The unmistakable influence of Vladimír Skrepl on the art scene in a new exhibition in Prague’s DOX

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An exhibition is opening in the DOX Centre for contemporary art with a title that sounds like a music album – Vladimír Skrepl: Remixed & Reimagined. Through the work of eight established artists, Eva Koťátková, Adéla Součková, Josef Bolf, Jakub Hošek, Krištof Kintera, Jiří Kovanda, Jan Šerých and Marek Ther, Skrepl’s influence on the contemporary art scene is demonstrated.

The exhibition Vladimír Skrepl: Remixed & Reimagined is neither a classical retrospective nor a showcase of new, as yet unexhibited works. On the contrary, the exhibition shows how long-lasting, broad and diverse Skrepl’s influence on the contemporary art scene is. Vladimír Skrepl and the exhibition’s curator, Otto M. Urban, approached a group of artists – Eva Koťátková, Adéla Součková, Josef Bolf, Jakub Hošek, Krištof Kintera, Jiří Kovanda, Jan Šerých, and Mark Ther – with the proposal that they should rework Skrepl’s work as they saw fit, and respond to his work in their own way. The idea of the exhibition is therefore based on the principles of musical remixes, on the adoption of specific motifs, but also on free associations and interpretations.

The exhibition Vladimír Skrepl: Remixed & Reimagined presents various formal approaches, from installations and conceptual works to paintings and objects to site-specific projects. This has resulted in a very diverse body of work, some of which was only completed during the installation of the exhibition. They are complemented by Skrepl’s works and his sources of inspiration – such as Jan Zrzavý’s Cleopatra II or Jan Štursa’s Puberty.

“The exhibition is not conceived as homage or a tribute, but as an effort to look at today’s scene with different eyes. We have approached prominent figures of contemporary art who work with Skrepl’s work quite freely. We are showing the absolutely unprecedented – and unappreciated – breadth of Vladimír Skrepl’s influence, which can inspire even artists who work with completely different material,” says Otto M. Urban, the exhibition’s curator.

Vladimír Skrepl (1955) began exhibiting in the mid-1980s and his presence on the art scene has been continuous since then. From its very beginning, Skrepl’s artistic approach was uncompromising and he had to gradually fight for his place. His works were rejected for a long time, often simply because their author had not undergone formal art education, i.e. some kind of art school, at that time most likely the Academy of Fine Arts and the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design. It is revealing that he was not accepted by either of these schools. Skrepl therefore graduated in art history, and is a trained art historian with experience in gallery practice, having worked for many years at the Prague City Gallery. From the outset, he was characterized by a broader outlook and openness to other artistic fields, especially music. However inconsistent his musical activity was, it was always an unforgettable event.

It has therefore been impossible to overlook Skrepl’s work and personality on our art scene since the late 1980s. His works were expressive and believable and in the context of the art of the time, they seemed to be an authentic statement about the world he experienced. Skrepl showed that things could be done differently, that modern art had completely opened the gates to all kinds of influences, that anything was possible, that it was the thought that mattered, the idea that was hidden in shapes and colors. In this way, Skrepl introduced themes or motifs into the local art environment that were not very visible in the wider context and were appreciated and admired only by a small circle. His influence on the art scene was all the greater because his work resonated mainly among its members. This was further enhanced by his tenure at the Prague Academy, where he has headed the painting school since 1994. For many years his assistant was Jiří Kovanda, an artist he has known and collaborated with since the mid-1980s. Together they created an inspiring creative environment where they did not stick to one medium or one idea, but opened up countless possible paths and perspectives. Among their alumni today are several successful artists who often recall their years at Painting Studio II as a defining and eye-opening time.

Vladimír Skrepl: Remixed & Reimagined
30 September 2021 – 30 January 2022
exhibition curator: Otto M. Urban

The exhibition has an accompanying program with the artists and curator as well as a catalogue with a planned issue date of December 2021.

Photos for download