Lucie Drdova Gallery is a Prague-based contemporary art gallery with a strong conceptual portfolio and a distinctive curatorial approach to open up dialogue between local artists and the international scene.

Jan Pfeiffer

The new gallery of contemporary art Drdova Gallery is pleased to open by the exhibition of Czech artist Jan Pfeiffer.

The exhibition Some Things Pass is an account of things that happen. One often reflects on their constellation, though only being able to perceive their mutual relationships. Its internal sense consists in the effort to capture these things in time as well as in the question of why grasp them in the first place. The line of thought of searching for eternal truths has merged with the artist’s account of his relationship to a person close to him; in the context of history as well as formal aspects.

The basic motive is the principle of the straight line and human will which keeps changing it. In the first room, there is a closed object reminding of a wall carrying formal spatial information about where one stands. The optical illusion of horizontal lines initiates the mental movement of the spectator. A parallel of the line can be seen in the photograph of an old man’s hands changing its shape.

The adumbrated “triumphal arch” further appears in a video where the light trace follows the internal empirical shape of the arch, reviving its historical reminiscence. At the same time, the spectator passes a similar arch which represents both the physical and mental effort of an old man who transforms the imaginary horizon. In Jan Pfeiffer’s installation, the spectator encounters the theme both physically, passing through space and perceiving the transformation of shape, and mentally while observing the very virtualization of the image in front of him. This image tells a parable of human will, the legacy of fathers and the values that have changed history.

Henry Wool, Arcus Triumphalis, or, The Analysis of Vaulting, Edinburgh: Isaac and Sons 1755, p. 122–123

“Chapter XLI: On the Arc as the Essence of Elegance

As Hogarth has shewn in his treatise, there wouldnever be an elegant line if it were not for the ability of giving it a smooth and regular curve. However, what he forgot to mention is that the arc is the first and fundamental element of any elegant line. It is the expression of real human art as well as the power of human will to endue the material things around us with a form corresponding with the ideal notion we have defined in our minds. Almost any animal can destroy or deform by brute force that which does not exceed its weight and height. However, only man can use his powers to obscure the traces of his acts. The final result is more perfect than anything to be seen in the wild. For even pebbles on the seashore which have been abraded for centuries do not show as regular a curve as the results of human skill. It was not in vain that the ancient Romans immortalized their military successes by erecting arches.”

Quotation by Jakub Steskal
Jan Pfeiffer was born in 1984 in Prague where he lives and works. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in the studio of Jiří Příhoda (Studio of Intermedia Art), he is the co-founder and curator of the Pavilon Gallery at Prague’s Lesser Quarter. He received the Essl Award CEE 2009 and won the Czech section of the Henkel Award 2011. Jan Pfeiffer had solo exhibitions in the etc. gallery (2011), in the Cube Gallery in the Meetfactory (2011), in the Museo Laboratorio di Arte Contemporanea in Rome (2011), in the City Gallery Prague at the Golden Ring (2010), in the Open Gallery in Bratislava (2010) and in the Youth Gallery in Brno (2010).

He participated in a whole range of collective exhibitions such as the Zlín Youth Salon, the Biennial of Young Artists in the Prague City Gallery, the Essl Museum in Klosterneuburg, the Brot Kunsthalle in Vienna and the MOCA in Taipei. In the following month, he is leaving for a residency in Ramallah, Palestine.
Accompanying Programme
Morning meeting with Jan Pfeiffer not only about the current exhibition on Saturday, June 23, at 10.30 am.

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