wake up in Prague for a long time with an upsetting remembrance of the view from his ateliers in the Mikulov Chateau, where the dome-shaped hill with a pointing top of the church was towering behind the rectangular window with striking unambiguous effects. This impressive topic will keep coming back from nightfall to daybreak! A confrontation of heavily laboured artistic formation of this view with strongly glowing vital painting Okantaytambo, also with a motive of a window and mountains in Peru, represents an obvious proof of the dogged attitude, which Císařovský uses while painting, and shows how uneasy it is to reach that casnal colour transparency, which we know from his pictures.
Outside and inside. This might be a brief characteristics of the pictures of Ivana Lomová, who came to the Symposium as a guest, and Vojtěch Kovářík, who worked here in the position of an assistant. In the spirit of her poetic sight, Lomová tried to reason over the most significant characteristics of the local landscape. In the green and grey tones and with the titles Castles, Clouds, Water, Meadows and Forests, she entered the area of landscape painting, which had been attempted thousand times before, and confirmed the feeling of space, wind, rain or sunshine in the landscape represents a topic, which cannot be fully exploited, though radical new findings might not be ever made. On the contrary, Vojtěch Kovářík searched for disquieting details in the interior and stopped dispersed light in his paintings with a special inconspicuousness and purposeful lack of attractiveness. The paintings Mirror, Shower or Door bring an unostentatious publication of certain intimacy.
Tomáš Lahoda confirmed his long-term creative foundation – American pop art – again. In his painting called Mikuloff, this brilliant painter and master of azure, pasty and dispersed painting interconnected a paraphrase of directed and co-ordinated painting in the form of colour spots flowing down with a covered sign "LPG" and lightly and persuasively drawn drapery with a grey-blue coat-of-arms to crown this provoking painting and thematically varied meeting with "academically" primitive painting of spasmodic green cactus. Well. There might be sharp spines, the past might meet the presence somehow strangely but it is crystally clear from the painting that the author worked with an extraordinary zest. In the painting Weinhof we can find another play of reality with the illusion when we can see typical graffiti with letters in the "picture" of the underpinning and plastered wall, which means a picture sprayed with an American retouch, as we know it from the street writers – sprayers – painters.
What about Petr Nikl? This time, he used the sharp colour signals, which dazzled him from the pictures of his daughter, in large-scale canvases with mushroom motives, contrary to the small crayon paintings two years ago. It is another form of nature, another dialogue with Sun. Nikl called his pictures My friends and returned to his soft dreaming meditations of his painting beginning in a new, sharper, sometimes even offensive form. September 2001 was rainy and dissatisfied vintners thought of the missing sugar in the grapes, which is usually added by the sunshine of the Indian summer. However, the sunshine of Tomáš has stayed in the Mikulov Chateau and gives out warmth from the paintings made by him and his colleagues in the turn of July and August. Though colours and paintings do not like a direct sunshine, the artists need it as vitally as the vine. Next year, they will come back to southern Moravia to enjoy it here again.

Dr. Radek Horáček, 3. 10. 2001