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Vojtěch Kovařík, Mendes Wood DM at Villa Era, Vigliano Biellese, Italy
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For Czech artist, Vojtěch Kovařík, iconography and mythology are fundamental to his work. His large-format, forceful and vividly colored compositions result in impactful paintings that evoke the strength of sculpture. His herculean figures are contorted, seemingly defeated by the frame of the canvas, flaunting their blue, green, and yellow flesh amongst vegetal backgrounds. Kovařík was first trained in ceramics and sculpture and started painting later as an autodidact. This self-taught formation led him to mix oil, acrylic, and spray paint suggesting relief in a plane surface.

Figures from Greek mythology as well as pop culture references appear in Kovařík’s paintings, fully embracing figuration. His interest in Greek mythology comes from its importance in the European cultural collective unconscious but subverts its meaning by reconstructing its most prominent characters. The Hesperides (Nymphs of the Night) become rotund men, Artemis far from her frail archer archetype morphs into an imposing death figure. Conversely, many stereotypically hyper-masculine characters display postures evoking fragility and introspection. Their faces are often blurred (Hakuho, David, Knock-out) or presented as masks (Hermes, Iron Mike, Gladiator), showing their difficulty to claim a firm identity. Goliath is depicted in pink while Prometheus strikes a sensual pose.

Kovařík’s tone sways ambiguously between violence and silliness. His giant, flagrantly flaunting their masculinity become caricatures, ridiculous objects of curiosity. His purposeful exaggeration of human anatomy creates a sense of honesty and naïveté, questioning the traditional notion of physical strength and power.

CV

Education
Master's degree at the Faculty of Arts of the Ostrava University, Czech Republic
Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland
Bachelor's degree at the Faculty of Arts of the Ostrava University, Czech Republic

Solo Exhibitions
2020

Hidden Garden, Galerie Derouillon, Paris, France
2019
Capture Hypothesis, The Cabine, Los Angeles, United States
Lovers and Fighters, Public Gallery, London, United Kingdom
Landscapes of Muscle, Galerie Dukla, Ostrava, Czech Republic
Heaven Hell Paradise, Galerie města Třince, Třinec, Czech Republic
Temple of Doom, Berlínskej Model, Praha, Czech Republic
2018
ARMAGEDDON, Galerie OFF/FORMAT, Brno, Czech Republic

Group Exhibitions
2020

A Very Long Wait, Newchild Gallery, Belgium
Arco with L21 Gallery, Spain
Art Rotterdam (Art Fair) with Hero Amsterdam Gallery, Netherlands
2019
A Private Matter, LM Gallery, Latina, Italy
A Snake Without A Head Is Just A Rope, Sim Smith, London, United Kingdom
Contemporary Visions 2019, Beers London Gallery, London, United Kingdom
12th Prize of Art Critique for Young Painting, Galerie Kritiků, Praha, Czech Republic
2018
Tales of Talent, Galerie Wolfsen, Aalborg, Denmark
2017
Temporary Storeroom - Drawing: Case Study 2, PLATO Ostrava, Ostrava, Czech Republic

Awards
2019

Winner of 12th Prize of Art Critique for Young Painting, Galerie Kritiků, Praha, Czech Republic

Residency
2020

The Fores Project, London, United Kingdom
2019
L21 Gallery x Camper, Palma, Mallorca, Spain
La Brea Studio Residency, The Cabin LA, Los Angeles, California

Exhibitions
Mendes Wood DM at Villa Era
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