Marie Blabolilová Inside
Galerie Novoměstské radnice / Gallery of the New Town City Hall
7 January 2015 – 27 February 2015
Curator Lucie Šiklová
The name of the exhibition Inside refers to one of the primary motifs of Marie Blabolilová (1948). Her last exhibitions were directed primarily outwards into nature and her community. The current exhibition, therefore, turns to the subject matter of the interior. At first glance, the thematic name plays with other meanings – inwards as Marie’s lifelong stance, and inside as “in”. Her tranquil communities express the essence of existence. We can use Marie’s enormous trifles as a signpost on the path to judgment, which is the so-called “in” (alternatively, “out”).
Marie Blabolilová entered the Prague Academy of Art in 1967 and while there experienced the encroachment of normalization. Here she was “saved” by the fact that Jiří John (1923–1972) was teaching there. Although it was a brief encounter, it confirmed Marie’s sense of creation as a natural path inwards, the path of a tranquil, focused spectator. Marie was born three years after the end of the Second World War. The war, as well as the February 1948 coup, was a recent memory. Her sensitivity and internal makeup, strengthened by this historical framework, gave rise to the fact that in her work she more and more resigned herself to the individual and symbolically abandoned its unreliable community of power. Although the world in the pictures of Marie Blabolilová is without human figures, it is nevertheless tightly bound together with the person. The presence and traces of things betray the individual’s existence. An abandoned chair by a table, a mug left on a table, a bag set aside, an armchair – empty, open arms. She continued in the direction laid out by John and exhausted her own distinctive, tranquil and powerful existentially tuned expression. She soon exchanged the painting she originally began with in school for line etching, which at the time best suited her soft concentration. But despite this withdrawal into herself, Marie does not belong to those self-absorbed artists who inquire into themselves. She does not burden the viewer with the baring of her own soul; in fact, she does not draw attention to her own existence at all. Nevertheless, it can be seen. Her sensitivity, attentiveness and involvement shine through her images, along with a concealed spontaneity whose energy changes into experimentation. Marie revealed herself fundamentally as an innovator after the “velvet revolution”, which meant a revolution in her output. She returned fully to painting and colour, which in the end predominated in her fundamentally completed graphic works. From this point on, she makes use of her arsenal of characteristic iconography of solitude and proceeds from her unmistakable handwriting based on the principle of a grid. At first she embeds linoleum in her verisimo painted interiors on the principle of collage and later uses this grid in an original way as the foundation for the painting. From the plane she extracts the reality viewed through the eye of the graphic artist. She explores working with a paint roller and uses the structures she creates with it analogously as a pattern for the linoleum. She abandons verisimo at the edge of minimalism and abstraction. At heart, she is independent of time periods, trends, buyers. With both seriousness and a necessary reduction she interprets through her work landscapes and cities, exteriors and interiors, the ordinariness of members of society, which, for her, embody a world without positive or negative signs.
At the beginning of the exhibition you can listen to a conversation with the curator and artist with Karel Oujezdský.
LUCIE ŠIKLOVÁ graduated with a degree in art history from the Charles University School of Humanities. From 2006 to 2009 she worked as a curator in the Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art in the National Gallery in Prague and from 2009 to 2010 as a curator at the Benedikt Rejt Gallery in Louny. She currently works as an independent curator and art theoretician concentrating on modern and contemporary art.