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Jan Bačkovský: How Else

  • Where: Montmartre Gallery
  • When: March 26, 2013, 19:00 – April 28, 2013, 18:00

Jan Bačkovský (born 1957, Hradec Králové) is a member of the generation of painters of the 1980s and exhibited in Confrontation group shows. Between 1979 and 1985, he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in the studio of monumental art under Professor Arnošt Paderlík. He originally focused on figural painting, before gradually switching to the abstract expression that he devotes himself to today.

The Václav Havel Library is presenting works thatJan Bačkovský has produced this year. They are large-format oil paintings that produce a strongly elemental impression via expressive gestic brushstrokes. In recent years, the painter’s artistic signature has stabilised around a system of vertical and horizontal strokes that intersect and cross, crashing into and supporting one another. It is, in my view, just in these overlaps and in what takes place between them that the magic of his pictures lies. Sometimes their layout conjures an impression that is almost harmonious, in a manner similar to Renaissance works; at other times their apparent randomness and expansiveness capture the world’s ungraspable nature. Clear colours give the canvasses a strong expressiveness that radiates from them, creating an almost physical sensation of taste. Their size also makes a physical impression on the viewer. As Mark Rothko said: “To paint a small picture is to place yourself outside your experience, to look upon an experience as a stereopticon view or with a reducing glass. However you paint the larger picture, you are in it.” And that is the main strength of Bačkovský’s paintings.

Bačkovský himself speaks about his motives for creativity as a distraction from everyday reality. He says: “I don’t know if my paintings differ at all. I’m always painting one picture. This personal position shaped by a large canvas is, from today’s predominantly scientifically descriptive view of the world, hugely liberating.”


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