It’s Oh So Quiet | Antonie Stanová at Kvalitar Gallery, Prague

Curated by Nikola Nováková

Kvalitar Gallery

On view until 9th August, 2019

As you dreamt, you found yourself in a

house with long translucent curtains, white

walls and a ceiling that stretched very

high. And everything that happened within

those white walls was cyclical — it restarted

after a certain amount of time. You fell into

the cycle too, running around and darting

into rooms, always the same route, never

stopping. Bit by bit, you grow ever more

frustrated. You look through the window

and wish you were outside. Suddenly, a

breeze catches at your hair and it blows

you right away — your body rolls in the air

like a wave. You scatter across a field,

different pieces landing in different places.

Every part of you turns with the sun, but

they dont come together. You have never

come together. You are split open like a

tangerine, down the very center and

something overflows. An open faucet runs

until the room is full of seawater, until your

mouth is full of salt. And it’s oh so quiet.

— Antonie Stanová

Antonie Stanová’s abstract paintings impress themselves upon the viewer as tangled labyrinths made up of hidden signs and symbols. Individual fragments carry concrete information acting as visual shortcuts facilitating the viewer’s understanding of the artist’s work. These fragments also create coincidental narratives and free associations. Stanová’s work is characterized by a processual approach towards recording surrounding influences which in turn gradually materialize the artist’s personal journalistic record within her paintings. Each painting therefore has its own code based on an intuitive approach coming out of the artist’s inner world.

Another characteristic element of Stanová’s work is her use of material. The artist uses lightweight canvases without a base coat. This fine substance allows for the dispersion of the individual media the artist applies to the painting. Transparent textile is an example of the artist’s distinctive method which disrupts the sterility of the gallery space and creates an altogether new, personal approach. Likewise, light is important in Stanová’s work, used to create a diffusion within the space allowing the viewer to play with their own imagination.

A dominant element in the current exhibition is a food menu carrying hidden symbolism. The lavish banquet encourages the viewer to understand the artist’s work and approach to compiling her own inspirational resources. Stanová repeats the morphologies of the human body in her work while relating a concrete story to it.  For example, the motif of human eyes carried by lovers during the Baroque period instead of medallions in order to hide the identity of one’s secret love. After all, eyes betray the most about a person.

Stanová presents her first solo exhibition in the Kvalitář Gallery where she invites the viewer into her own world– a world of biomorphic motifs, Baroque patterns, Islamic decor, anatomical drawings, fingerprints and expressive curves. Individual elements in the artist’s work appear to be independent, nevertheless they fall into one another perfectly. Indeed, Stanová’s way of expressing herself leans away from classic notions allowing for the artist to create her own style. The result is a seemingly unrelated plethora of paintings made up of fragments of the artist’s own memories.

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