Eduard Ovčáček & Miloš Urbásek, 26th January 2012 – 9th March 2012

Eduard Ovčáček, Miloš Urbásek

Eduard Ovčáček

Český Těšín, Frýdek Místek, Ostrava. Eduard Ovčáček’s towns. This region is said to have a coal-stained heart. Maybe…
At the Ovčáčeks’ it beats in a typewriter’s rhythm.

Each heartbeat gives birth to a new letter. There are plenty of them and they are hurtling like a river. They are gathering, wrapped in coats of hand-made paper, shouting each other down in clumps. Some of them are waiting orderly, others are blundering and others have disappeared under the body weight of their companions. What are we to do with them?

Eduard Ovčáček knows the answer, he can listen to them, he has found out how to handle them. The graphemes obey him just like cattle obey the shepherd. He orders the defiant ones to stand in strict formations of geometric shapes. From the calm heads of the herd he makes the lines and columns of his art prints. He leaves the weak ones to die in flames of an ancient ritual. It is a cruel spectacle: letters blackening under the red-hot metal mould and then rising up from the ashes in the next moment. Blind phoenixes with brands, free and strong again. Some letters do not possess the magic power of breathing in again and all that remains are empty blanks in the collage sheets.

Mr Ovčáček senses them also beneath the tree bark. He carefully searches between the old tree rings for lovers‘ whispers, snatches of conversations of woodcutters’ palms, strings of memories, starry sky models and numbers of stray cattle.

There are also graphemes endowed with dominant, warlike nature of the bulls in the arena. Toreador Ovčáček is dancing with them and fighting them so that he could worship their tamed and motionless bodies in the end. He is standing like winners, great and often blood-stained or soil-stained from the battlefield, above his companions.

The rest of the herd is allowed to the fertile pastures of the computer screen. They are overflowing, getting startled and re-shaping there. Then they come back to us in the form of embossed Op Art digital prints.

Even Ovčáček‘s letters die. Their souls are not damned, Eduard allows them to rest in white pools of silent blind blockings. We can feel their timelessness in the lines of serigraph printings.

Space is a great inspiration for Eduard Ovčáček. He is trying to grasp it with his objects that he has been creating continuously throughout the whole period of his creative work. Architektons, wood relief carvings and sculptures in all possible variations, modifications and dismantlements intensify the space and create its new dimension.

V. Brucháčková Závodná, January 2012


Miloš Urbásek

How to bring a city life on a canvas? Its irregular breath, raw light of early morning hours, restless mass of people, noise of night trams?

Miloš Urbásek found his own way, he brought the soul of the city into alternative signs. They are created through graphemes – numbers or letters, at other times only through lines of pastel or brush work shining through colour surface.

His way to these simplifi ed letters starts already in cycles of litographs and monotypes in the early 60’s. In those Miloš Urbásek’s relationship to the great Czech graphic artist Vladimír Boudník is apparant. During 1963 – 65 he creates a series of collage. Letters gradually disentangle themselves from used texts, they gain freedom and informative value. The artist subdues them in order to make his own typographic arrangements. Mutilating some of the letters and using only their particular parts, he arranges their fi rm bodies on the plane.

Groups of graphemes have their own inner dynamics. In conformity with strictly obeyed rules of logic and descriptive geometry, they create geometric patterns and accept artist’s accurate vertical or horizontal segmentation. Totally autonomous free letters form „charts“ and series. The closed basic shape of letters is being fragmented by rotation, refl ection and division, sometimes returning from the fragment form to its original shape.

The sign 0 has the entirely privileged position. Using latex, Mr. Urbásek liked to lay it on a canvas, he let it animate on serigraphic sheets. 0 gradually changes its shape, it becomes a circle, symbol of life, repeated renessaince.

Colour represents and creates space and depth in Urbásek’s paintings. It integrates the letter’s own space, the space in front of it and around it. Soft planes of muted tones emerge, here and there bumping into hard borders of colour lines.

In the 80’s Miloš Urbásek put his brush work of crosshatch and lines of particular strokes in acrylic or oil pastel paintings. Some of these pieces lead to monochrome expression /colour scheme is minimal, only 1 primary colour and its tones gradually dominate/. Other pieces, especially, pastels approach moments in which light is materialized.

To observe through soft haziness something as intimate and unseizable as Urbásek’s birth of light, thought and depth of space is almost a meditative experience.

Katalogue here.