Jiří Kornatovský / Style Declarative

The exhibition will introduce the visitor to the massive coal toroids of Jiří Kornatovský (*1952), in which the act itself of drawing, that is, the directed movement of the hand and entire body, is the very meaning of the work. The constant repetition and cyclicality of this coal-produced, DECLARED, movement connects the resulting drawings with spiritual exercise and meditation.

Using his coal, the artist wages war against the shapelessness and stillness of empty space, the possibilities of which are at first limited but in their essence, after one overcomes one´s own, limited, imagination and breaks into a state of creative rapture, are endless. He wills empty space into mass and constant motion. Stroke by stroke, he layers the black coal and shapes it into imposing forms, curves, hollows, abysses, and toroids, which undulate and pulsate before the eyes of those who lose themselves gazing into the center of the whirlwind.

Kornatovský never wanted to retell stories, fictional or true, or to transfer to carton meanings or thoughts which belong solely to the world of knowledge and philosophy. It is in this very directness, unburdened by connections to the world outside of the drawings themselves, that he finds his power. The lines, and the mass they create, is the meaning. It is thanks to this initial “emptiness” with which the artist approaches his work that his drawings are full of the deep meaning of discovery. To understand creation is impossible without openness and emptiness, in the sense of forgoing unnecessary thoughts, expectations, and prejudices which prevent us from fully experiencing life and art. 

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