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Eighties: Roman Trabura - Things are starting to happen…

  • Where: Montmartre Gallery
  • When: January 14, 2013, 19:00 – February 17, 2013, 18:00

In 2013, the Václav Havel Library’s Galerie Montmartre is presenting an exhibition series entitled “Eighties” that presents the generation of artists born in the 1950s and ‘60s. Among those represented are artists from the underground and those who studied in the 1980s while also taking part in unofficial exhibitions, including the Confrontation series. They include Michal Cihlář, Otta Placht and Libor Krejcar. The idea behind the series is to present artists, often operating on their own, whose work is insufficiently known to the public. The series has got underway with a show of work by David Němec, which runs until 13 January 2012.

Roman Trabura (*1960 Vsetín) did not graduate from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague until the 1990s. As he put it himself: “With regard to studying, under the ‘Bolsheviks’ it didn’t even occur to me to give it a go. In those days, I was more underground, a rocker and nihilist.” His art has few peers on the Czech scene. He is constantly trying out new formal approaches, which he transforms like a snake shedding its skin. At the same time, he remains faithful to certain of his main themes, such as landscape painting.

At Galerie Montmartre he is showing a series of “forests”, large canvases that are, however, some way removed from classic Czech landscapes. Roman Trabura’s art comes from a rich, sometimes unchained imagination that seeks to both enrapture and provoke the viewer. They are in a sense inner landscapes that are still very close to the real, physical world. He uses those antitheses deliberately, along with many other sources of inspiration. However, it is not a question of direct influence or synthesis, but a pluralistic conception. He places figures with empty speech bubbles in sublime, romantic landscapes inspired by Caspar David Friedrich. Likewise, one cannot help feeling that his fairytale or even mystical scenes hide a biting black humour.

In darkening woods, mysterious shadows of figures with bulbous, pimply noses sneak about between the trunks of trees. On the horizon, is a sky suffused with a magical light. People and animals are doing something, but we don’t know what it is. Things are starting to happen…

Marianna Placáková


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