Art Brussels

2015, solo presentation with Geukens & De Vil

Jaromir Novotny, Art Brussels 2015

Jaromir Novotny, Untitled yellow
Untitled (Yellow), 2015, acrylic and oil on synthetic organza, cardboard insert, 150x120cm

Jaromir Novotny, Untitled, 2015
Untitled, 2015, acrylic on synthetic organza, 180 x 155 cm

Jaromir Novotny, Art Brussels 2015

Jaromir Novotny, Untitled, 2015
Untitled, 2015, acrylic and oil on synthetic organza, cardboard insert, 60 x 50 cm

Conditions of painting

On the edge of painting

In many respects painting has reached its edge. Search for new attitudes and problems, returns of abstraction or figuration narrowed the field of painterly practice that does not want merely to repeat already established approaches. Jaromír Novotný takes this situation seriously, and we can say even literally. His artworks are concerned precisely with the edge. It shifts itself into the centre; it divides and structures monochrome canvases. But it still remains an edge. It moves the gravity of colour fields and outlines the conditions of painting.

Precisely the edge generally defines conditions of each media, including painting. Jaromír Novotný is consistent even in this respect and follows these conditions. He rejects purely formal interpretation of his abstract artworks and on the other hand he does not engage conceptual attitudes. He does not relieve his position standing on the verge of the edge. He uncovers and unfolds the conditions of painting.

Accepting the conditions

Czech philosopher Zdeněk Vašíček titled two of his books as Accepting conditions and Conditions of a choice. Besides the explicit content of these texts he implicitly expresses certain personal stance. The conditionality following our entire lives does not relieve us from freedom nor responsibility. In life so as in art we strive to make a choice and acceptance of certain conditions. These form the measure of whether we have succeeded or not, be it as human beings or artists for instance.

Whether Jaromír Novotný works with polyester and acrylic, paper and print colour, or with photographic paper and a developer, conditions of his work are genuinely painterly. Although we can identify his artworks as monochrome canvases, there is no room for easy solutions. Rather we are confronted with complex authorial process, inspection of possibilities and conditions of the painting as a medium.

Motion and erotic of the edge

The very edge is put in motion. It shifts and duplicates itself. It concentrates in the centre of paintings but stay on the rim of the canvas too. It articulates this rim, but it can form a line and eventually unfold the edge as a field. Even the colour field uncovers reduplicated edge. Taking a closer look we can notice a darker line that has been left by an imprint of a roller. The tension from uncovering a detailed look intensifies while outplaying the transparency of paintings on polyester. The painting is no longer what we actually see. Rather it lets us see through, behind or more precisely inside itself. Yet another edge uncovers itself. It is the very wooden frame that gets skin tone and multiplies the tension.

As opposed to figurative or even realist painting the resemblance (mimesis) does not unfold in-between the object and the painting, but rather in-between the activity of painting and that of the viewer. Jaromír Novotný controls precisely this economy of attention. The concentration of both the colour and the viewer intertwines in the very colour field, so as in the framework of the composition. On one hand we can notice the structure of the surface and on the other we are facing relations between various fields and their edges. We can spread our attention onto the surface of the painting as well as concentrate on specific breaks and lines. We can shift between different fields and their edges, within canvas or a paper, within a tempting rhythm of the conditions of painting.

Václav Janoščík