Curator: Terezie Petišková, Jozes Cséres
A retrospective exhibition will introduce the instinctive drawer Jan Steklík (1938–2017) as a prominent figure of the Czech visual culture of the latter half of the 20th century. It will show his work, until now neither completely analysed nor recognized, in its full extent and with its overreach to other fields, from his Art informel beginnings through innovative conceptual approaches in drawing and action or land-art projects. Steklík’s work is characterised on the one side by his sensitive relation to the material, deriving from the structural roots of this art, and, on the other, with his interest in the process, performativity or transience of the metaphor. From 1963 on Jan Steklík, together with Karel Nepraš, was the director of the Prague artistic association Křížovnická škola čistého humoru bez vtipu (The Crusaders’ School of Pure Humour with No Wit). For many years he also belonged to the Brno conceptual community around Jiří Valoch. His work is typical for its idiosyncratic sensitivity and poetics. Humour touching on the absurd facilitated its communication with large audiences. His famous actions named Airport for the Clouds (1970) or Cosmic Brewery (1970s) translate the artist’s gift for perceiving the transcendental dimension of everyday reality. Thematising common reality also reflects his fateful encounters with the Italian art movement Arte povera or with the American-German Fluxus.