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A Sight Detached from the Observer's Body
DUÚL Ústí nad Labem
Curator: Adéla Machová, Photo: Filip Trubac

14. 9. 2023 — 25. 11. 2023





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An experiment in painting, that is how the creative work of contemporary visual artist Jakub Tajovský (born 1991) can be described. For a long time, he has devoted himself to the technological possibilities of image construction and pushes the boundaries of the painting surface into space. His works are characterized by structures and mass of color. He often uses a robot he created and programmed (called Malbot) to apply paint. In this way, not only paintings are created, but often object or site-specific installations.

For Gallery 2, Jakub Tajovský prepared a series of works with a landscape theme. It visualizes the night sky and natural phenomena, creating a new whole - a scene that can be called a diorama. In this installation, individual images form backdrops that refer us to topics such as light pollution or the constant development of technological possibilities for mapping and exploring the world around us. Jakub Tajovský turns to the landscape and is interested in the human position when viewing the landscape at different scales, while the current exhibition combines three views – satellite, telescopic and robotically controlled. “The synthesis of these three views represents a virtual extension of our natural body. Body extensions are already the standard for viewing (thus expanding) the landscape. By measuring the individual views, I arrive at a landscape style (painting language) in which natural and technical forces are freely combined," Tajovský explains his own authorial approach.

The title of the exhibition A view separated from the body of the observer refers to the perspective where one can examine the dimensions of the image independent of the fixed (meaning human) body of the observer. The resulting painted image is combined through the synthesis of many views emanating from the human eye (optical devices) or, conversely, from structural material and technological possibilities. The resulting landscape painting is therefore not an ideal utopian landscape or a place after the apocalypse, it is an image of the formation of a landscape with the inevitable presence of man. Jakub Tajovský is fascinated by the possibility of a certain extension (expansion) of the human body within the framework of perception and vision, i.e. the possibility of going beyond the normal human scale or the physical conditions of the human eye.

In the central space of the gallery, the viewer encounters a monumental color surface that brings a view of the sky recorded on a large suspended scroll (Leak, 2023). Among the subtle shades of color, we can discern a gradual layering, as the painting has already gone through several creative phases – the manual application of paint is supplemented by a machine (Malbot), which covers the surface of the painting in a regular pattern and is navigated using sensors. A closer look at the structures of the painting reveals the details of the processual painting work itself.

Jakub Tajovská became the inspiration for the second presented work (Supermoon, 2016) in this exhibition, a recording of the surface of the Moon, which was taken in high resolution by an amateur telescope. Shades of ash gray and brilliant white define the lunar sea and lunar mountainous areas. The captured surface was so visually detailed that the observer can, figuratively speaking, walk through this captured landscape. At the same time, this is one of the first procedurally identical paintings with the assistance of a hybrid form of robot, when Tajovský tested paint dispensers and used a simple navigation system from a phone.

The plate paintings Fluid recordings (2021–2023) represent a third "distant and detached" view of a technical nature. This time, the author combines the landscape with satellite photography and a view through a microscope. It is essentially a bird's eye view. From the given combination of the point of view and the controlled structuring of colored areas, a layered microscopic "artificial" landscape is created on vertical panels, which together form a horizontal juxtaposition of the whole.

Using a multimedia approach, Jakub Tajovský deconstructs a painting. Using both traditional and innovative color application processes, he explores the moment of image formation and its potential for visual reference. Figuratively, we can say that the walls of the gallery then form the sought-after imaginary frame of the work of art realized by the author.

From 2011 to 2017, Jakub Tajovský studied Painting Studio 3 with prof. Petr Kvíčala at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Technology in Brno, where he dealt with the image at the border of digital and analog media and the horizon as the limit of visual perception, since the image can be viewed from different points of view. The topic of the so-called painting design became the main project of his doctoral research, which he followed up on his master's studies at the same faculty, and is based on his preoccupation with painting in theory and practice. "The design of the painting includes both the image and its technological background as performative components of the painting. Techniques for processing the 'painting material' are based on the one hand from the craft tradition of the painted image, on the other hand they appropriate the visuality of new technologies. As such, technological tools and methods help me create a dialectical curvature - a view that tries to evoke the impression of an artificial 'material intelligence' speculating about its own formation in relation to the elementary correlation of nature-man-culture." (Tajovský, 2023, online) His interest about the technological aspects of painting resulted in the realization of his own painting material, a polymorphic emulsion named GLUP, which, thanks to its viscosity, even enables sculptural work through painting apparatuses.

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In it's own field 

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