Josef Žáček: Whispers
30 Jun – 30 Sep 2011
"The world that Žáček shows us in his pictures is cheerless but why should it be otherwise? The artist’s St. Francis is a shadow of St. Francis, a dark shadow at that. The agenda of his painting is undoubtedly important and comes ready-frozen by the technique employed. He washes away what he has painted and paints it again; the subjects of his paintings are haunted by their own shadow contours.
All of Žáček’s paintings are basically disconcerting. The quivering restlessness is heightened and highlighted by beauty while attempting to conceal or in contrast, to unveil the horror in which we live.
Žáček shows us once more that it is not just painting and what is painted that are important. The fragility of the world, its bleak beauty, can be viewed only by means of their close embrace."
Ivan M. Jirous
"…winged figures move from nowhere to nowhere in a catatonic trance, in an abstract vacuum, stretching out arms that invite, beg, bless and at the same time, command. Bare feet and ascetic rags contrast sharply with almost unearthly-contoured heads. Space in this series is non-functional and time is useless, all theories fail, definitions are ridiculous, nothing concrete can be conceived. It makes no difference whether these figures are angels of salvation or demons of destruction.
Žáček’s exhibition is called “Whispers” but it presents itself in terms of muffled, inwardly-directed screams."
Josef Žáček was born in Prague in 1951. From 1977–1983 he studied painting at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts. He has had more than forty solo exhibitions and participated in over fifty group shows in, among other places, Los Angeles, Lisbon, Berlin, Washington, Rotterdam. Žáček's work was displayed in the Art Pavilion at EXPO 1992 in Seville, Spain.
Josef Žáček is represented in the collections of the National Gallery, Prague; the Art Gallery, Roudnice nad Labem; The North Bohemian Gallery, Litoměřice, The East Bohemian Gallery, Pardubice, and a number of private collections in the Czech Republic and abroad.
He lives and works in Prague.